Li Yuanchao

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Li Yuanchao
File:L Yuanchao.png
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
Assumed office
14 March 2013
President Xi Jinping
Preceded by Xi Jinping
Head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China
In office
22 October 2007 – 19 November 2012
Deputy Shen Yueyue, others
General secretary Hu Jintao
Preceded by He Guoqiang
Succeeded by Zhao Leji
Personal details
Born (1950-11-20) 20 November 1950 (age 68)
Lianshui County, Jiangsu
Political party Communist Party of China
Alma mater
Li Yuanchao
Chinese 李源潮

Li Yuanchao (born 20 November 1950)[1][2] is the Vice President of the People's Republic of China. He is also a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and Honorary President of the Red Cross Society of China. He was a member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China and head of its Organization Department between 2007 and 2012. From 2002 to 2007, Li served as the Communist Party of China Secretary of Jiangsu, the top leader of an area of significant economic development. He is considered a figure of China's fifth generation of leadership. He is married to Gao Jianjin and has a son named Li Haijin.

Early life and career

Li was born in 1950 in Lianshui County, Jiangsu province, to Li Gancheng (李干成), a Communist Party official and later vice mayor of Shanghai; his mother is Lü Jiying (吕继英), a Communist revolutionary from Shuyang County in northern Jiangsu province; he was the fourth son among their seven children. He was named Yuanchao (援朝) after the "campaign to aid Korea;" he would change the characters of this name later in life while maintaining the pronunciation. Li attended Nanyang Model High School in Shanghai, where he graduated in 1966, shortly prior to the Cultural Revolution. During the Cultural Revolution, he worked in Dafeng County, Jiangsu, performing manual labour.[3]

In 1972, Li was recommended to enter East China Normal University to study mathematics. He then worked as a teacher at the Nanchang Secondary School in Shanghai, then an instructor at the industry vocational college of Luwan District in Shanghai. After the resumption of the National College Entrance Examination Li was admitted to pursue a master's degree from Fudan University in mathematics. He joined the Communist Party of China in June 1978. In 1982, after graduating, he stayed at Fudan to teach as a lecturer and held a leadership position in the Communist Youth League organization of the university.

In 1983, Li was elevated on recommendation from then Shanghai party chief Chen Pixian to head the Shanghai Communist Youth League organization at age 33. Shortly thereafter he became a member of the Central Secretariat of the Communist Youth League, in charge of propaganda and ideology. He served in the post until 1990. During his time at the Youth League, Li obtained through part-time study a master's degree in in economic management from Peking University under the supervision of economist Li Yining, and a doctoral degree (also on a part-time basis) in law from the Central Party School. In 1993, he was named deputy head of the State Council Information Office. In 1996, he became Vice Minister of Culture. He pursued mid-career training at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2002.[4]


Li was elevated to Deputy Party Secretary of Jiangsu province and concurrently party chief of the provincial capital Nanjing in 2001. In October 2001, a mere month after he took office, Li garnered attention by firing several municipal officials accused of sexually harassing female hotel employees.[5]

At the 16th Party Congress held in 2002, Li failed to secure a seat to the Central Committee, and was elected only an alternate member; however, at the time of the election, Li had already been agreed upon by senior party leaders to serve in the top post in Jiangsu, causing an awkward and rare situation where Li would serve as a party chief of a major province without holding a full seat on the Central Committee.[6]

Li served as the Communist Party Provincial Committee Secretary for Jiangsu between 2002 and 2007. During his tenure in Jiangsu, Li assessed local officials in terms of performance measured by social and environmental factors, as opposed to purely economic ones.[7] In response to the corruption case of Xu Guojian, the head of the provincial Organization Department, Li said, "Jiangsu is beginning the biggest anti-corruption drive since the founding of the People's Republic."[8]


Seen as an ally of General Secretary Hu Jintao and a member of the tuanpai due to his Communist Youth League background, Li became a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and the head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China after the 17th Party Congress in October 2007. After the 18th Party Congress, Li Yuanchao was no longer the head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China since 19 November 2012, the successor is Zhao Leji. Li was said to favour political reform.[9]

During the 2012 National Congress, Li was considered a contender for promotion to the Politburo Standing Committee but was blocked by former general secretary Jiang Zemin, in what was seen as a major defeat for Hu Jintao. He, however, continued to serve on 25-member Politburo, to which he was first selected in 2007.[9][10]

Vice President

In March 2013, Li was elected to be the Vice President. The post of Vice-President had been held since 1998 by the top-ranked Secretary of the party's Secretariat; Li's selection as Vice President broke this fifteen-year convention; this meant Li was also the first Vice-President to not sit on the Politburo Standing Committee since 1998.[10] Since taking on the office, which is largely ceremonial in nature, Li has played a major role in foreign affairs. He served as the deputy leader of the Foreign Affairs Leading Group, the main foreign affairs coordination body of the Communist Party, and the deputy leader of the Central Coordination Group for Hong Kong and Macau Affairs. Li was the most senior Chinese official to attend the state memorial of South African leader Nelson Mandela and the state funeral of Lee Kuan Yew.


  1. 李源潮年谱. (in Chinese). 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2014-07-05. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Li Yuanchao – resume". Xinhua (in Chinese). <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "中共中央政治局委员、中组部部长、我校66届校友李源潮携夫人重返母校". 南洋模范中学. 2011-11-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Personal and Professional Background
  5. "十七大后人事微调频仍". 《中华文摘》. Chinanews. 2008-01-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Gao, Xin (May 13, 2014). "习近平为何会对刘云山礼让三分(高新)". Radio Free Asia.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "The centre and the provinces: An enduring dysfunctional relationship". Financial Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "中共江苏省委书记李源潮在非常时刻". Xiaokang Magazine. Sina. July 28, 2004.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 Cheng Li (10 February 2013). "Rule of the Princelings". Brookings Institution.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Benjamin Kang Lim and John Ruwitch (11 March 2013). "China's Xi flexes muscle, chooses reformist VP: sources". Reuters.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Political offices
Preceded by
Xi Jinping
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
2013 –
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Chen Huanyou
Chairman of Jiangsu People's Congress
2003 – 2007
Succeeded by
Wang Shouting
Party political offices
Preceded by
He Guoqiang
Head of Central Organization Department
2007 – 2012
Succeeded by
Zhao Leji
Preceded by
Hui Liangyu
Communist Party Secretary of Jiangsu
2002 – 2007
Succeeded by
Liang Baohua
Preceded by
Wang Wulong
Communist Party Secretary of Nanjing
2001 – 2003
Succeeded by
Luo Zhijun
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Hu Jintao
Honorary President of the Red Cross Society of China
2015 –
Succeeded by