Li Keqiang re-elected Prime Minister of China

Erika Holt
March 20, 2018

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang has been elected for a second term in office to steer some of the major structural reforms being marshalled by President Xi Jinping.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who also holds the rotating chair of the African Union this year, said China has made remarkable achievements under Xi's leadership, with the Chinese people's livelihood improved and China's global influence enhanced.

Li is the second ranking leader in China after President Xi Jinping who has emerged as the most powerful leader after Mao Zedong.

Li, who became premier in 2013, heads the State Council, China's Cabinet. The secret ballot for the Premier's candidature was held on Sunday morning at the 6th plenary meeting of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress.

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The lawmakers also approved the appointment of Xu Qiliang and Zhang Youxia as vice chairmen of the apex Central Military Commission (CMC), which imparts strategic direction to the People's Liberation Army (PLA). The Chinese government aims to maintain high economic growth rates while controlling the risks from the country's swelling debt.

The body was set up by merging the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and various other government anti-corruption units.

The EU Chamber of Commerce in China summed up the exasperation a year ago as "promise fatigue" - a complaint that challenges Xi's image as a champion of globalization. Wang led the party's feared anti-graft watchdog, which during Xi's first term punished more than 1.3 million officials, including, critics say, the president's political rivals.

Xi has also turned to his top economic aide, Liu He, to deal with USA trade frictions, dispatching him to Washington earlier this month, though it has not stopped President Donald Trump from considering new punitive measures against China.

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