China Politics

After words, time for action

Newly-elected Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: AFP

China's leadership has a new face and a changed style. The once-a-decade transition of power finally complete, President Xi Jinping yesterday articulated his vision and Premier Li Keqiang mapped out plans. Innovative policies have been promised and pledges made for a cleaner, more responsive, government. Pragmatism abounds; that is the only way it can be for the world's most populous country and the second-largest economy, where challenges at home and abroad are many.

Monday, 18 March, 2013, 1:41am 1 comment

Mixed reviews as Li Keqiang takes centre stage as China's new premier

Li Keqiang addresses his first news conference as premier yesterday in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Simon Song

In his first press conference as premier yesterday, Li Keqiang showed a style that starkly contrasted his predecessor, Wen Jiabao, with almost no references to poetry or any sentimental remarks.

18 Mar 2013 - 5:28am

Li Keqiang's tough talk on graft is 'short on substance'

Political scientist Zhang Ming

Officials should "abandon any expectation of getting rich" new Premier Li Keqiang said yesterday, and to show he was serious about combatting graft, promised to cut the expense accounts of bureaucrats.

18 Mar 2013 - 5:28am

Think-tank veteran Wang Huning to retain influence despite lack of portfolio

Wang Huning

At first glance, Wang Huning is the biggest loser as the only Politburo member without a portfolio. But the former academic will still be an influential figure as director of the Central Policy Research Office, a think tank he has headed for more than a decade.

17 Mar 2013 - 5:59am

New environmental team booed amid pollution woes

Zhou Shengxian

Balloting on the new line-up of the National People's Congress' environmental protection and resources conservation committee saw 850 opposition votes and 125 abstentions, about a third of the total votes.

17 Mar 2013 - 5:59am 2 comments

How they see it

Xi Jinping. Photo: Xinhua

Xi Jinping's formal election as president.

17 Mar 2013 - 2:21am

Unwieldy agency name speaks volumes about Beijing's bloat

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) and the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP) are merged into State General Administration of Press, Publications, Radio, Film and Television. Photo: Xinhua

The cumbersome, 14-character name initially announced last week for the mainland's new press and broadcasting administration, was widely criticised, with detractors quickly seizing upon its length as a metaphor for the bloated bureaucracy.

17 Mar 2013 - 2:21am 1 comment

Stability is the key for China's new cabinet

The new lineup of China's State Council, nominated by Premier Li Keqiang, was endorsed by lawmakers at a NPC meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Photo: Simon Song

The nation's new cabinet was unveiled yesterday - a mix of veteran diplomats, senior politicians and technocratic newcomers with international exposure. Analysts say the line-up will maintain policy stability and strengthen China's position in the world order.

17 Mar 2013 - 9:29am 7 comments

Mystery over lone vote against Xi

Xi Jinping. Photo: AP

An overwhelming 2,952 delegates voted "yes" to Xi Jinping becoming China's new president on Thursday - but it was the lone "no" vote that attracted attention and sparked debate on China's main social media website.

16 Mar 2013 - 5:02am

Li Keqiang takes charge of nation facing tough decisions

China's President Xi shakes hands with newly elected Premier Li Keqiangduring fifth plenary meeting of National People's Congress in Beijing. Photo: Reuters

Li, 57, succeeded Wen Jiabao as head of the State Council, China's cabinet, after ceremonial election by National People's Congress deputies, with 2,940 affirmative votes cast and just three objections and six abstentions.

16 Mar 2013 - 5:30am 1 comment

Guangdong party boss Hu Chunhua keeps his cards close to his chest

Hu Chunhua. Photo: Reuters

On the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing last week, Hu Chunhua answered just one question from more than 200 journalists representing some 140 media organisations at an open session for Guangdong delegates.

16 Mar 2013 - 4:41am

Zhou Qiang's new role as the top judge is largely symbolic

Zhou Qiang (centre, back row) is congratulated by other deputies after being elected president of the Supreme People's Court at the National People's Congress. Photo: Xinhua

Hu Chunhua and Sun Zhengcai, both three years younger than the 52-year-old Zhou, have now eclipsed him on the political stage after joining the 25-member Politburo, and are in pole position to become the core of the party's sixth-generation leadership.

16 Mar 2013 - 5:01am

Hunan party chief Zhou Qiang named as mainland's top judge

Zhou Qiang. Photo: Simon Song

Zhou Qiang, 52, won 2,908 votes of the 2,957 effective ballots cast by National People's Congress deputies to become president of the Supreme People's Court, succeeding unpopular 66-year-old Wang Shengjun. Cao Jianming, 57, received 2,933 of the 2,956 votes cast to win reappointment as procurator general of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. 

16 Mar 2013 - 4:41am 1 comment

Wen Jiabao bows out after 10 years as premier

Wen Jiabao shakes hands with delegates after handing over the premiership to Li Keqiang at the NPC. Photo: AP

Wen Jiabao bowed out of political life yesterday, formally handing the premiership to Li Keqiang after 10 years in the job.

Li became the new premier after a ceremonial election at the rubber-stamp National People’s Congress, being chosen by 2,940 deputies and opposed by only three.

17 Mar 2013 - 7:41am

Can Xi Jinping succeed where Mao failed?

Can Xi Jinping succeed where Mao failed?

Once upon a time there was a leader of a major country who grew so tired with vested interests and self-serving elites who had their hands on the main levers of power that he decided to launch a campaign to bring them down to size.

15 Mar 2013 - 3:31am 5 comments