China's parliament formally picks Li Keqiang as premier
BEIJING - Mr Li Keqiang has become China's new Premier, succeeding the affable Wen Jiabao and taking over the reins of the world's second biggest economy for the next 10 years.
Mr Li, who is ranked number two in the Communist Party's apex Politburo Standing Committee, scored 2,940 of total 2,949 valid votes cast by national legislators meeting at the Great Hall of the People on Friday morning. Three opposed while six abstained.
An understudy of Mr Wen since 2008, Mr Li faces the challenges of maintaining economic growth while ensuring that the gains of growth are spread more evenly and fairly in China.
While he is seen to be less charismatic than predecessor Wen, Mr Li, an ally of ex-president Hu Jintao, can boast of being very accomplished academically: he has a doctorate in economics and bachelor's and master's degrees in law from the prestigious Peking University. He is also one of the few in China's rarefied political circles to speak fluent English.