BEIJING, March 11 (AFP) - Li Qiang, one of Chinese President Xi Jinping's most trusted allies, was confirmed as premier on Saturday, as Xi asserts his influence on the country's top leadership.
Li, the former Shanghai party chief who oversaw the city's gruelling two-month lockdown last spring, was named the successor of outgoing premier Li Keqiang at a meeting of the country's rubber-stamp parliament.
The 63-year-old received nearly all votes from the more than 2,900 delegates at the National People's Congress a day after Xi was unanimously selected by deputies for a norm-breaking third term as president.
Xi's motion nominating Li Qiang as premier was read out to the chamber on Saturday morning.
Li's ascension had previously seemed in doubt after his handling of the Shanghai lockdown, in which residents struggled to access food and medical care.
But Li's record, as well as widespread protests last winter over Xi's zero-Covid policy, has been brushed aside as Xi cements his grip on Chinese politics.