Li Keqiang, 52 in 2007, is a protege of Chinese dictator-cum-president Hu Jintao, and Li is poised to become the Chinese Gorbachev that China watchers have been hoping for for many years.
Watch this man's career rise and rise, and when he takes the helm in 10-20 years, he will transform communist China into a Free China of freedom and democracy and the old Communist Party will be a thing of the past.
Don't believe this blog? Google his name and see for yourself. Read Will Hutton's report below:
[ Will China's next leader be its Gorbachev?The country's top political figures gather this week to choose a new President. Their decision will affect us all ]
See this letter in Taipei Times, October 2007
Letters to Editor: Li is the man to watch
Thursday, Oct 25, 2007, Page 8
A senior Chinese Communist Party official named Li Keqiang (李克強), who is on close terms with President Hu Jintao, has been elevated to the Politburo Standing Committee along with three other men.For years, many people in Taiwan, in the West and also inside China have been trying to find a "Chinese Gorbachev," who could do for China what former president Mikhail Gorbachev did for the Soviet Union: liberate the country from the firm hands of communism and bring freedom and democracy.It may very well be that Li will be the man to watch, and while he will not become president of China for a long time to come, if ever, Li is probably the best candidate for a Chinese Gorbachev. He is in his early 50s, is very aware of what his future role might be and he could be the one to liberate the Chinese from the Communists.There are two ways China could become a free, democratic country. One way is for the people to rise up in a revolution, which is not likely to happen under the current regime. The other is for a man to rise within the country who, like Gorbachev, could implement change by the force of his own personality and vision. I think Li Keqiang is the man. Watch him closely.
[This story has been viewed 1.6 billion times in China.]
Will one of Hu Jintao's two 'Lis', as the frontrunners to succeed him, Li Keqiang and Li Yuanchao, are popularly known, feel the same way as they walk out in front of the cameras in the Great Hall of the People on Friday? Will one prove to be China's Gorbachev?
BW Online October 27, 2003 Hu Jintao: China's Gorbachev?
There's growing evidence that the new President is starting political change.www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/03_43/b3855092.htm
NightHawk: Who will be China's Gorbachev?
In this perceptive article, Will Hutton speculates as to whether China's next president will be a Gorbachev figure inspiring genuine political reforms and, ...www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/nighthawk/2007/10/who_will_be_chinas_gorbachev_1.html -
The Peking Duck: Hu Jintao: "An iron fist in a velvet glove"?
There will never be a Chinese Gorbachev. There might be someone that has just about the same talent and takes the pro-western-democracy position, ...www.pekingduck.org/archives/002163.php
What Mikhail Gorbachev did for the old USSR and the new Russia, Li Keqiang will do for the Old China and the New China that will arise when the Communist Party collapses and is replaced by freedom and democracy. It happened in the former USSR. It will happen in China, too.
Watch. And stay tuned to this blog as we bring you more news. Ready?
Check Wikipedia, to begin with.
Li Keqiang, the new Gorbachev of modern China!
WEB POSTED: September 17, 2007
The new Chinese Gorbachev that China (and the world outside China) has been waiting for -- to free the country from the chains of communismand the Chinese Communist Party -- just might be the youngish protege of current dictator Hu Jintao -- yes, Li Keqiang. Remember that name, memorize the correct spelling and learn how to pronounce it.
This man Li Keqiang just might be what the Chinese people have been praying for, a savior in human flesh and blood, a man who can free up the country from the bonds of party communism and turn the nation into a free democracy. Yes, Li Keqiang. I am going to watch this man's rise. You should, too! SEE REUTERS ARTICLE BELOW SCROLL DOWN TO SEE GOOD NEWS REPORTING FROM CHINA BY CHRIS BUCKLEY, REUTERS NEWS SERVICE: (scroll down)
So who is Li Ke-qiang? Let's find out.
Li Keqiang (李克强, born in July 1955) is currently the Communist Partyof China Liaoning Province committee secretary in the People'sRepublic of China, an office that makes him first-in-charge in thatprovince.
He is a very possible successor to Hu Jintao in the "fifth generation" of CPC leadership. Li has degrees in law and economics (Ph.D.) from the PekingUniversity, and became China's youngest governor when appointed to bein charge of Henan Province in 1999 at the age of 43. He is known tobe outspoken with a sharp tongue, and he came of age during a time inmodern China's history that makes him a very possible "Gorbachev" ofChina. Is China ready for such a man? Is the West?There's more.Born in 1955 in rural and dirt poor Anhui province in central China,Mr. Li, now 52 in the year 2007, has all the pedigree and credentialsto rise up to the Communist Party's Standing Committee PoliticalBureau or Politburo, China's nine-member ruling council. The son ofpeasants, Li is a close aide to Dictator-President Hu Jintao going back to the days when Hu was the head of the Communist Youth League , he's followed in Hu's footsteps before.And like Hu, Li is said to speak from memory and operate cautiously.Li, who holds degrees in law and economics, got good exposure thisyear in state media for a workfare pilot program creating new jobs for"zero-employment families" in his rust-belt province.Li's discipline could be the clincher. In the early 1980s, Deng pickedprotégés who'd logged major "official achievements"—generally bypushing experiments in market economics. But criteria for top-levelpromotion have stiffened considerably since the Tiananmen Squaredemonstrations in 1989. Hu's Politburo prospects "heed orders anddon't make big mistakes," as one party newspaper editor puts it.That's the lesson of his recent purge of Shanghai's big-mouthed partyboss Chen Liangyu, who mismanaged social-security funds. Li hasweathered his own embarrassments, including major AIDS outbreaks invillages in Henan province, where he was party chief before beingtransferred to Liaoning. Scandal won't reach him once he's insideBeijing's leadership circle.
Ghosts of liberal past trail China contender Li
By Chris Buckley
BEIJING, Sept 12 (Reuters) -
The next Communist Party leader in China, the land of Mao Zedong, could be a man who as a student mixed with democracy advocates and learned the ideas of bewigged English judges at a university that was a hotspot of dissent.
Li Keqiang, 52-year-old Party secretary of the northeastern province of Liaoning, is widely tipped as a potential successor to President Hu Jintao. Li's rise through the Communist Youth League that also nurtured Hu and then postings in big, tough provinces have marked him for higher things. Many observers expect him to enter the Politburo Standing Committee at a Party Congress in October, putting him in contention to take Hu's place five years hence.
But Li's past as an intellectually voracious law student during an era of liberal ferment would mark a break with the staid engineers who have run China since the 1990s. He was at the elite Peking University from the late 1970s, when calls for free speech and democracy sprouted in the ideological disillusion left by Mao's Cultural Revolution.
He plunged into campus politics as reformist ideas galvanised students, befriended freethinkers who went on to notoriety as exiled dissidents, and co-translated "The Due Process of Law" by Lord Denning, the famed English jurist. Li's past need not make him a harbinger of radical liberalisation. Accounts also depict a political chameleon who stayed within the system and paid his dues as a submissive functionary. But his background seems sure to fuel questions about whether the Communist Party can ensure its future leaders avoid the radical impulses of their youth as they negotiate dramatic economic change and calls for democratic reform. "Being a university student is an age when a person's value framework is set," said Zhang Zuhua, a former Youth League official who closely observes politics. "That period certainly had a huge impact on his outlook. The question is whether he is able to use it or has to struggle against it."
COMMUNE TO COURTROOM
Even before university, Li amassed unusually rich political experience. Born in rural Anhui province in July 1955, his father was a local court official, according to Zhang, the analyst. Li worked on a rural commune in Fengyang County -- one of the first places to quietly dismantle commune control and revive private incentives in agriculture in the late 1970s. By the time he left the land, Li was already a Communist Party member and Party secretary of his production brigade. He was among the first university students to win their places in intensely competitive entrance exams revived in 1977, as Deng Xiaoping and other rehabilitated reformers began to abandon Mao's radicalism. Li arrived at a campus that was historically the country's most respected and most liberal.
Peking University was among the first Chinese schools to restore law teaching after the Cultural Revolution. And Li attached himself to a professor whose classes became a seedbed of then exotic liberal ideas. Professor Gong Xiangrui, an expert on Western constitutional law who had studied in Britain in the 1930s, organised Li and two other students to translate Lord Denning's book.
Outside class, Li mixed with radical thinkers and joined an intellectual "salon" that included Wang Juntao, later condemned as a counter-revolutionary "black hand" after the 1989 purge, Wang recounted in a memoir. One exiled dissident, Hu Ping, recalled that in 1980 Li, then in the official student union, backed controversial campus elections contested by Hu and other pro-democracy activists. Party conservatives were aghast at the radical experiment. "After the election, I talked to him about elections, democracy and the political future of China," Hu told Reuters. "At that time it seemed that we shared many ideas about what sort of democracy China should become." But Li stayed carefully within the system, climbing the Party hierarchy. In 1983 he joined the Youth League's central secretariat, headed at the time by Hu Jintao. After the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989 ended ideological relaxation, Li was marooned in the League and tainted by his liberal past, said Zhang, the analyst. "For a long time, there was a negative impact on Youth League officials, including Li," said Zhang. "They were held back by the burden of that liberal background and 1989."
After biding his time, in 1998 he was sent to Henan province, a poor and restless slice of rural central China, rising to become Party secretary for two years. He also completed graduate degrees in economics at Peking University. In late 2004, he was made Party chief of Liaoning, a rustbelt province struggling to attract investment.
Some of Li's former friends have voiced hopes that his student past has left him more open to bold democratic reform than Hu's generation. But Wang, the exiled dissident, wrote that the Party's powerful norms of conformity and caution would probably win out. "It's not that I don't trust Li Keqiang," wrote Wang. "It's that I don't trust China's politics and system."
Keywords: CHINA PARTY/LI KEQIANG