China's next Premier Li faces tough task of guiding economy

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Nov. 16, 2012, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol. : 06 No.-10 Nov. 09-2012 (Kartik 24, 2069)

China's next Premier Li Keqiang, a protege of outgoing President Hu Jintao, is known as a cautious and pragmatic leader who is facing the arduous task of shepherding the world's second largest economy amid lingering global economic slowdown.

 

 


57-year-old Li, who has been elevated to the Number 2 position in the ruling CPC's hierarchy, has been China's 'Premier-in-Waiting' as a Vice Premier, overseeing key portfolios, such as macro economic planning, health care, energy and housing.


 
 
  

Li, who will succeed Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in March next year, is known for not making no big pronouncements, no off-the-cuff remarks, no mistakes.

 

 


He is known for caring about China's less well-off, perhaps as a result of a modest upbringing.

 

 

Li is considered a carbon copy of Hu, his mentor and benefactor, because of similarities in background, priorities and style.

 

 

The son of a minor county official in east China's Anhui, a poor province where Hu was also born, Li was a teenager when Mao Zedong's disastrous decade-long 'Cultural Revolution' interrupted his schooling.

 

 


As a youth who needed "re-education through labour", he worked on the farm for four years. There, at age 21, he joined the Communist Party.

 

 

He worked with Hu in the Communist Youth League (CYL), a training ground for party and government officials.

 

 

 

There were also speculation that Li was Hu's preferred successor but finally the top job of the Communist Party General Secretary went to Xi Jinping.

 

 

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