China picks outgoing vice-premier as new parliamentary chief

BEIJING - China has picked outgoing Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang as its new parliamentary chief, taking over from Mr Wu Bangguo who retires after 10 years helming the National People's Congress (NPC).

Ranked third in the Communist Party's apex Politburo Standing Committee, Mr Zhang, 66, scored 2,952 votes from a total 2,961 valid votes cast by the national legislators on Thursday morning at the NPC's ongoing annual session.

Mr Wang Chen is now the NPC's new secretary-general and also one of its 13 vice-chairmen, who include Mr Li Jianguo and Ms Shen Yueyue.

But conspicuously missing from the list of vice-chairmen is ex-organisation chief Li Yuanchao, who had been linked to the post. He may be named China's new state vice-president at the same session on Thursday, which is also set to make Communist Party chief Xi Jinping the new state President.

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