Chinese communist politician, Prime Minister of the People's Republic of China (1987–98). Li Peng was born at Chengdu in Sechuan; his father, a writer, was executed in 1930 by the Kuomintang for being a communist. Li Peng was looked after from 1939 by the wife of the veteran leader Zhou Enlai. After working as a hydroelectric engineer, he became minister of water resources and electricity. In 1982 he joined the Central Committee of the Communist Party, was appointed to the Politburo in 1985, as acting Prime Minister in 1987, and as Prime Minister in 1988. Early in his premiership, he adopted a hard line towards the pro‐democracy student movement, and presided over the Tiananmen Square massacre and subsequent mass arrests and executions. After retiring as Prime Minister in 1998, Li Peng was Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress until 2003.
Subjects: Politics — History.