Former China Premier Li Keqiang Dies at 68

    Photo: Friends of Europe/Flickr [via Wikimedia Commons]

    The Facts

    • According to an official obituary notice, former Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, 68, died of a sudden heart attack early Friday in Shanghai despite all-out efforts to revive him.

    • Late last year, Li retired from Communist Party leadership positions during the same twice-a-decade party congress where Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping secured his third term as general secretary.

    The Spin

    Pro-China narrative

    The passing of such a great leader, who has enormously contributed to the development of the Chinese economy and expressed steadfast support for Xi Jinping even after his retirement earlier this year, is a massive loss for the Communist Party and the PRC. China will never forget Li for his efforts to help improve the country and build a clean government.

    Anti-China narrative

    Though Li has never publicly challenged Xi Jinping's decade-long dictatorship, he had been considered a potential rival due to their ideological differences. So, it's no coincidence that online comments about him were severely restricted after his death while state media refrained from turning their pages black and white as traditionally done when senior Communist Party members die.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 53% chance that Xi Jinping will continue leading China in 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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