Li Qiangone of the president’s most trusted subjects Xi Jinpingalmost sure to become the next Prime Minister of China After Sunday he was ranked second in the hierarchy of Communist Party.
party leader in Shanghai I outperformed two other candidates who were considered more qualified for the job, which confirms it Xi stuffed the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest level in power, with allies.
My chances of obtaining such a high position were threatened before Shanghai’s two-month harsh shutdown which he supervised earlier this year, where 25 million residents of the financial center had difficulty accessing food and basic medical care.
“If evidence is needed that loyalty trumps merit in Xi’s China, Li Qiang’s rise provides that,” he said. Richard McGregorPrincipal Investigator at the Institute Lowe in Sydney. “Lee might be very capable, and he might be a good prime minister, but it’s hard to see how he got there if not for Shi’s personal advantage.”
Although it is not uncommon for former presidents Shanghai They were promoted to the highest echelons of the party, unlike almost all previous prime ministers, He has no experience at the central government level as a Vice-President of the State Council.
However, he has a wealth of local management experience, having held leadership positions in the prosperous Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.
Significantly, he was Xi’s chief of staff from 2004 to 2007, when he was party chief in Zhejiang.
His rapid promotions since then reflect a high degree of Shi’s confidence in him.
Xi was parachuted into Jiangsu by Xi in 2016, after a corruption scandal that brought down several regional officials, before becoming party secretary in Shanghai the following year.
As Prime Minister, Li will also take over the position of China’s premier, the State Council.
This role traditionally entails responsibility for the day-to-day management of the country, as well as macroeconomic policy.
“He (Li) was seen as a business-friendly local leader, but it is doubtful that these skills would translate well to overseeing macroeconomic coordination and regulatory agendas as prime minister,” said Neil Thomas, chief China analyst at Eurasia Group.
He will take office at a time when the world’s second largest economy is struggling.
Last week, the release of China’s quarterly economic data was postponed without an official explanation.
The International Monetary Fund expects China’s GDP to reach 3.2% this year, the lowest level since 1976not counting the epidemic year of 2020.
The country’s ruthless policy of lack of enthusiasm – with Xi’s personal support – has curbed consumption and disrupted production through frequent shutdowns of major ports and manufacturing centers.
Li’s loyalty to Xi is seen by many analysts as a way for the president to advance a conservative economic agenda.
The current Prime Minister Li Keqiang – an economist by training – has found his attempts at economic reform constrained by the tyrannical power of Xi.
“Although Li Keqiang has played an important role in recent months… he and Xi Jinping have long been rivals,” said Willy Lam, a political analyst and senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation.
“Conservative economic policy will become dominant.”
The two people who were previously seen as potential successors – and similar in ideological mindset to Li Keqiang – would not be in the next Politburo at all.
It has been confirmed that Wang Yang, a former member of the Standing Committee, has retired, and that Hu Chunhua, the youngest incumbent deputy prime minister who oversees agriculture, has been completely excluded from the new 24-member Politburo.
Xi has repeatedly defended his “shared prosperity” policy, which is characterized by cutting surplus income in the entertainment and technology sectors and subsidizing huge Chinese state-owned enterprises.
Its goal is to reduce wealth inequality, but critics say the strategy dates back to the leftist politics of the Mao era.
“It would be bad for the economy, but ideologically this is what Xi Jinping wants,” Lam said.