Who is Li Qiang?
The man set to be China's next

Produced by Saurabh Sharma
Designed by: Pragati

Li Qiang, a close aide of Xi Jinping, is set to become China's next Premier. He will succeed Li Keqiang, who retires this month after serving two terms at the helm.

Li Qiang set to be
China's next Premier

Li, 63, is considered very close to President Xi. Trey McArver, co-founder of consultancy Trivium China, told Reuters that Li is likely to be much more powerful as officials know he "is Xi Jinping's guy".

Li Qiang: Xi Jinping's guy

Born in Ruian county in what is now Wenzhou, the 17-year-old Li went to work in 1976 at an irrigation station in his hometown, a desirable job in what turned out to be the final year of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution.

Li Qiang's roots

Born in 1959, Li joined the Communist Party of China in 1983. From 2011 to 2016, he was Deputy Secretary of CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee and Secretary of Zhejiang Political and Law Committee. 

Li Qiang's journey in CPC

Leadership watchers say Li Qiang's closeness to Xi is both a strength and a vulnerability: while he has Xi's trust, he is beholden to his long-time patron.

Li Qiang's bittersweet spot

Li Qiang oversaw the harrowing two-month Covid lockdown in Shanghai last year. He was also instrumental in pushing for China's sudden end to its zero-Covid policy.

Li Qiang's role during Covid

Li Qiang's ties with the President go back to 2004 when Xi was the party boss of Zhejiang and Li was his chief of staff between 2004 and 2007. American author Robert Lawrence Kuhn said the two shared an easy rapport.

Li Qiang's ties with
President Xi

Li studied agricultural mechanisation at the Ningbo Branch of Zhejiang Agricultural University. He also holds master's degrees from the central party school in Beijing and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Li Qiang's education

American author Robert Lawrence Kuhn met Li and Xi together in 2005 and 2006. He said the two shared an easy rapport. "Unlike most other staffers of top leaders, Li was no wall-flower," he said.

Li Qiang is not
'a wall-flower'

Recalling his meeting, Kuhn said, in the presence of Xi, Li felt comfortable enough to put himself forward to engage him. Kuhn said Li was not worried that his boss might think he was trying to steal his limelight.

An author on Li-Xi ties

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