Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Sunday, March 16, 2003

Chinese Leadership Makes Smooth Transition

China's top legislature Saturday elected Hu Jintao, 60, as State president, to head a younger generation of leaders committed to building a well-off society in an all-round way.


Hu Jintao elected president of PRC
China's top legislature Saturday elected Hu Jintao, 60, as State president, to head a younger generation of leaders committed to building a well-off society in an all-round way.

Jiang Zemin, 76, was re-elected chairman of Central Military Commission of China, the country's top military post.

The nearly 3,000 deputies to the ongoing annual session of National People's Congress (NPC) -- the highest organ of State power -- also chose Wu Bangguo, 61, to succeed former Chairman Li Peng as the head of the NPC Standing Committee.

Zeng Qinghong, 63, one of the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, was elected China's vice-president.

Wu Bangguo elected top legislator
Classical Chinese folk music played in Beijing's Great Hall of the People yesterday morning, as the lawmakers individually cast their secret ballots, which were calculated by a sophisticated computerized system.

China's Constitution requires the election of the State president, vice-president, chairman of the Central Military Commission, chairman of the NPC Standing Committee and other top leaders by the NPC.

According to the rules of election and appointment adopted at the current NPC session, the election of the president and vice-president of the People's Republic of China, and the chairman of the Central Military Commission of China, the chairman and vice-chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee followed the single-candidate system, that is, they were elected from an equal number of candidates.

The election of NPC Standing Committee members followed the differential voting system, with 159 members to be chosen from 167 candidates.

The NPC deputies applauded warmly as the results were announced at the end of yesterday morning's election process that lasted one hour and 22 minutes.

All the newly-elected top leaders received landslide votes from the legislators.

Sheng Huaren was elected one of the 15 vice-chairpersons and concurrently secretary-general of the Standing Committee of the 10th NPC.

Praising the election results, Chinese lawmakers said the leadership change will usher in a new period of building China into a prosperous country.

Wang Xingang, an NPC deputy from Central China's Hubei Province, said he believed the new leadership could live up to the people's expectations and is fully qualified to lead the nation towards a better future.

Zhu Changfu, an NPC deputy from East China's Shandong Province, said: "I have strong confidence in the new leadership in steering the country towards a great rejuvenation and a Xiaokang society, one that is well-off in an all-round way.''

Victor Sit, a deputy from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said: "I am very satisfied with Hu Jintao's election as president.''

Hu is widely acknowledged by deputies for his outstanding political skills, as well as his personality, said the University of Hong Kong professor.

"We hope the new president will pave a way for a stable development and lay emphasis on improving lives of ordinary Chinese people,'' Sit said.

Rita Fan, another NPC deputy from Hong Kong, said: "The newly-elected leaders, who are younger and more energetic, are fully capable of building China into a more powerful and prosperous country.

"We are confident the new generation of leaders can gradually solve all economic and social problems with their talent and wisdom,'' said Fan, who is also president of Hong Kong's Legislative Council.

Zheng Shouzeng, an NPC deputy from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) delegation, said: "Comrade Jiang Zemin contributed a lot to our country's building of national defence and buildup of military strength and thus enjoys great prestige and authority in the army.

"He has the full support from all PLA soldiers and officers in retaining the position as chairman of the Central Military Commission,'' Zheng said.

Welcoming the election results, Liu Zhanzhi, another deputy from the PLA delegation, said: "I hope the new leaders will perform their duty according to the Constitution and serve the people.''

Gong Baoshang, head of the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Northwest China's Qinghai Province, said: "We the deputies have just elected new leaders that we support. The Chinese people are all working hard for a well-off life. I hope the new leaders will lead us to reach that goal sooner.''

Wang Xinxian, executive vice-president of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, said: "The election was great. It was smooth and the result is ideal.''

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