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Wen Jiabao re-elected Chinese Premier
March 16, 2008 17:53 IST
Wen Jiabao was on Sunday re-elected China's Premier for a second five-year term with the Parliament sealing his appointment in a formality through a secret ballot.
A charismatic leader, 65-year old Wen was the only candidate for the Premiership, ranked third in the Communist Party of China hierarchy after the President and the top legislature speaker.
The premier is, however, the most visible face after the President and CPC general secretary, dual posts held by Hu Jintao, who won a fresh five-year mandate from the deputies of the National People's Congress, the Chinese Parliament, on Saturday.
Under the Chinese Constitution, the candidate for the premiership is nominated by the President before the secret balloting is held.
A key part of the fourth generation of the CPC leadership, Wen, a technocrat, has the image of being a 'people's premier' for being a man of the masses with a genial persona.
Wen has also overseen China's economic reforms and has been managing the economy grappling the multifarious challenges and presiding over a vast bureaucracy of the world's most populous nation with multiple complexities.
The Parliament also endorsed the appointment of People's Liberation Army Generals Guo Boxiong and Xu Caihou as vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission, headed by President Hu.
A native of Tianjin, Wen went to the famous Nankai High School from which the ex-premier Zhou Enlai, also well-known in India, graduated. He joined the CPC in April 1965 and began working in September 1967.
Wen has repeatedly said that he saw India and China not as rivals but as 'friendly neighbours and cooperation partners'.
"Some people describe China and India as competitors. I beg to disagree. To view China and India only as rivals is no different from reducing the practice of global communication and understanding to a horserace. Besides, it is not the fact," Wen had said during a visit to New Delhi in 2005.
"Nobel laureate Amritya Sen had said, 'People should ask what China and India can learn from each other, not ask who will outdo whom'. I cannot agree with the professor more. China and India are friendly neighbours and cooperation partners. They are not rivals, still less adversaries," Wen said.
"The Chinese government attaches great importance to developing friendly relations with India. China hopes to see a peaceful and prosperous India. By the same token, a peaceful and prosperous China is also in India's interests," he added.