Wen Jiabao is China's new premier

BEIJING: China's parliament picked Wen Jiabao as premier yesterday, placing the world's fastest-growing major economy in the hands of a man who must also tackle deep problems like a rotten banking system and a yawning wealth gap. 

Wen, 60, was confirmed as successor to the highly respected Zhu Rongji by the National People's Congress, China's ceremonial legislature, as it winds down its annual two-week session. 

Nearly 3,000 delegates gathered in this capital's gigantic Great Hall of the People off Tiananmen Square to vote on Wen's appointment and put the final stamp of approval on a historic handover to a younger generation of leaders. 

MAN OF THE PEOPLE: Wen acknowledging the applause of delegates before being announced as China's new premier in Beijing.--APpic.

Parliament also re-elected Xiao Yang as top judge and chose former public security chief Jia Chunwang as top prosecutor to tackle the rampant corruption that is another blight on the economy. 

Wen, who as vice-premier under Zhu handled a wide range of issues from finance and scientific research to disaster relief, received 2,906 votes for, three against, and 16 abstentions. 

When the results flashed on a screen in the cavernous main hall, the bespectacled Wen smiled, took a bow, then shook hands with Zhu. 

Wen's appointment followed the confirmation of Communist Party chief Hu Jintao as state president on Saturday.  

Hu succeeded Jiang Zemin, who will continue to wield power behind the scenes as chairman of a powerful military body. 

A former geologist whose smarts and loyalty helped him rise to the highest ranks of power, Wen also has a breadth of experience that is expected to serve him well, analysts said. 

Since he was elevated to the number three spot in the ruling Communist Party last November, Wen has tried to buff his image as a champion of the common man. 

He spent the Chinese New Year holiday in February eating dumplings with miners 700m below ground and he has visited villages to hear the problems of farmers. 

His consensus-building style contrasts with that of his hot-headed mentor Zhu. – Reuters  

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In Regional

Covid-19: Two more cases detected with highly contagious UK variant
Pandemic boosts demand for cleaning robots in Hong Kong’s shopping malls, offices and hotels
China alarmed as binge drink livestreaming where people drink until they vomit or pass out becomes the latest online trend
Covid-19: Cases up by 2,148, bringing total to 367,977 (updated daily)
Tencent merges video platforms to sharpen competition with TikTok owner ByteDance
JD.com, Meituan and ByteDance among the first to pledge antitrust compliance after being told by Beijing to learn a lesson from Alibaba
Kindergarten teacher sacked for posting pictures of young boy forced to smell his feet
Chinese researchers say they’ve developed an AI text censor that is 91% accurate
Interstate travel allowed to bring aged parents, grandparents for vaccination, says Khairy
Penang named third best island in the world to retire on in 2021

Stories You'll Enjoy