Premier Li Keqiang’s confident press debut

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a press conference after the closing meeting of the first session of the 12th National People’s Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 17, 2013. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premiers Zhang Gaoli, Liu Yandong, Wang Yang and Ma Kai met the press and answered questions here on Sunday. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)

Li Keqiang’s debut as China’s Premier in front of the world’s press has grabbed extensive attention, both at home and abroad. The 57-year-old person minced no words as he answered journalist’s questions, laying to rest doubts and concerns as to how he was gong to run the second largest economy in the world over the next years.

It’s two hours to go before a historic press conference.

Journalists are busy setting up cameras, iPads are being checked, questions are being readied. No one wants to miss a thing at the Premier’s debut.

This is the first time that Li Keqiang will meet the press as Chinese Premier. A new starting point for his political career and for the country.

The moment is here. With the closing ceremony of the 12th NPC, journalsits run as fast as their heels will carry them to the Press Hall. Premier Li is arriving accompanied by four other vice premiers. Applause and the sounds of camera shutters greet them. And then, the wave of questions.

We are wondering, is there a time table for China’s institutional reform?

Will China stop hacker attacks on American websites?

Some people worry that peasants will become the new urban poor after they lose their lands in the urbanization process. What’s your take?

A total of 12 questions have been thrown at the new Premier.

They have ranged from urbanization plans to corruption, pollution to food safety. Premier Li has handled all with a calm, reassuring face.

The press conference has lasted over 100 minutes. The first official interaction with the members of the world’s press has gone off a success.


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