BEIJING: China’s National People’s Congress elected Li Keqiang as the next Prime Minister on Friday, installing an English-speaking bureaucrat as the man in charge of running the world’s second-largest economy as a once-a-decade leadership transition nears its conclusion.
The 57-year-old Li, who is expected to be in office for a decade, faces the challenge of steering the country towards more balanced development, with domestic consumption by a larger middle class playing a greater role.
“I announce that comrade Li Keqiang has been chosen as premier of the People’s Republic of China,” said Yan Junqi, a vice-chairwoman of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s parliament.
Li, to applause from delegates in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, rose, bowed and shook hands with Xi Jinping, who was formally elected president by the legislature on Thursday, and his predecessor as premier Wen Jiabao.
Li received 2,940 votes out of 2,949 cast, with three votes against and six abstentions. Like Xi’s election the day before, the result had never been in doubt.