Thursday, October 26, 2023

China’s Former Premier Li Keqiang Has Died at 68

China’s Former Premier Li Keqiang Has Died at 68

Former Chinese premier Li Keqiang has died of a sudden heart attack, according to China’s state-run media.

Mr. Li, 68, was once the second most powerful political figure in China behind Chinese leader Xi Jinping. He was premier from March 2013 until March this year, when he retired.

According to China’s state-run media, Mr. Li was taking a rest in Shanghai in the days before the sudden heart attack on Oct. 26. He passed away 10 minutes past midnight on Oct. 27, local time, after unsuccessful “all-out efforts” to revive him.

Mr. Li was a member of a political faction in China known as “tuanpai,” or the Youth League Faction, in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
During the Chinese regime’s 20th Party Congress in October last year, Mr. Li and another “tuanpai” member, Wang Yang, were not renamed to the regime’s new Central Committee, a 200-plus-member body comprised of the Party elite, in a leadership shuffle. At the time, Mr. Wang was the head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a political advisory body.

Both Mr. Li and Mr. Wang were subsequently not included in the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, the most powerful decision-making body within the Chinese regime.

Li Linyi, a China affairs commentator based in the United States, previously told The Epoch Times that the exit of Mr. Li and Mr. Wang could be seen as a political victory for Mr. Xi.
Mr. Xi secured an unprecedented third five-year term in October last year, meaning he will remain in power until at least 2028.

Mr. Li was an economist who graduated from China’s Peking University. As premier, he once guided China’s economy, but he was sidelined from that position in recent years.

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In 2020, Mr. Li memorably said at a press conference that about 600 million Chinese citizens earned only 1,000 yuan ($140) a month, a statement acknowledging serious economic problems within China. 

Mr. Li had a long political career. Before becoming premier, he was the first vice-premier from March 2008 to March 2013. Prior to that, he had been party secretary in China’s Liaoning and Henan Provinces.

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