Li Keqiang’s death and illness will be explored here in this report as we try to find out if he died of a heart attack, as major news outlets are saying. Indeed, Li, the former premier who resigned from his position in March of this year, tragically experienced an unexpected heart attack on Thursday and passed away in the early hours of Friday while residing in Shanghai.
Who was Li Keqiang?
Li Keqiang was a Chinese economist and politician who served as the premier of the People’s Republic of China from 2013 to 2023.
Li Keqiang biography
Li Keqiang, born on July 1, 1955, in Hefei, Anhui province, joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1976 after being sent for rural labour in Fengyang County, Anhui. He graduated from Hefei No. 8 Senior High School in 1974 and later received a Bachelor of Laws from Peking University Law School in 1982.
Despite his father’s offer to groom him for local county party leadership, Li refused and went on to become the president of the university’s student council. He then pursued graduate studies at Peking University, earning a Master of Economics and a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics in 1995. Li’s doctoral dissertation, “On the ternary structure of the Chinese economy,” was awarded the Sun Yefang Prize, China’s highest prize in economics, in 1996.
Li’s political career began with his involvement in the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), where he served as its first secretary from 1993 to 1998. Following this, he held the positions of governor of Henan and the province’s party secretary from 1998 to 2004.
Li then assumed the role of Party Secretary of Liaoning, the highest political office in the province, from 2004 to 2007. From 2008 to 2013, he served as the first-ranked vice premier under then-premier Wen Jiabao, overseeing various areas such as economic development, price controls, finance, climate change, and macroeconomic management.
Although initially considered a potential paramount leader, Li ultimately became the premier in 2013. In this role, he played a key role in redirecting the Chinese government’s focus from export-led growth to internal consumption.
Throughout his tenure, Li led the State Council and played a significant role in China’s Financial and Economic affairs, Foreign Affairs, National Security, and Deepening Reforms. Notably, he and his cabinet introduced the strategic plan Made in China 2025 in May 2015. In March 2023, Li Qiang succeeded Li as the premier.
Li Keqiang death and illness explored
We will examine Li Keqiang’s illness and death in this report in an attempt to determine whether, contrary to what many major news outlets are reporting, he passed away from a heart attack. Li, the former premier who resigned in March of this year, did, in fact, have a fatal heart attack on Thursday and died early on Friday morning while he was living in Shanghai.
There is widespread mourning on Chinese social media due to the unfortunate demise of an individual, as numerous individuals express their profound shock and sorrow. However, it is worth noting that the ability to comment on various posts seems to have been limited.
“This is too sudden, he was so young,” said one user on the Chinese social media site Weibo. Another said his death was like losing “a pillar of our home”.
State media outlets have seemingly downplayed the passing of Li, with no official language from the party regarding his career evaluation. The initial statement by Xinhua was brief and did not include an official obituary, leaving the extent of coverage unclear.