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Profile: Chinese First Vice Prime Minister Li Keqiang

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang visits European Commission headquarters in Brussels in May.
First Vice Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who is expected to be China's next premier, is seen by some analysts as a man who understands the economic reforms needed to bolster the country's slowing economic growth.

Like Xi Jinping, Li's official biography in state-run media says he was a manual laborer as a young man who eventually became a provincial leader within the Communist Party. Li's father was a local official in Anhui Province.

The 57-year-old Li joined the Communist Party in 1976 and studied law at Peking University. He first became involved in politics as head of Peking University's student federation in the late 1970s and early '80s.

He also earned a doctorate in economics and reportedly speaks English fluently.

Li worked his way up in the Communist Party hierarchy after his graduation.

He joined the top ranks of the party's youth league during the 1980s when the organization was headed by China's current president, Hu Jintao. Because of that connection, Li is seen as being close to President Hu.

Like Xi, Li was appointed to the Communist Party's powerful Politburo Standing Committee in 2007. He became first vice premier in 2008.