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New Prominence for Premier Li Qiang as Xi Skips Summits

China's Premier Li Qiang speaking during the ASEAN summit in Jakarta. Image: Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP

Chinese Premier Li Qiang is gaining unexpected prominence thanks to the fact that he is standing in for President Xi Jinping at this week’s ASEAN and G20 summits, where he’ll represent the PRC in the same room as people like U.S. President Joe Biden.

Li entered the post in March and has since focused on business-friendly outreach during a trip to Germany in June, as well as engaging directly with business leaders like Apple’s Tim Cook in an attempt to defuse ‘decoupling’ jitters.

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