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Another Xi Loyalist At Key Position As Chinese President Names Li Qiang As Next Premier

China Government Reshuffle: Chinese President Xi Jinping has yet again nominated another close ally for a key position in a government reshuffle to have more control in his hand. He has named one of his close confidantes, Li Qiang as the country’s next premier, reported The Guardian citing the official Xinhua news agency. 

The announcement was made during the ongoing annual meeting of China’s parliament. As per the report, Li Qiang is the former Communist party chief of Shanghai, China’s largest city. He served as Xi’s chief of staff between 2004 and 2007, when Xi was the provincial party secretary of eastern China’s Zhejiang province. 

Li Qiang will replace Li Keqiang, who became the country’s premier in 2013 amid hopes that he would bring in liberal reforms. According to The Guardian’s report, Li Keqiang’s power was curbed by Xi, who increasingly sidelined him and placed allies in key strategic positions over him. 

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During the opening session of the National People’s Congress, as mentioned in the Guardian’s report, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang bows to delegates after delivering his work report. 

Li Keqiang has served two five-year terms and is retiring during the National People’s Congress session ending on Monday. 

Li Qiang was put on track for premier in October when he was appointed to the number-two role on the politburo standing committee during the Communist party congress, held every five years, the report said. 

As per the report, Chinese President Xi is installing his loyalists in key positions amid the biggest government reshuffle in the country in a decade. Xi was elected as president for an unprecedented third term on Friday. 

Another loyalist, Liu Jinguo was nominated as a candidate for director of the National Commission of Supervision on Saturday, which oversees the government’s anti-corruption work, The Guardian cited Xinhua. 

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