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China unveils new state council amid function reform

Updated: 2013-03-18 08:19

BEIJING - China's new state council, which was unveiled on Saturday, is expected to accelerate its functional transformation and present a new style under new Premier Li Keqiang.

Citizens expect the new state council members to create a favorable environment for development, provide high-quality public services and maintain social fairness and justice. All of these will set a decisive foundation for building a well-off society in an all-round way and realizing the "Chinese dream" -- the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Members of the State Council, include ministers, heads of commissions, the central bank governor and auditor-general.

With the launch of a restructuring plan, the current state council lineup has 25 members, two fewer than the previous one. According to legal procedures, they were nominated by the new premier, endorsed by lawmakers at the first session of the 12th National People's Congress and appointed by newly-elected President Xi Jinping.

The average age of the new state council members is 60, nearly three years older than the last lineup. On the whole, however, they have richer work experience in central and local departments and remarkable advantages in terms of their knowledge, education and professionalism.

All state council members have a college education background, an 11-percent increase over the last state council. In the new state council, one member has a junior college certificate and three are university graduates. Twenty-one members have post-graduate diplomas, accounting for nearly 85 percent, or 14 percent higher than the previous state council. Furthermore, their college majors are more diverse, with a remarkable increase in humanities.

The state council has eight new faces, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei, Minister of Supervision Huang Shuxian, Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, Minister of Land and Resources Jiang Daming and Minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission Li Bin.

Wang Yi, who was previously director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, has also worked in the foreign ministry before, holding the posts of vice foreign minister and the Communist Party of China (CPC) chief of the ministry.

Lou Jiwei was previously chairman of the China Investment Corporation, China's sovereign wealth fund, and Central Huijin Investment Ltd. He has also served as vice finance minister and deputy secretary-general of the State Council.

Gao Hucheng was formerly the vice minister of commerce. Wang Zhengwei, Jiang Daming and Li Bin are former governors of northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and east China's Shandong and Anhui provinces, respectively.

Chang Wanquan is a member of the CPC Central Military Commission. Huang Shuxian is from the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Of the 17 other members, Xu Shaoshi was previously minister of land and resources. Sixteen state council members kept their current posts.

Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, 64, and Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun, 58, are also new state councilors. Chang is in charge of national defense construction. Guo is responsible for maintaining public security, social stability and harmony.

The new state council has 24 CPC members. Jiang Weixin, minister of housing and urban-rural development, and Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, are not members of the CPC Central Committee.

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