Former Xi second-in-command dies from sudden heart attack at 68

The former Chinese premier who spent almost a decade as Xi Jinping’s second in command has died, The Telegraph reports. Local media stated that Li Keqiang suffered a sudden heart attack on Thursday at age 68 and passed on Friday.

“Comrade Li Keqiang, while resting in Shanghai in recent days, experienced a sudden heart attack on Oct 26 and after all-out efforts to revive him failed, died in Shanghai at 12:10 am on Oct 27,” CCTV reported.

He served as a key member of the Chinese Communist Party and the second-highest-ranking member of the CCP’s politburo from 2012-2022. However, he was allegedly pushed out of his role by Xi in 2022.

Li Quang, who was a close friend of Xi, was then appointed to the role despite having a lack of central government experience. He was previously a CCP leader in the business sector for Shanghai where he implemented some of the strictest Covid lockdowns the world infamously saw during the pandemic.

Li Keqiang was a noted economist who is credited with helping China come out financially strong after the global financial crisis. Despite this, he faced criticism from Xi who wanted more state control.

In 2020, Keqiang stated that over 600 million people earned less than $140 per day in China, which drew criticism from his peers.

He also made a statement at the memorial site of former leader Deng Xiaoping in August 2022: "Reform and opening up will not stop. The Yangtze and Yellow River will not reverse course."

While his speech first went viral on social media, they were later censored over suspicions he was criticizing Xi’s policies, AOL reports.


Image: Title: Li Xi
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