State media says Li Keqiang who stepped down just nine months ago, died of a heart attack.
Li Keqiang, the former premier of China, has died of a heart attack, less than a year after stepping down from his post as the country’s second highest-ranking leader.
“On Oct. 26, Li had a sudden heart attack and passed away at 00:10 on Oct. 27 after all rescue measures failed,” the state-run Global Times reported.
The 68-year-old served two terms alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, but towards the end of his career was politically sidelined as Xi amassed ever-greater personal power over China’s government and economy.
He retired in March.
A one-time “sent down youth” who spent China’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution in the provinces, Li later became an economist after graduating from the elite Peking University.
As premier, Li was known for pushing more market-oriented economic policies, steering China’s economy through COVID-19, and working to close the wealth gap.