Sentinel Project: Li Keqiang

Li Keqiang is a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and the current Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

Li Keqiang was born into a middle class family in 1955. After joining the Communist Party of China (CCP) in 1976, he slowly worked his way through the ranks. Mr. Keqiang earned a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and a doctoral degree in economics from Beijing's Peking University. In the early 1990s, Li translated multiple legal publications from English into Chinese, including the British Constitution and The Due Process of Law.

He has been described as fiercely loyal to the advancement of state interests, although this has sometimes put him at odds with the CCP. To the dismay of officials, Li has proven hesitant to rely upon the government's notoriously inaccurate economic data for analysis due to his academic background in economics and law.

On the domestic front, Mr. Keqiang at times has been a vocal opponent of bureaucracy and government ineptitude. He has repeatedly expressed his disdain for many low-level party and state officials, while simultaneously supporting street vendors and small businesses.

According to sources within the United States government, Li has a notoriously shrewd approach to foreign policy discussion. When an American delegation delivered China with an unfriendly economic ultimatum during high level negotiations, Li reportedly remarked, "we no longer need the United States. We have our own technological and industrial sectors." However, when a trade war erupted between the two powers in 2019, Li sought to mend the relationship by offering a series of concessions to the United States.

Last updated on Sunday, July 5, 2020.