Beijing, Oct 27 (EFE).- China’s former premier Li Keqiang died Friday in the city of Shanghai at the age of 68 due to a heart attack, state media reported.
Li, who held the second most powerful position in the country for a decade until he left politics in March, had been “resting” in Shanghai when we had a sudden heart attack, state media said.
“On Oct. 26, Li had a sudden heart attack and passed away at 00:10 on Oct. 27 after all rescue measures failed,” Xinhua reported.
Details are yet to be released about the funeral.
On March 11, Li was replaced as premier at the annual plenary session of the National People’s Congress (Legislative) by Li Qiang at the proposal of President Xi Jinping, who days earlier had been handed an unprecedented third term.
When he came to office, economist Li, who belonged to the most liberal wing of the government, was expected to give a push to China’s economic opening and reform, but his work and ability to maneuver were progressively limited and increasingly sidelined by Xi’s growing power.
The decade of his mandate was turbulent due to the trade war with the United States, a growing debt and the Covid-19 pandemic, which kept the country closed for almost three years with a huge impact on the world’s second largest economy.
Born in 1955 in the eastern province of Anhui, Li joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 1976 and rose through the ranks from the Communist Youth until in 1998 he became China’s youngest governor, at the head of the central province of Henan.
After occupying the leadership of the CPC in that province and then in Liaoning, Li entered the party’s Politburo Standing Committee in 2007 and just a year later he was promoted to vice premier under the mandate of then premier Wen Jiabao.
Li replaced Wen as premier in 2013 and was succeeded by Li Qiang in March 2023. EFE