March. 15 - Li Keqiang is officially appointed as China's premier at the annual parliament session. Sarah Toms reports.
Amidst the pomp and ceremony of Beijing's Great Hall of the People, Li Keqiang is officially appointed as China's premier. Nearly 3,000 delegates gathered at the annual parliament session to vote on Li's appointment. It was not much of a surprise that the largely rubber-stamp National People's Congress, chose the 57-year-old to replace Wen Jiabao. He received 2,940 votes, drawing only three no votes with six abstentions. As legislators applauded, Li rose and shook hands with Xi Jinping, who was elected president by the legislature on Thursday. The appointment puts Li at the helm of the world's second largest economy. Many Chinese think he has his work cut out for him. (SOUNDBITE)(Mandarin) 42-YEAR-OLD BEIJING RESIDENT CHEN BIN SAYING: "Domestically, we are still facing many problems such as property, medical, pension and economic transition. As for overseas affairs, we have the Diaoyu Island dispute, North Korea issue and pressure from the U.S. that all need to be resolved soon." Li is facing one of the world's widest gaps between rich and poor, an economy that is over-reliant on investment and a soaring housing market that is stoking resentment among the middle class.