Li Keqiang appointed to second five-year term as Chinese premier

Li Keqiang appointed to second five-year term as Chinese premier
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stands after taking the oath of office during a plenary meeting of China's National People's Congress. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

China's ceremonial legislature has appointed Li Keqiang to a second five-year term as premier and approved the appointment of a director for a national anti-corruption agency.

Delegates to the National People's Congress voted 2,964 to two on Sunday to approve Li's appointment.

The vote comes a day after party leader Xi Jinping was reappointed China's president with no limits on how many terms he can serve.

The premier is traditionally China's top economic official, but Xi has stripped Li of many of the post's most prominent duties by appointing himself to lead party bodies that oversee economic reform and state industry.

The legislature also approved the appointment of Yang Xiaodu as director for the National Supervisory Commission, created from a merger of the party's internal anti-graft watchdog with one that oversees civil servants. It will have the power to detain suspects for up to six months without seeking court approval.

Political analysts see the creation of the anti-graft agency as part of efforts to enforce party control over an increasingly complex society and government.

A marathon anti-corruption campaign led by Xi has snared thousands of government officials and managers of state companies.

Xi has been steadily tightening central control over the government and state industry while also stepping up efforts to crush dissent.

Also on Saturday, a key Xi ally, Wang Qishan, was appointed to the previously ceremonial post of vice-president.

- Press Association and Digital Desk

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