Li Qiang elected as China's new premier

China's National People's Congress has elected Li Qiang, the Communist Party's No.2 official, as the country's new premier.

The vote was held at a plenary session on Saturday.

President Xi Jinping, who was reelected for a third term on Friday, nominated Li for the post.

A total of 2,936 Congress members voted in favor and three against, while eight abstained.

Li, who is 63 years old, is said to be close to Xi. Li served under Xi when he was head of Zhejiang Province.

When Li was the party chief of Shanghai, he attracted US electric vehicle maker Tesla to build a plant there.

He was chosen as a member of the Standing Committee of the party's Political Bureau at the National Congress of the party last October.

Li's election as premier is drawing attention because he did not go through the customary practice of serving as vice premier.

He is scheduled to hold his first news conference as premier after the Congress closes on Monday.