China announces new cabinet at National People′s Congress | News | DW | 16.03.2013
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China announces new cabinet at National People's Congress

China has confirmed the appointments of new ministers of finance, commerce and foreign affairs. The announcement came on the penultimate day of China's annual session of parliament, the National People's Congress.

China's parliament on Saturday named Wang Yi, a former ambassador to Japan, as the country's new foreign minister.

The leadership changes at the foreign ministry come at a time of a tense territorial dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

Wang, 59, served as ambassador to Japan from 2004 to 2007 and was also a diplomat in Tokyo from 1989 to 1994. He reportedly speaks Japanese and is currently in charge of Taiwan affairs.

Other cabinet members chosen include Lou Jiwei as the country's new finance minister. Lou previously headed the China Investment Corporation (CIC) sovereign wealth fund.

Gao Hucheng was chosen as the new commerce minister, having previously served as vice commerce minister.

Zhou Xiaochuan was reappointed as central bank governor in a possible move to reassure financial markets of stability in monetary policy under the new Communist Party leaders.

Parliament also voted in Xu Shaoshi as head of the National Development and Reform Commission, which is the state economic planning body.

China's leadership change

The new appointments come as China concludes a once-a-decade leadership transition that saw Communist party chief Xi Jinping elected as president on Thursday and Li Keqiang as premier on Friday.

Xi, 59, who succeeded Hu Jintao as leader of the ruling Communist Party in November, was handed the largely ceremonial additional title of president with a vote of 99.7 percent by the 2,961 delegates to the National People's Congress. Li received 99.69 percent of 2,940 votes cast.

hc/slk (Reuters, AFP, AP)