Former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has passed away from a sudden heart attack at the age of 68. Once viewed as a reformist leader, Li served as China’s premier from 2013 to March 2023, overseeing the economy through challenges like rising tech and trade tensions with the U.S., mounting government debt, unemployment, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite his tenure and contributions, Li found himself increasingly sidelined by China’s top leader, Xi Jinping. Li was a proponent of Deng Xiaoping’s open-door policy, which conflicted with Xi’s inclination towards state-controlled measures. Li’s sudden death leaves a void in the ranks of reform-minded leaders in China’s leadership.
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