Li Keqiang, Communist Party of China’s second ranking leader, was today elected as Prime Minister by Parliament succeeding Wen Jiabao who retired after a generational transition of power in the world’s most populous country.

Li, 57, currently the Vice-Premier was nominated for the top post by the newly elected President Xi Jinping and his candidature was endorsed by the 3,000-member Parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC).

Li was named as the new Premier, a day after China’s Parliament formally elected Xi, as President, four months after he took charge of the Communist Party.

Besides being the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which effectively rules the country, Xi has also been appointed as the Chairman of the powerful Military Commission, when he was elected as the new leader of the party in November last.

A princeling himself like Xi, Li born into the family of a local official in Dingyuan County, reportedly refused his father’s proposition to be groomed to be the leader of the local county.

During the Cultural Revolution headed by Mao Zedong, he was sent to the rural labour camp in Fengyang County, Anhui, where he eventually joined the Communist Party.

He acquired Doctorate degree in Economics and became the Communist Youth League Secretary at Peking University in 1980.

Li later acquired a law degree and was awarded with the honour of outstanding individual in the study of Mao Zedong thought at that time.

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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