More China trips, less diplomacy: what does Li Qiang’s schedule reveal about the changing role of premier?

by Vanessa Cai at

China’s political elite and lawmakers will gather next week for the country’s annual legislative sessions which will set budgets and lay down Beijing’s plans for the country’s economy, diplomacy, trade and military. In the first part of the series, Vanessa Cai looks at the role of premier and how it has changed under Li Qiang.

When Li Qiang was named China’s premier in March last year, the world’s second-biggest economy was just reopening its borders after three years of draconian Covid-19 lockdowns.