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Premier Li’s expressions from 2014

Updated: Jan 4,2015 4:19 PM

Premier Li Keqiang pays an inspection visit at Haikou Port in Haikou, South China’s Hainan province, on April 11. He said that as the biggest special economic zone in China, Hainan should become an important supporting point of the nation’s opening-up process. [Photo/]

“The Premier is busy.” This is the headline often used by the media while reporting the executive meetings of the State Council, and it is also the key phrase to describe Premier Li Keqiang in 2014.

During the past year, Li continued to push forward the streamlining of administrative approvals to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation. He also took measures to make sure China’s economy keeps running smoothly within a reasonable range and brought back orders totaling over $140 billion during his five heavy-schedule foreign visits.

Here are 32 photos, portraying hard-working Premier Li in various moments from throughout 2014.

Premier Li Keqiang gives a big hug to a 13-year-old girl during a visit to a resettlement community in Yungaisi township, Shaanxi province on Jan 26.

Premier Li Keqiang talks with the father of Yang Kang, a 12-year-old girl, over the phone during a visit to her home in Xunyang county, Shaanxi province, on Jan 27. Yang’s father works in the city and the Premier told him that rural workers are not only making contributions to his own home, but to the whole nation.

Premier Li Keqiang delivers the government work report at the annual National People’s Congress (NPC) session on March 5. The report won over 50 rounds of applause from the representatives present at the meeting and was passed with a high vote.

Premier Li Keqiang makes a phone call with the Chinese captain in charge of searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 154 Chinese aboard. He demanded the search effort not be given up “as long as there is a glimmer of hope”. Li made the remarks at a press conference shortly after the conclusion of China’s annual legislative session on March 13.

Premier Li Keqiang steps into the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, March 13, ready to answer questions from domestic and foreign press.

Premier Li Keqiang makes a visit to a shanty town in Chifeng, Inner Mongolia autonomous region on March 27. He stressed again that slum-dwellers should not be neglected with high buildings built on a large scale and promised the local residents new homes.

Premier Li Keqiang on April 9 breaks with diplomatic practice and chats with visiting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott after they finished inspecting the guard of honor. The two leaders talked for nearly five minutes under a temperature of 30 degrees, and Abbott gave Li an update on the search for flight MH370.

Premier Li Keqiang selects snacks - a tin of coconut crisp chips and a box of egg rolls - at a store in Haikou, South China’s Hainan province, April 11. He excited the neighborhood by visiting a store after paying an inspection tour to Hainan province from April 10 to 11. Very quickly the snacks were dubbed “Premier Package” and enjoyed good sales.

Premier Li Keqiang consults with Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli and State Councilor Yang Jing after presiding over a meeting at the State Council, although most of the representatives had left the meeting room.

Premier Li Keqiang praises Chongqing Bang Bang as the symbol of hard-working Chinese people during his visit at a harbour in northeast Chongqing’s Wanzhou district on April 29. Bang Bang, literally means stick, is the nickname used for the farmer-turned porters in this hilly city, who use poles to carry things about.

Premier Li Keqiang and his wife Cheng Hong arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 4, 2014. This is the Premier’s first official overseas visit with his wife.

Premier Li visits an exhibition on China’s railway and aviation, with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, on May 5.

Premier Li Keqiang visits the Ivory Burning Site Monument in the Nairobi National Park with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, May 10. He said that China is strongly committed to protecting wildlife and will spare no effort in combating poaching and ivory smuggling.

Premier Li Keqiang listens to a report on China’s economy during a meeting with representatives of financial and industrial organizations in Chifeng city, North China’s Inner Mongolia autonomous region, May 22, 2014.

Premier Li Keqiang gives a report on the economic situation at the 17th Assembly of Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the 12th Assembly of Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, in Beijing, June 10, 2014.

Premier Li Keqiang meets British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in London, June 17, 2014. Li and his British counterpart talked about issues including international relations and trade cooperation. Premier Li and his wife Cheng Hong also joined the British Prime Minister and his wife Samantha for afternoon tea.

Premier Li Keqiang and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras visit a container terminal, which is run by Chinese shipping giant COSCO, at the port of Piraeus, June 20, 2014. Acting as a gateway into Europe for Chinese products, the terminal can save Chinese ships 7 to 11 days as they will no longer be required to go around the Cape of Good Hope.

Premier Li Keqiang presents a reproduction of a relic from China’s Sanxingdui archaeological site as a gift to the Heraklion Museum during the opening ceremony of a new hall of the museum which he attended with his Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras, in Heraklion, Greece, June 21, 2014. Samaras said he and Li are “trusted friends” who could “look at each other directly in the eyes”.

Premier Li Keqiang takes a bite of a grain during his visit to a grain depot of China Grain Reserves Corporation in Zhuzhou, Central China’s Hunan province, July 4, 2014. He asked the employees if the grain had been in storage for two or three years - and was told that was indeed the case.

Premier Li Keqiang meets experts and scholars to discuss the current economic situation, July 15.

Premier Li Keqiang washes his hands after a fall during his visit to the quake zone on Aug 4, a day after the quake rocked Ludian, China’s southwest Yunnan province. Due to the damaged roads, Li had to walk 5 kilometers to reach Longquan village, located in the worst hit area.

Premier Li Keqiang instructs his staff to make an open pass to the wounded while directing the relief work in Longtoushan township, the epicenter of the Ludian earthquake in China’s southwest Yunnan province on Aug 4.

Premier Li Keqiang said the spirit of volunteerism will live on forever though the Youth Olympic Games is coming to an end, while visiting the volunteers in Nanjing on Aug 28. Twenty-one years ago, Li was first secretary of the Central Committee of Communist Youth League that established “dedication, friendship, mutual help and progress” as the spirit of Chinese youth volunteers.

Premier Li Keqiang watches as 109 chops are permanently sealed and replaced by only 1 chop - as part of moves to streamline approval procedures - during his visit to a department handling these procedures, in Tianjin, Sept 11. The 109 sealed chops were handed over to the National Museum of China on Nov 17.

Premier Li Keqiang visits the Waigaoqiao Logistics Center in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone on Sept 19, days before the first anniversary of the establishment of the free trade zone.

Premier Li Keqiang gives a traditional Chinese puzzle game called Lu Ban Lock to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct 10 at a bilateral economic and technological forum, saying he hopes the two countries can “solve difficulties with intelligence and expand their future”.

Premier Li Keqiang meets with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, on Oct 13 in Moscow as the two held the 19th China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meetings.

Premier Li Keqiang talks with US President Barack Obama after taking a group photo for the ASEAN summit in Myanmar’s capital, Nay Pyi Taw, Nov 12. The two leaders met earlier that day at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Premier Li Keqiang is surrounded and welcomed by students during an inspection tour to Zhejiang University on Nov 22.

Premier Li Keqiang inspects Beijing You’an Hospital and visits AIDS patients, volunteers for AIDS prevention and medical staff on Nov 28, just before the 27th World AIDS Day, which falls on Dec 1 every year.

In between meeting leaders from 16 central and eastern European countries on Dec 16, Premier Li Keqiang seizes every minute to consult with his delegation, ministers of various departments under the State Council, the points discussed, or to be raised, with the foreign leaders.