Li Keqiang endorsed as China’s premier, while military commission chiefs consolidate power

Xu Qiliang and Zhang Youxia voted in as vice-chairmen of state military commission under Xi Jinping

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 March, 2018, 3:30pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 March, 2018, 6:17pm

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang began a second five-year term on Sunday after President Xi Jinping’s nomination for him to remain in office was endorsed by the National People’s Congress.

Li, 62, received 2,964 votes in favour and just two against. Xi on Saturday received unanimous support to remain as president, while just one delegate voted against Xi’s close ally, Wang Qishan, becoming vice-president.

Meanwhile, on the military front, Xu Qiliang (four abstain) and Zhang Youxia (two votes against, one abstain) were endorsed as vice-chairmen of the state’s Central Military Commission, which is the counterpart of the ruling Communist Party’s military governing body. Xi chairs both the state and the party’s military commission.

Xi Jinping’s second term begins with show of unequivocal loyalty from lawmakers

Similarly, Wei Fenghe, Li Zuocheng, Miao Hua and Zhang Shengmin were appointed members of the state military commission, mirroring their positions on the party body.

In the judiciary, Zhou Qiang was reconfirmed as president of the Supreme People’s Court, with just five votes against and five abstentions, while Zhang Jun was endorsed as the new procurator-general of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, with five votes against and 10 abstentions.

After the results were announced, the new leaders each took an oath of allegiance to China’s constitution, although the ceremony lacked the goose-stepping guards of honour that graced Xi’s swearing in on Saturday.