Who is Li Qiang - China's New Leader: Biography, Family, Political Career
|Li Qiang, the man poised to become China’s next premier|
When the 20th Politburo Standing Committee stepped out of the wings on October 23, Mr. Li Qiang was the second to go after Mr. Xi Jinping. Premier Li Keqiang also held this position at the launch of the Politburo Standing Committee of the previous term.
Li, a close ally of the newly re-appointed Chinese leader, was elevated to the No.2 position on the seven-man Standing Committee on Sunday, putting him on track to take over the economic management role. Current Premier Li Keqiang, a more reform-minded voice, will step down in March after the maximum two terms.
Who is Li Qiang: Biography, Education
Mr. Li Qiang was born in 1959 in Zhejiang province, China. In 1983, he joined the Communist Party of China.
According to his official bio, Li started off as a technical worker at just 17 years of age. He later studied at various institutions and obtained an EMBA from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2005.
According to information published by China Daily, Mr. Li holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural mechanization, holds two master's degrees in sociology and business administration, and is a graduate student in world economics.
Li Qiang, 63, was elevated from Shanghai party chief -- a position that has almost always meant a promotion to the standing committee. He poised to succeed Li Keqiang as premier next March.
Li Qiang: Career Path
|Li Qiang is now China’s second-highest official after Xi Jinping|
Li Qiang's career path overlapped with Xi's in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, when Li was a city party boss and later a secretary-general in the provincial party committee directly under Xi. He spent his entire career in Zhejiang before Xi promoted him to head Jiangsu Province in 2016.
He used to be the governor of Zhejiang province, and has been with the province for more than 30 years. After that, Mr. Li Qiang held the positions of Secretary of the Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee in 2016 and 2017, respectively, and Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee from 2017 to present.
When Xi was Zhejiang province’s top party boss, Li was his chief of staff and his de facto top personal aide from 2004 until 2007, before Xi left for Shanghai’s top party post. After Xi became China’s leader, he promoted Li first to governor of Zhejiang and then to party secretary of Jiangsu province, providing him with the regional governing experience and credentials he needed for bigger roles.
His likely promotion to the premiership will break the convention that the premier must have first served as a vice-premier. But a revised law last year made it possible for the standing committee of the National People's Congress -- China's rubber-stamp parliament -- to appoint Li as a vice-premier before it sits in March to meet the requirement, the South China Morning Post previously reported.
Li became a target for some of the social media ire that made it past censors during a lockdown that caused major disruptions to Shanghai's economy and drew ire from many of its 25 million residents.
Li Qiang Career Timeline
|2017—||Member, 19th CPC, Central Committee|
|2017—||Secretary, CPC, Municipal Committee Shanghai Municipality|| |
|2017—||Member, 19th CPC, Central Committee, Politburo|
|2016—2017||Secretary, CPC, Provincial Committee Jiangsu Province|| |
|2016—2017||Member, CPC, Provincial Committee, Standing Committee Jiangsu Province|
|2013—2016||Governor, People's Government Zhejiang Province|| |
|2012—2017||Alternate Member, 18th CPC, Central Committee|
|2012—2013||Acting Governor, People's Government Zhejiang Province|| |
|2011—2016||Secretary, CPC, Provincial Committee, Politics and Law Committee Zhejiang Province|
|2011—2016||Deputy Secretary, CPC, Provincial Committee Zhejiang Province|
|2005—2011||Member, CPC, Provincial Committee, Standing Committee Zhejiang Province|
|2004—2011||Secretary-General, CPC, Provincial Committee Zhejiang Province|
|2003—2004||Director, City People's Congress, Standing Committee Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou City|
|2002—2004||Secretary, CPC, City Committee Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou City|
Speaking to Reuters, some Shanghai businessmen expressed their impressions of Mr. Li's very practical problem-solving. “He looked at our case and cleared up unnecessary regulatory hurdles, even though we were a small private company,” said one business owner.
According to SCMP, Mr. Li belongs to the "New Zhijiang Army " group, which includes officials from Zhejiang. People in this group have been promoted to important central positions.
Li, together with Cai Qi and Li Xi who also ascended to the powerful Standing Committee on Sunday, are part of the so-called “New Zhijiang Army” who worked under Xi in Zhejiang province – the economic powerhouse just south of Shanghai – during his rise to the top (Zhijiang is a poetic name for the greater Zhejiang region.) During that period, Li accompanied Xi on many work trips, edited his speeches and helped draft Xi’s policy direction.
Li was also known for pushing greater economic integration of the Yangtze River Delta region as well as overseeing an expansion of the financial hub's free trade zone that now houses U.S. automaker Tesla's China factory as well as a slew of semiconductor and advanced manufacturing firms.
An important factor in Mr. Li that is very consistent with the line of Chinese President Xi Jinping is to focus on creativity and modern technology. These are the economic drivers outlined by Mr. Xi in his report at the 20th Party Congress.
During Mr. Li's time as Secretary, Shanghai also received a huge wave of foreign investment, notably the Gigafactory worth 50 billion yuan (about 7 billion USD) of the car company. Tesla electricity.
A Shanghai official who has interacted directly with Mr. Li was impressed with the way he promoted the development of high-tech industries. “We are very impressed with Mr. Lee's unfussy working style. He regularly visits to promote work, always supports businesses and wants to emphasize the importance of opening up to the market," the official said.
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