Renowned economist gives Premier Li Keqiang top marks for managing China's economy

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 December, 2013, 2:28pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 December, 2013, 5:44pm

Li Yining, one of China’s most famous economists, has given top marks to his former student Premier Li Keqiang in a recent online chat.

When asked by a netizen how he would score his student Li Keqiang’s performance on managing the Chinese economy and how the new Chinese administration was performing, Li Yining spelled out the letter “A”.

Economist Li made the comments while accepting an interview with, a website affiliated with the state-owned People’s Daily. Li is also an honorary dean of the Guanghua School of Management at the Business School of Peking University.

“The new administration under Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang have conducted many reform measures in the past year, including those in two important aspects, namely social stability and economic reforms,” said Li.

“Economic reforms are as crucial as health to a man. I have repeatedly mentioned reforms in several meetings of the past year. Now is the best timing for reforms. We would regret in the future if we missed the window,” he added.

Li, 83, has been involved in most of the major economic reforms in China implemented in the past three decades. He proposed Chinese economic reforms through joint-stock systems in 1980 and his suggestion was widely adopted later throughout the country.

Many of his students have become high-profile people in Chinese political and business circles, including Premier Li Keqiang, Vice President Li Yuanchao and Governor of Heilongjiang province Lu Hao.

Li published a book called The Strategic Choice to Prosperity in 1991, co-authored with Li Keqiang, Li Yuanchao and Meng Xiaosu, chairman of China Real Estate Development Group.

The book discussed the restructuring of state-run enterprises, the transformation of state companies into joint-stock firms, the development of enterprise groups, and rural reforms. Many of the points raised in the book have been turned into current state policies.