One of only two Standing Committee members to come from outgoing leader Hu’s Communist Youth League faction, Li, 57, grew up in impoverished Anhui province, far away from the halls of power in Beijing. As China’s new premier, he will be in charge of running China’s civilian government, a position previously filled by Wen Jiabao, who cultivated a populist, grandfatherly image even as his family accumulated great wealth, according to an investigation by the New York Times. Li has also shown a grassroots touch; in recent years he has been associated with programs aimed at the millions of Chinese left behind in the economic boom, like housing programs and health care. A rare English speaker, he’s considered an economic reformer. Yet during his tenure as party chief of China’s central Henan province, he presided over a shameful episode in which farmers who sold blood contracted HIV and were insome cases left to die without any government support.
Next Wang Qishan