Li Keqiang

Li Keqiang, born in 1955, became China's premier in March 2013. Like ex-president Hu Jintao, his power base lies with the Communist Youth League, where he was a member of the secretariat of the league’s central committee in the 1980s and later in the 1990s the secretariat’s first secretary. His regional governance experience includes a period as vice party boss, governor and party boss of Henan province between 1998 and 2003 and party boss of Liaoning province beginning in 2004. He became vice premier in 2008. Li graduated from Peking University with a degree in economics. 

Foreign banks shun China's Shanghai free-trade zone amid uncertain rules

The mainland banking regulator sent questionnaires to foreign banks asking them why they were hesitant to open branches in the Shanghai free-trade zone. Photo: EPA

Beijing's move to eliminate bureaucratic approval processes to encourage foreign banks to open branches in the Shanghai free-trade zone has met with a lukewarm response.

Wednesday, 9 October, 2013, 11:28am 4 comments

Li Keqiang's turn to play starring role in Obama's absence

Li Keqiang

Beijing is likely to take further advantage of the absence of US President Barack Obama from major Asian regional summits to bolster its influence in the region when Premier Li Keqiang attends the East Asia Summit in Brunei today.

9 Oct 2013 - 5:06am 1 comment

Qianhai bypassed as firms head for Shanghai Free-trade Zone

Shanghai's new free-trade zone is seen more attractive than other planned zones as it is expected to get more high-level support and wider policy coverage. Photo: Xinhua

Qianhai first, Hong Kong next? While Hong Kong officials have been concerned about the impact of Shanghai's free-trade zone, it seems it is already stealing business from Qianhai.

1 Oct 2013 - 10:58am

Where was Li Keqiang at the opening ceremony of Shanghai free-trade zone?

Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: EPA

Yesterday, the Shanghai free-trade zone was officially launched. To the disappointment of some, the highest-ranking official from Beijing at the ceremony in the new zone was Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng.

30 Sep 2013 - 9:42am 5 comments

Li warning heats up Hong Kong-Shanghai debate

Li warning heats up Hong Kong-Shanghai debate

Hong Kong dealmaker par excellence Li Ka-shing, fondly known to locals as Superman, says Shanghai's free-trade zone could be Kryptonite to the city in which he built his fortune.

19 Sep 2013 - 8:07am 2 comments

Li Keqiang to focus on smart and green urbanisation

A property firm advert near the World Economic Forum meeting in Dalian, at which China may focus on social tensions. Photo: Bloomberg

Investors banking on a big-bang building programme as part of Premier Li Keqiang's centrepiece urbanisation programme may be in for a major disappointment.

13 Sep 2013 - 3:00am

Reforms enter critical stage, says Premier Li Keqiang

Li Keqiang

Premier Li Keqiang says Beijing's economic restructuring drive has entered a critical stage, with an overhaul of the financial sector one of the most important and most complicated tasks to be tackled.

12 Sep 2013 - 3:26am

Shanghai free-trade zone may be extended to cover Pudong

The Pudong financial district, as seen from Shanghai Tower, is set to be transformed by plans for the city's free-trade zone. Photo: Reuters

The central government may eventually expand its proposed Hong Kong-like free-trade zone in Shanghai to cover the entire Pudong district, government sources say.

5 Sep 2013 - 11:18am 3 comments

Shanghai vice mayor Ai Baojun to head up free-trade zone later this month

Shanghai vice mayor Ai Baojun to head up free-trade zone later this month

Government sources familiar with the plan told the South China Morning Post that it will launch on September 27, when senior central government officials will fly to the city to attend a ceremony planned to mark the occasion. 

6 Sep 2013 - 7:58am

China Development Bank loans point to stealthy economic stimulus

More than 60 per cent of China Development Bank's bonds sold this year went to investors in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Photo: EPA

China Development Bank (CDB) has agreed to fund massive infrastructure borrowing by three mainland provincial governments in the latest sign of an effort by Beijing to prop up growth with targeted bursts of lending.

15 Aug 2013 - 9:05am

Key Chinese cities and provinces set to receive stimulus - on the quiet

Agbank signed an agreement with Shanghai last week to provide loan credit worth 250 billion yuan. Photo: Bloomberg

Government and banking industry sources familiar with the situation told the South China Morning Post that Agricultural Bank of China (Agbank), one of the big four state lenders, signed an agreement with the city government last week to provide loan credit worth 250 billion yuan (HK$314 billion) - equivalent to about 12.5 per cent of Shanghai's GDP for last year.

12 Aug 2013 - 7:23am 2 comments

Shanghai's Disney park major beneficiary of HK$314b Agbank loan

Shanghai's Disney park major beneficiary of HK$314b Agbank loan

The Agricultural Bank of China has just sprinkled a lot of magic over Shanghai in the form of a huge loan, and the beneficiaries will include Mickey and Minnie and friends.

6 Sep 2013 - 8:00am 1 comment

China's need to reform its financial system is growing urgent

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: Simon Song

Beijing's decision to audit local government debt may be week-old news, but it won't be the last time moves to curb regional excesses will make headlines.

5 Aug 2013 - 3:54am

Hong Kong need not fret too much, for now, about northern pretender

Hong Kong need not fret too much, for now, about northern pretender

When Beijing announced last month its landmark plan to create a Hong Kong-like free-trade zone in Shanghai, many people, including myself, naturally felt Hong Kong's position as one of the world's leading financial centres could be further weakened.

5 Aug 2013 - 7:50am 5 comments

Legal loopholes prompt China to delay Shanghai free-trade zone rules

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Photo: Xinhua

The central government had planned to unveil the rules late last month, but policymakers put the lawyers back to work out of concern the legal framework needed tightening, to reduce the risk of legal disputes involving foreign investors, government sources familiar with the matter said.

5 Sep 2013 - 7:25am