Before his death, Li Keqiang’s wife was Cheng Hong, a Chinese professor at the Capital University of Economics and Business. They had a daughter together who studied in the US but has since returned to China.
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.
Cheng Hong and daughter: Meet Li Keqiang family
Prior to his demise, Li Keqiang’s wife was Cheng Hong, a Chinese academic at the Capital University of Economics and Business. Cheng, born in Zhengzhou, Henan, in 1957, attended Zhengzhou No. 7 Middle School for her secondary education.
She experienced being a sent-down youth in Guangkuo Tiandi Township, Jia County, Henan during the Cultural Revolution. In 1977, after the resumption of college entrance examinations, she gained admission to the PLA College of Foreign Languages (now PLA Information Engineering University).
After completing her undergraduate studies, she pursued advanced studies at Tsinghua University, where she crossed paths with her future husband, Li Keqiang. Together, they have a daughter who pursued her education in the United States and has since returned to China.