National Mourning: Former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Passes Away at 68NationalMourning,LiKeqiang,ChinesePremier,PassesAway,68
National Mourning: Former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Passes Away at 68

National Mourning: Former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Passes Away at 68

3 minutes, 40 seconds Read

Lamenting the Loss of Li Keqiang: Former Chinese Premier Dies at 68

A Prominent Figure in Chinese Politics

On October 27, 2023, the news of former Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s passing sent shockwaves through the country and the international community. Li, who once held the title of the second most powerful man in China, suffered a fatal heart attack in Shanghai at the age of 68. His death follows the recent dismissals of foreign minister Qin Gang and defense minister Li Shangfu, creating a palpable sense of upheaval in the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership.

Li Keqiang’s political career was marked by his notable differences in ideology and approach compared to Chinese President Xi Jinping. While Xi adopted a hard-line Marxist-Leninist stance, Li held more economically liberal views and was seen as less nationalistic. As an economist from a rival faction, Li’s power gradually diminished during his time in office, as Xi employed purges and anti-corruption campaigns to consolidate his control over the party.

The Struggle for Power

Li Keqiang’s premiership, which began in 2013, initially aligned him with former president Hu Jintao. However, Xi’s maneuvers gradually eroded these alliances, leaving Li with no alternative factions in Xi’s cabinet by the time of his forced retirement in March of the current year. Despite being two years below the official retirement age, Li stepped down from the standing committee, acknowledging Xi’s dominant position.

Professor Alfred Wu from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy commented on the situation, stating, “Over the past 10 years, Xi has jeopardised the role of premier…Xi Jinping just wants himself to be No.1.” This remark underscores the implications of Xi’s consolidation of power and raises questions about the nature of leadership within the Chinese Communist Party.

The Clash of Ideologies

Li Keqiang’s rise to prominence can be attributed to his role in navigating China’s economic opening in the 1980s and 1990s. Unlike Xi’s Marxist-nationalist position, Li saw the importance of economic reform and advocated for allowing the market and society to function more autonomously. Speaking in 2013, Li said, “We need to leave the market and society to do what they can do well. The government needs to manage the matters that fall under its supervision.”

Li’s views on economic liberalization were solidified when he obtained a doctorate in economics from Peking University in 1995. However, as Xi’s power grew, Li faced constraints on his ability to implement his policies. The government’s expanded role in the private sector limited Li’s influence, culminating in the approval of only one of his proposed policies during his final term in office.

A Mixed Legacy

Li Keqiang’s final policy address in March acknowledged the difficulties and sacrifices endured by the Chinese people during the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the need to expand international market access for post-pandemic investment. Li’s loyalty to his leader, Xi Jinping, was also affirmed in his speech, demonstrating his acceptance of Xi’s authority and party ideology.

In Hong Kong, where Li was respected for his economic policies, the news of his death marked the end of an era. Locals lamented the loss of a leader they viewed as genuine and for the people, contrasting his approach with that of the current leadership. Li’s early years in office saw significant development in Hong Kong, but under current leadership, citizens are uncertain about the boundaries of political expression.

Looking Ahead

Li Keqiang’s passing and the recent reshuffling of Chinese Communist Party leadership raises broader questions about power dynamics and the future direction of China. With Xi Jinping solidifying his control over the party, it remains to be seen whether his entrenched ideology will enable or hinder China’s economic growth. As China transitions into a new era, it is imperative for analysts, leaders, and citizens alike to closely monitor these developments and consider their implications for the world at large.


National Mourning: Former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Passes Away at 68
<< photo by K. Mitch Hodge >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

You might want to read !


Hannah McKenzie

Hi folks, Hannah McKenzie at your service! I cover all things lifestyle, from health to fashion. Whether it's the latest diet craze or the trendiest boutiques in Sydney, I've got the scoop. Let's live our best lives together, Australia

Similar Posts