Portrait of Li Peng, former chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee. Li died of illness in Beijing at the age of 91 on July 22. Photo: Xinhua

The body of Li Peng, former chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and former Chinese premier, was cremated Monday in Beijing, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji, Han Zheng, Wang Qishan and Jiang Zemin, among others, paid their final respects at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery. Hu Jintao, who is not in Beijing, sent a wreath to express his condolences.

At the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing, the officials paid silent tribute and bowed three times in front of Li’s body Monday morning. They also extended their condolences to Li’s family.

The cemetery’s auditorium was solemn as funeral music played. Banners in the hall read, “Deeply mourn Comrade Li Peng,” and a portrait of Li hung beneath the banners.

In tribute to Li, the national flag was flown at half-mast on Monday at Tiananmen Square, Xinhuamen, the Great Hall of the People and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, seats of provincial-level committees of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and provincial-level governments, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, border ports, seaports and airports across the country, as well as Chinese embassies and consulates around the world.

Li Peng died of an illness in Beijing at the age of 91 on July 22.

Xinhua said Li was an important pioneer, loyal practitioner and active promoter of China’s socialist market economic system and an important leader in the building of socialist democracy and the rule of law with Chinese characteristics. Li was also deeply affectionate to people in need and attached great importance to poverty alleviation. 

He was very concerned about laid-off workers in state-owned enterprises.

After retiring from a leadership position in 2003, Li firmly supported the Party Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, the building of a clean and honest government and the fight against corruption.

Xinhua – Global Times