Beijing, 27 October 2023 (TDI): Li Keqiang, a former premier and a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 17th, 18th, and 19th Communist Party of China central committees, peacefully departed on Friday in Shanghai. He was 68.

The passing of former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has left the world in mourning. A dedicated public servant, Li was a well-known figure in Chinese politics, having played a significant role during his ten-year tenure.

His journey from a modest background to a position of prominence was genuinely remarkable.

Li Keqiang, who passed away at the age of 68 due to a heart attack, was deeply committed to the betterment of his country. His legacy is intertwined with China’s modern history, and his passing is a moment of reflection on his life’s work.

Interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar expressed his condolences, remembering Li Keqiang as a “great friend of Pakistan.” He fondly recalled Li’s visit to Pakistan in 2013 and extended sympathies to his family and the Chinese nation.

Li Keqiang’s tenure as Premier was marked by his support for economic reforms and his dedication to modernizing the Communist Party.

A career bureaucrat with a background in law and fluency in English, he initially embraced Western political theories. However, as he entered officialdom in the mid-1980s, he took on a more orthodox stance, unlike his former classmates who protested in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Throughout his career, Li served in various leadership positions, overseeing economic growth in Henan and Liaoning provinces.

While his legacy was tarnished by handling an HIV/AIDS epidemic during his time as party boss in Henan, he later became a deputy to then-Premier Wen Jiabao.

Li Keqiang’s term as Premier also witnessed China’s economic growth transitioning from the rapid rates of the 1990s and 2000s.

As he left office, the country faced challenges, including a Covid-induced slowdown and a housing market crisis.

In his final speech as Premier, Li Keqiang remained optimistic about China’s future, highlighting its economic recovery and potential for further growth.

His dedication to China’s development and his sophisticated understanding of the nation’s challenges remain a significant part of his legacy.

The passing of former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is a moment to remember his contributions to his nation and to reflect on his remarkable journey in public service.

Leaders from across the world are sending the condolences message.

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, shared a heartfelt note on his twitter handle.

Similarly, former Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull shared his condolence note for the sad passing of the former Prime Minister of China.

Li, who held the position of China’s premier between 2013 and 2023, additionally held the second most influential role within the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership from 2012 to 2022.

Born in 1955 in Hefei, Anhui province, he was married to Cheng Hong, a professor specializing in English Language and Literature.

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