China`s new leader Xi begins to pick his team

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 17:44

Beijing: Emerging stronger than his predecessor Hu Jintao, China`s new leader Xi Jinping has started picking his team with reformist officials, ignoring factional pulls and pressures ahead of the power transfer.

Backed by the powerful People`s Liberation Army (PLA), 59-year-old Xi, who took over as the military chief besides being the Communist Party of China (CPC) boss well ahead of becoming the President, reportedly exercising a greater degree of independence in choosing Vice President and top Ministers, fending factional pressures.

Unlike his predecessor Hu, who started his ten year term in 2003 only as General Secretary of CPC and President as his predecessor Jiang Zemin continued as head of military for two more years, Xi has taken firm control of the party and the military and set to take over as President this week, emerging as the most powerful leader in recent years.

Official media here today said the exercise to form the new administration has begun.

The number two new leader, Li Keqiang, 57, has already been declared by the CPC circles to be the new Premier succeeding, retiring Wen Jiabao.

Reports said that Xi has picked up reforms official and Polit bureau member Li Yuanchao as Vice President to lend hand to Li to energise the economic reform process to revitalise slowing economy.

Xi reportedly ignored pressures from Jiang, who continued to be the back room boss to appoint party propagandist Liu Yunshan and opted for Li for the post, which he held till last year.

Lawmakers attending the ongoing national legislative session are expecting three busy days from Thursday to elect and appoint state leaders, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The proceedings happen every five years and will affect the country`s legislative, administrative and judicial organs.

On Thursday, deputies of the National People`s Congress (NPC), known as the rubber stamp Parliament will vote to elect the chairman, vice chairpersons, general secretary and members.

On the same day, they will elect the country`s president and vice president as well as chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) of the People`s Republic of China.

The Deputies also elect heads of the Supreme People`s Court and the Supreme People`s Procuratorate, the country`s chief justice and procurator-general.

But these elections are nominal as most of the posts are decided well head by the Party.
Xi has already been nominated to be Chairman of CMC in November last and held several meetings with the revamped military, calling for battle readiness.
On Saturday, lawmakers will decide on vice premiers, state councilors, government ministers, governor of the central bank and chief auditor, who form the country`s cabinet.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 17:44

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