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Chinese Ex-Premier Li Keqiang Passes Away at 68: State Media Reports

Chinese Ex-Premier Li Keqiang Passes Away at 68: State Media Reports

Chinese Ex-Premier Li Keqiang Passes Away at 68: State Media Reports

Chinese Ex-Premier Li Keqiang Passes Away at 68: State Media Reports

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  • Former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, a reformer, dies at 68 from a heart attack in Shanghai.
  • He served as China’s No. 2 leader and premier from 2013 to March this year.
  • Led China through US tensions, economic challenges, and the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, once considered a reform-oriented contender for the nation’s top leadership, has tragically passed away due to a sudden heart attack in Shanghai, as reported by state media. He was 68 years old.

Li held the title of China’s No. 2 leader until late last year and served as the country’s premier, traditionally responsible for the economy, for a decade, from 2013 to March this year, alongside the strongman leader, Xi Jinping.

During his tenure as premier, Li effectively steered the world’s second-largest economy through a challenging period marked by increasing technology and trade tensions with the United States, mounting government debt, unemployment, and the global Covid-19 pandemic.

In his final year in office, Li, an economist by training, played a pivotal role in highlighting the economic challenges brought on by widespread Covid-19 lockdowns while supporting measures to enhance employment and sustain economic stability.

Li was recognized for his occasional use of the English language in international appearances and was perceived as representing an alternative approach to China’s global relationships at a time when the nation’s relations with the Western world were becoming more strained.

“China and the United States have common interests,” Li said in response to question at his annual press conference in March 2021. “The two countries need to put more energy on their common ground and expand converging interests.”

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As the news of Li’s death broke Friday morning, social media users circulated a line from Li’s yearly address to China’s rubber stamp parliament in 2022, where he pledged that, “No matter how the international environment may change, China will keep the course of wider openness.”

Li, an extensively educated technocrat with qualifications in both law and economics, was regarded as supportive of the private sector.

Furthermore, his policy approach appeared to differ from that of Xi, who had been reinforcing the Chinese Communist Party’s grip on the economy.

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