NPC China: Who are the best men chosen to support Xi Jinping? | Politics News

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While Chinese President Xi Jinping has risen to become the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong after securing an unprecedented third term in power, he is surrounded by a group of top officials who supporting his rule.

At the top of the hierarchy is the State Council, China’s “prime administrative authority,” headed by a 10-person executive committee that oversees regional administrations and 26 ministries.

While many of the top posts have traditionally been handed out with a view to keeping China’s various political factions happy, Xi, who was re-elected on Friday by a unanimous vote of China’s rubber-stamp parliament, has to dismiss a competitor such as the Youth League, associated with former President Hu Jintao, former Premier Li Keqiang and former Vice Premier Wang Yang.

In their place, Xi has installed a crop of loyalists who were announced during the National People’s Congress, which ended on Monday.

“The Party’s greater control over the government apparatus means that Xi will be able to bring the state even more under his personal control and ensure that it conforms to his ideological and policy goals.” ,” said Connor Swank, an analyst at the Center for Advanced Research in China. Al Jazeera.

Carston Holz, an expert on the Chinese economy and a visiting professor at Princeton University, said the top officials, despite their visibility, will have “very little authority to carry out major reforms without permission.” Xi Jinping”.

“Xi Jinping’s predictions are well-known, from guiding the path of economic development to consolidating the Party-controlled financial system,” Holz told Al Jazeera.

Some of the top officials supporting Xi include:

Major Li Qiang

Replacing the former premier, Li is perhaps best known to outsiders for instituting Shanghai’s controversial “zero COVID” lockdowns between March and June. – last year as Secretary of the Communist Party in the largest city in the country. Since October, Li has been the second-highest-ranking member of the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, the seven-member committee that oversees the party’s top leadership.

Li, 63, is a known Xi loyalist and has been a member of Xi’s support network since he served under Xi when he was Communist Party Secretary of Zhejiang Province in the 2000s. Li’s power is seen as “coming directly from Xi personally,” according to Adami Ni, editor of the China Neican website.

“This makes the current situation unique if not unique. His distance from Xi is closer than what you might expect between a new premier and the party leader,” Ni told Al Jazeera.

“The reason for the difference and the distance is that traditionally the first and second level officials came into their place often through political negotiations involving the interest of different networks and organizations in the Party.”

Vice Premier of the Government Ding Xuexiang

Ding, 60, is also director of the General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, a post he has held since 2017 and works closely with Xi as his de facto chief of staff. In October, Ding also joined the elite Politburo Standing Committee, securing a key role in China’s leadership for at least the next five years.

Ding began his political career in Shanghai, where he first met Xi, and is widely regarded as a close confidant of the Chinese leader. Unlike other top officials, Ding has never been a Communist Party secretary of a province or city, a typical path to power in China’s highly structured leadership.

Vice Premier He Lifeng

He, 68, will take the economic portfolio instead of the economist who is getting out of Harvard Liu He. As the former head of the National Development and Reform Commission, he is seen as a longtime Xi loyalist but also as a “highly capable technologist,” according to the Brookings Institution, with a PhD in economics.

He works closely with Yi Gang, the governor of the People’s Bank of China, who survived the latest overhaul despite being close to retirement age. Both will face major challenges as China tries to get the economy back on track after the end of “zero COVID,” including a low birth rate, a long-term property crisis, and slow growth, as seen in Beijing’s median gross domestic product. (GDP) target of 5 percent for 2023.

Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing

Zhang brings corporate experience as vice chairman of arms contractor China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco) and has served as party secretary of Liaoning Province, Mayor of Tianjin and Mayor of Chongqing. He also has a PhD in economics and is seen as another experienced technocrat, according to analysts.

Foreign Minister and State Councilor Qin Gang

At 56, Qin is one of the youngest members of the State Council. Qin was promoted to foreign minister in December but did not hold his first press conference until this month. After blasting the United States for its “irresponsible” behavior towards China, the top diplomat is expected to continue the strong “wolf warrior” tone that Beijing has adopted in foreign affairs in recent years. last. Qin is a career diplomat who has held several high-profile posts, including Chinese ambassador to the US from 2021 to 2023.

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