The Chinese parliament elected Li Qiang, an ally of the president, as the new prime minister

China's parliament elected Li Chiang, an ally of the president, as the new premier

Newly elected Chinese Premier Li Qiang (left) and President Xi Jinping during a parliament session in Beijing, March 11, 2023.

Beijing – China's parliament elected the 63-year-old as the new premier as expected former Shanghai Communist Party leader Li Chiang. Reuters and AFP inform about it. A close ally of President Xi Jinping replaces sixty-seven-year-old Li Keqiang as prime minister.

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Li was proposed to the position by President Xi and the delegates granted his wish when, according to Reuters, they gave him 2,936 votes, with only three against and eight abstentions.

So far, Li is primarily known for his uncompromising campaign against the spread of covid -19 in multimillion-dollar Shanghai, which included long-term strict lockdowns last spring. At the time, Li staunchly defended the president's zero-tolerance policy, despite complaints from city residents who criticized poor access to food, medicine and basic services. about their quick release. Large-scale and long-term closures have significantly slowed the Chinese economy – gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to three percent in the country of 1.4 billion people last year. Li will now bear a large part of the responsibility for its launch.

The highlight of this year's weekly session of the parliament came already on Friday, when the delegates unanimously elected the current head of state, Xi Jinping, as president, for an unprecedented third five-year term. According to the AP agency, it is possible that the sixty-nine-year-old politician will remain in power for life. Reuters calls him the country's most powerful leader since Communist China's founder Mao Zedong.