With many former members of the Communist Youth League occupying high-ranking positions in the central government, speculation on a league faction within the administration has resurfaced.
Analysts who believe the faction, or tuanpai, exists suggest many of those people surrounding President Hu Jintao - himself a former leader of the league - are there because of their background in the organisation.
Many other high-ranking individuals, such as late party general secretary Hu Yaobang and former National People's Congress chairman Qiao Shi, also were once chiefs of the Communist Youth League.
Mr Li worked with Mr Hu in the league from late 1984 to 1985, when Mr Hu was first party secretary of the organisation in Beijing and Mr Li a secretary.
After serving at the league, Mr Hu was sent to Guizhou in 1985 to become provincial party boss, while Mr Li was made a publicity official in the central leadership in 1990.
He also served as a vice-cultural minister in 1996.
Other rising political stars also have backgrounds in the league.
They include Liu Yandong, the new female chief of the Communist Party's United Front Department, who is in charge of selling government policies.
Hong Kong independent China watcher Johnny Lau Yui-siu said he doubted the existence of the tuanpai.
He said the prominence of former members of the league in senior positions was more likely a coincidence as the organisation was a natural source of talent for the government.