BreakingChina’s President Xi Jinping pays final tribute to former premier Li Keqiang
Chinese President Xi Jinping led top party and state leaders to pay last tributes to former premier Li Keqiang as flags flew at half mast across the country, according to Xinhua.
The ceremony for Li, who was 68, was held at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing on Thursday morning, a week after his body was moved to the capital city following his sudden death from a heart attack in the early hours of last Friday morning in Shanghai.
Li’s body was cremated on Thursday.
As Xi was standing by the side of his wife, Peng Liyuan, he bowed three times in front of Li’s casket, which was covered by a Communist Party flag.
He shook hands with Li’s wife Cheng Hong, a respected university professor, and other family members to express deep condolences, according to footage from state broadcaster CCTV.
Xi was followed by Premier Li Qiang and they were joined by the entire Politburo Standing Committee, the party’s top decision-making body, as shown in the state media. Vice-President Han Zheng followed.
Former president Hu Jintao, whose working relationship with Li Keqiang date as far back as the 1980s when he was Li’s boss at the Communist Party Youth League, did not attend the farewell ceremony but sent flowers to pay tribute, state media said.
Li’s sudden passing in Shanghai last week seems to have caught the Communist Party leadership by surprise, taking top leadership around 10 hours to release his official obituary.
The nation was shocked by the news and millions of people posted on Chinese social media to commemorate him when the news first broke on Friday morning.
Li served as premier for two terms between 2013 to 2023. He stepped down in March.
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