Premier Zhu Rongji and National People’s Congress chairman Li Peng will both stand down at next year’s session of the congress, which will also formally approve their successors, an NPC spokesman told Reuters. However, their successors will not be nominated until the five-yearly Communist Party Congress due to be held later this year. At the party congress, Zhu, Li and President Jiang Zemin will also resign from their party posts. The three men are among five members of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee who will stand down at the party congress, having agreed not to stay in office beyond 70 years of age.
Under the constitution, Jiang and Li are required to leave their posts in 2003, when their second terms of office are completed. Zhu is still in his first term as premier, but has said that he would not seek a second term.