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China's Premier Li Keqiang left off new party Central Committee

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at the news conference following the closing session of the National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and three other members of the elite Politburo Standing Committee of the ruling Communist Party were excluded from the newly elected Central Committee on Saturday.

More than 2,000 delegates to a once-every-five-years party congress in Beijing elected a 205-person Central Committee as well as 171 alternate members.

Li Keqiang, 67, Li Zhanshu, 72, Wang Yang, 67, and Han Zheng, 68 - members of the current seven-person Standing Committee - were excluded from the new Central Committee.

Li Zhanshu and Han Zheng had been expected to retire due to age norms.

The Central Committee will convene behind closed doors at its first plenary session, or plenum, on Sunday to vote on the next Politburo, usually comprising 25 people, and its Standing Committee.

Also excluded were Yi Gang, 64, governor of the Chinese central bank, and Guo Shuqing, 66, chairman of the banking and insurance regulator.

Vice Premier Liu He, 70, China's economic czar, was also excluded from the new Central Committee.

(Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by William Mallard)

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