Hobbies help former vice-premier thrive in retirement

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 June, 2005, 12:00am

Tennis, bridge, music and making seals are now the four favourite pastimes of former vice-premier Li Lanqing .

In a recent public lecture at Chongqing University, Mr Li revealed his 'secrets' to the audience, saying he was enjoying every moment of his retirement.

Mr Li, 73, joins a number of retired state leaders who have kept themselves busy after stepping down.

Former president Jiang Zemin is reportedly writing his memoirs, while former foreign minister Qian Qichen has already published a book on his diplomatic life and is a frequent public speaker.

According to the Hong Kong China News Agency, Mr Li attributes his good health in retirement to his four main hobbies.

The former vice-premier plays tennis for half an hour every day and says he can swim a kilometre without resting.

Mr Li said the first thing he did after arriving in Chongqing was head for the tennis court.

'Playing bridge and making seals are the two best weapons to keep my mind sharp,' he added.

Mr Li has also been able to combine seal-making with his love of western classical music.

'I have made seals for Mozart, Beethoven and Johann Strauss,' he was quoted saying.

'I am probably the first Chinese to do that.'