Li Yuanchao

Li Yuanchao's trip a show of support for President Xi Jinping, say analysts

Li Yuanchao's three-day trip in Guangdong shows his support of Xi Jinping, say analysts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 April, 2013, 5:41am

Vice-President Li Yuanchao wrapped up a low-profile trip to Guangdong at the weekend, a visit analysts described as a gesture of loyalty to President Xi Jinping.

The Guangdong-based Nanfang Daily reported yesterday that Li concluded his three-day trip on Sunday, having visited Zhuhai and Jiangmen.

Li, who plays a leading role in both Hong Kong and Macau affairs for the Communist Party, urged Guangdong to "proactively" seek closer co-operation with the two neighbouring cities.

Accompanied by Guangdong provincial party secretary Hu Chunhua and Guangzhou party secretary Wan Qingliang, Li arrived in Zhuhai on Friday to visit the Huafa grass-roots community in the city's Xiangzhou district, where he promoted the concept of the "Chinese dream".

"The Chinese dream is not only a dream of the nation, it is also the wish and aspiration of each and every individual and household to live happy lives," Li told local community members. "A happy life must be filled with an abundance of materials and spirituality."

Li also visited Zhuhai's Hengqin economic development zone, where he urged Guangdong to work more closely with Hong Kong and Macau. He said the development of the Hengqin New Area must also make good use of land and resources while protecting the environment, the Nanfang Daily reported.

When he reached Jiangmen, Li urged Chinese people living overseas to unite in helping to realise the Chinese dream.

Xi visited Guangdong in December for a high-profile five-day tour in which he made calls for further reform and opening up.

Dr Peng Peng, a researcher at the Guangzhou Academy of Social Sciences, said Li's trip appeared more as a political gesture to show his allegiance to Xi. "And yet, [Li] visited only smaller cities, subtly, to reflect the differences of his identity in relation to the president," Peng said.

This sentiment was echoed by Zhu Jianguo, a Shenzhen-based independent political commentator. "Li showed that he is closely following in the direction and footsteps of Xi. [Li] skipped major cities because he didn't want to steal the spotlight from Xi," Zhu said.