Chinese premier Li confirms he will step down next March

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang casts his vote during the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on March 11, 2022.
PHOTO: Reuters

BEIJING - China's Premier Li Keqiang confirmed on Friday (March 11) plans to step down after his current term expires next March.

The No 2 in the hierarchy of China's ruling Communist Party, Li has been premier since 2013, and is constitutionally limited to two terms.

"This is the last year I will be premier," Li told a news conference.

President Xi Jinping is expected to secure a precedent-breaking third term as party chief at a party meeting this autumn to elect leaders for the next five years.

In 2015, China revised its constitution to drop a limit of two terms for those holding the post of president.

Party leaders can choose the next premier.