Li Keqiang: A man who prioritizes people’s concerns

Li Keqiang talks to people who moved to new houses from shanty town area in Fushun, northeast China's Liaoning Province on November 3, 2005.

People first

When Li was transferred to northeast China's Liaoning Province in 2004, he faced a different challenge.

There, Li was stunned to learn that nearly a thousand people in one town were sharing one public restroom.

"The government will not hesitate to spend everything to help you move out of slums," Li vowed.

In March 2005, a renovation plan was released. Within three years, 1.2 million residents had moved into new apartments and the shantytowns had been relegated to history.

During the shantytown renovation, Li repeatedly emphasized the need to "put the people first," which later evolved into the essence of his governance philosophy.
Apart from housing upgrades, Li also explored ways to tap new growth points for the old industrial base.

He capitalized on the central government's Northeastern China Rejuvenation Plan and the national policy of further opening up the country's east coast to develop Liaoning's coastal areas. In this way, he worked to offset the province's disadvantages stemming from its reliance on heavy industrial manufacturing for growth.

In 2009, the province's coastal economic belt designed by Li became a national strategy and played a key role in the revival of the northeastern industrial base.

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