Explore the untold story of China’s former premier Li Keqiang’s mysterious death, revealing hidden secrets and political intrigue.
Li Keqiang, the former premier of China, has passed away due to a sudden heart attack, less than a year after stepping down from his role as the nation’s second-highest-ranking leader.
Li’s unexpected demise, which occurred on October 26, was reported by the state-run Global Times at 00:10 on October 27 (16:10 GMT on October 26), following the failure of all rescue efforts.
A prominent figure in Chinese politics, Li Keqiang served two terms alongside President Xi Jinping. However, in the twilight of his career, he found himself marginalized as Xi consolidated greater personal power over China’s government and economy.
After Li’s passing, news reports in official Chinese media outlets such as People’s Daily and China Daily took a backseat to articles on new infrastructure, foreign investment, and even astronauts, indicating the sensitivity of high-level political deaths in China.
David Bandurski, director of the China Media Project, noted that China’s leadership would approach the treatment of Li’s death with great care, given the power and peril associated with remembering such figures.
Li’s tenure as premier fell short of expectations for those hoping an economist of his caliber would further open China’s economy. Instead, Xi’s rise and a shift toward greater authoritarianism overshadowed Li’s portfolio.
His efforts to guide China’s economy through the COVID-19 pandemic were overshadowed by the “zero COVID” policy, resulting in slow growth not seen since the Cultural Revolution.
Li Keqiang’s life journey began in rural China in 1955, and he overcame challenges, including being a “sent down youth” during the Cultural Revolution. He later graduated from Peking University and was acquainted with pro-democracy activists during a period of political and economic opening in the 1980s.
Li’s career endured the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, and as a member of the Communist Party, he aligned with the Communist Youth League and its patron, former President Hu Jintao.
In his retirement, Li Keqiang emphasized China’s forward movement by referring to the unchangeable flows of the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, symbolizing his optimism about the nation’s progress. However, questions persist about whether these currents can truly be reversed at this moment in history.