Li Keqiang (born 1 July 1955) is the Premier of the People's Republic of China and party secretary of the State Council. In his capacity as Premier, Li is China's head of government as well as the leading figure behind its economic policy. He is also the second ranked member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee, the de facto highest decision-making body of the country. From 2008 to 2013 Li served as the Executive Vice-Premier under then-Premier Wen Jiabao. During this tenure, Li's official portfolio included economic development, price controls, finance, climate change, and macroeconomic management.
Li rose through the party ranks through the Communist Youth League. From 1998 to 2004, Li served as the Governor of Henan and the province's Party secretary, and then the Liaoning party secretary, an office that made him first-in-charge in that province. Li is a leading figure of the "fifth generation" (Xi-Li Administration) of Communist Party leadership.
Li Keqiang was born on 1 July 1955 in Dingyuan County, Anhui Province. His father was a local official in Anhui. Li graduated from high school in 1974, during the Cultural Revolution, and was sent for rural labour in Fengyang County, Anhui, where he eventually joined the Communist Party of China and made his way to becoming the party head of the local production team. He was awarded with the honour of Outstanding Individual in the Study of Mao Zedong Thought during this time.
He refused his father's offer of grooming him for the local county's party leadership and entered the School of Law at Peking University, where he received his LLB and became the Chairman of the University's Student Council. He would go on to acquire a PhD in Economics. In 1980 he became the Communist Youth League Secretary at Peking University. He entered the top leadership of the Communist Youth League (CYL) in 1982 as a member of its Secretariat, and has worked closely with current General Secretary Hu Jintao, who also rose through the ranks of the CYL, ever since. Li became the organization's General Secretary in 1993, and served until 1998. He is a representative member of the first generation to have risen from the CYL leadership.
Li is married to Cheng Hong, a professor at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing. His father-in-law was once the vice-secretary of the Communist Youth League Central Committee.