China unveils drastic cabinet reshuffle plan
China on Monday appointed a whole new set of top officials, including a Defense Minister, to head a revamped government, days after President Xi Jinping began his second five-year tenure following the removal of the two-term limit. The new line-up approved by the rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress, includes four Vice Premiers, Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, Hu Chunhua and Liu He.
Xi was re-elected last week for a second five-year term
The officials' names were approved by nearly 3,000 deputies of the NPC after they were proposed by Premier Li Keqiang, who himself was re-appointed to the post under the new political setup headed by Xi. Xi was re-elected last week for a second five-year term, days after the NPC ratified a constitutional amendment, removing term limits for President and Vice President.
Wang Qishan has been elected as the Vice President
Xi's close confidant and former anti-corruption chief, Wang Qishan, has been elected as the Vice President. While Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been elevated as the State Councillor, which makes him a top diplomat holding dual posts, another key appointment from India's point of view was that of the appointment of Lt. Gen. Wei Fenghe as the new Defense Minister.
Chen Wenqing to remain the security czar
Wei is regarded as the man behind the international face of China's rapid military modernization and its reorganization. Vice Premier Liu He is expected to play a bigger role in the management of the Chinese economy, the world's second-largest after the US. Chen Wenqing remains the security czar overseeing the internal security, including espionage and counterintelligence as well as counter-terrorism.
New, revamped administration will have 26 ministries
The new appointments came as China unveiled a massive reshuffle plan of various ministries to make the government better-structured, more efficient, and service-oriented, affecting more than two dozen ministries and organizations. The new revamped administration will have 26 ministries and commissions of the State Council which is the central Cabinet. The new entities included the Ministries of Natural Resources, Veterans' Affairs, and Emergency Management.