Li Qiang Endorsed As Chinese Premier at National People’s Congress

This morning at the first session of the 14th National People's Congress, the Chinese national legislature, Li Qiang was endorsed as the Chinese premier.[0] The 63-year-old former Shanghai party chief, who oversaw the city's gruelling two-month lockdown last spring, was named the successor of outgoing premier Li Keqiang at a meeting of the country's rubber-stamp parliament.[1]

Li received 2,936 votes in favour, with three votes cast against him and eight abstentions, according to totals projected on a screen inside the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing.[2] He will make his much-anticipated first appearance on the international scene on Monday during the leader's customary media Q&A after the legislative session concludes.[2]

Li is one of the most trusted protégés of Xi, the country's most powerful leader in decades, and is widely perceived to be pragmatic and business-friendly.[3] He faces the daunting task of shoring up China's uneven economic recovery after three years of COVID-19 curbs, weak confidence among consumers and the private sector, as well as global headwinds.[2]

The National People's Congress also appointed Liu Jinguo as director of the National Commission of Supervision, an anti-corruption body, Ying Yong, 65, as procurator-general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the highest prosecutors' office, and Zhang Jun, 66, as president of the Supreme People's Court, the nation's top court.[3] Wang Huning, 67, the country's chief ideological theorist, was elected Friday as chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.[3]

In the past, the premiership was a position with a great deal of authority over the economy; however, in the last ten years, Xi has seized control of nearly all decision-making, consequently diminishing the power of the premiership.[4] Those who have encountered Li describe him as someone who is practical-minded, a competent government operative, and encouraging of private businesses.[5] He is also the first premier since the Mao era not to have previously worked at the State Council, China's cabinet, as vice premier, analysts say.[6]

Last week, outgoing premier Li Keqiang declared a growth goal of roughly 5% for 2023, one of the most minor in decades, as the number two economy of the world struggles against formidable obstacles.[7]

0. “Li Qiang endorsed as Chinese premier –” China Daily, 11 Mar. 2023,

1. “Who Is Li Qiang? Xi Aide Likely to Step Into Premier Job” Bloomberg, 11 Mar. 2023,

2. “Li Qiang becomes China's premier, tasked with reviving economy” CNBC, 11 Mar. 2023,

3. “Li Qiang appointed China's Premier to jump-start battered economy” The Straits Times, 11 Mar. 2023,

4. “China ruling party's No. 2 leader Li Qiang elected premier” Kyodo News Plus, 11 Mar. 2023,

5. “Li Qiang: Xi Jinping’s right hand man behind sweeping Covid lockdown elected China’s new premier” AOL, 11 Mar. 2023,

6. “China appoints Li Qiang, a trusted ally of Xi Jinping, as premier”, 11 Mar. 2023,

7. “Li Qiang appointed as Chinese premier” Bangkok Post, 11 Mar. 2023,

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