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Li Keqiang

Assumed office 
Premier Wen Jiabao
Preceded by Wu Yi (acting)

In office
December 2004 – October 2007
Deputy Zhang Wenyue
Preceded by Wen Shizhen
Succeeded by Zhang Wenyue

12th CPC Henan Committee Secretary
In office
June 1998 – December 2004
Deputy Li Chengyu
Preceded by Chen Kuiyuan
Succeeded by Xu Guangchun

Born July 1, 1955 (1955-07-01) (age 54)
Dingyuan, Chuzhou, Anhui, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Spouse(s) Cheng Hong[citation needed]
Alma mater Peking University
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Li.

Li Keqiang (simplified Chinese: traditional Chinese: 李克強pinyin: Lǐ Kèqíang; born July 1, 1955 in Dingyuan County, Anhui) is currently the First Vice-Premier of China and the 7th ranked member of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, the People's Republic of China's de facto top power organ. As Premier Wen Jiabao's top lieutenant, Li's official portfolio includes development, price controls, finance, and macroeconomic management.

Li rose through the ranks of China's power structure through the Communist Youth League. From 1998 to 2004, Li served as the Governor of Henan and the province's CPC party chief, and then the Liaoning party chief, an office that makes him first-in-charge in that province. Li is speculated as the likely successor of Wen Jiabao as Premier in the "fifth generation" of CPC leadership.



Li Keqiang was born in Dingyuan, Chuzhou, Anhui on July 1, 1955. His father was a local official in Anhui. Li graduated from high school in 1974, during the Cultural Revolution, and was sent for rural labour in Fengyang County, Anhui, where he eventually joined the Communist Party of China and made his way to becoming the party head of the local production team. He was awarded with the honour of Outstanding Individual in the Study of Mao Zedong Thought during this time.[1]

He refused his father's offer of grooming him for the local county's party leadership and entered the School of Law at Peking University, where he received his LLB and became the President of the University's Student Council. He would go on to acquire a PhD in Economics. In 1980 he became the Communist Youth League Secretary at Peking University. He entered the top leadership of the Communist Youth League (CYL) in 1982 as a member of its Secretariat, and has worked closely with current General Secretary Hu Jintao, who also rose through the ranks of the CYL, ever since. Li became the organization's General Secretary in 1993,and served until 1998. He is a representative member of the first generation to have risen from the CYL leadership.

Li became China's youngest governor when appointed to the position of Governor of Henan, one of China's most populous provinces, in June 1998, at the age of 43. Knowing the complicated situation Henan was in, and the issues associated with networking in the province, Li consciously left his family in Beijing to head to Zhengzhou alone. In addition, according to provincial government officials working with him at the time, Li refused to participate in any banquets or large fancy events not related to government activities[2]. During his time as governor a public sense of his ‘bad luck’ grew due to the occurrence of three major fires in the province.[3]

He is known to be outspoken with a sharp tongue, and led economic development in the central Chinese province, transforming the poor inland region into an attractive area for investment. Li did not waste time pursuing superficial projects, but rather trekked all regions of Henan trying to search for a comprehensive solution to the province's growing problems. Henan jumped in national GDP rankings from 28th in the early 1990s to 18th in 2004, when Li left Henan.

He was transferred to work as the CPC Committee Secretary in Liaoning in December 2004. In Liaoning he is known for the "Five-points to one Line" project, where he linked up Dalian and Dandong, as well as a series of other ports into a comprehensive network. Predictions he would eventually advance to the national level at the 17th Party Congress proved correct when he was elected to the Politburo Standing Committee in October 2007. He was succeeded in his provincial post by Governor Zhang Wenyue.

Li has been touted as a possible successor to Hu Jintao, whose second term as General Secretary, expected to be his last, will end in 2012. At the 2008 National People's Congress, he was elected Vice-Premier, first in rank. This position makes it seem more likely that he will succeed Premier Wen Jiabao. As a result of this it is considered that he has lost out to Xi Jinping in the internal power struggle.[3]

Personal life

Li is married to Cheng Hong, a professor at Peking University.[4] His father-in-law was once the vice-secretary of the Communist Youth League Central Committee.[4]


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Huang Ju
Wu Yi (acting)
First Vice-Premier of the People's Republic of China
since 2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ma Zhongchen
Governor of Henan
1998 – 2003
Succeeded by
Li Chengyu
Preceded by
Ren Keli
Chairman of Henan People's Congress
2003 – 2005
Succeeded by
Xu Guangchun
Preceded by
Wen Shizhen
Chairman of Liaoning People's Congress
2005 – 2007
Succeeded by
Zhang Xilin
Party political offices
Preceded by
Song Defu
First Secretary of the Communist Youth League of China
1993 – 1998
Succeeded by
Zhou Qiang
Preceded by
Chen Kuiyuan
Secretary of the CPC Henan Committee
2002 – 2004
Succeeded by
Xu Guangchun
Preceded by
Wen Shizhen
CPC Liaoning Committee Secretary
2004 – 2007
Succeeded by
Zhang Wenyue


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