|First Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress|
|Assumed office |
10 March 2023
|Preceded by||Wang Chen|
|Communist Party Secretary of Tianjin|
13 September 2016 – 8 December 2022
|Deputy||Wang Dongfeng (mayor)|
|General secretary||Xi Jinping|
|Preceded by||Huang Xingguo|
|Succeeded by||Chen Min'er|
|Communist Party Secretary of Hubei|
6 December 2010 – 13 September 2016
|Deputy||Wang Guosheng (governor)|
|General secretary||Hu Jintao|
|Preceded by||Luo Qingquan|
|Succeeded by||Jiang Chaoliang|
|Governor of Hubei|
6 December 2007 – 16 December 2010
|Preceded by||Luo Qingquan|
|Succeeded by||Wang Guosheng|
|Born||13 August 1956|
|Political party||Chinese Communist Party|
|Alma mater||Jilin University|
Li Hongzhong (Chinese: 李鸿忠; born 13 August 1956) is a Chinese politician, who is currently the first-ranking vice chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and a member of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party. Born in Shenyang, Li spent much of his early career in Guangdong province, including as mayor, then party secretary of Shenzhen. He was transferred to Hubei province in 2007 and would go on to serve as Governor and party secretary there. He served as the Communist Party Secretary of Tianjin between 2016 and 2022.
Li was born in Shenyang, but traces his ancestry to Changle County, Shandong province. During the Cultural Revolution, he performed manual labour as a sent-down youth in Sujiatun District, Shenyang, Liaoning Province. In 1978, he earned admission to the history department at Jilin University. After he graduated, Li was sent to work at the government. He worked for the General Office of the Shenyang municipal government, then a secretary at the ministry of electronics industry. In 1988 he was sent to Guangdong province, where he would go on to spend two decades of his political career. He successively served as the mayor and party chief of Huizhou City, then the vice governor of Guangdong, then in 2003, the acting mayor and mayor of Shenzhen, China's most prominent Special Economic Zone.
In March 2005, he was named Communist Party chief of Shenzhen. In November 2007, he was transferred to Hubei province, where he took on the office of deputy party chief, governor, and then finally in December 2010, provincial party chief. During his Hubei governorship, the Shishou incident and Deng Yujiao incident occurred in the province.
In preparation for the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee, Li Hongzhong was only one of two regional officials (the other was Huang Qifan) selected to be part of the drafting committee on the "resolution for deepening reform." On June 1, 2015, the Dongfang Zhixing ferry sank, causing the deaths of some 442 people. Only 12 people were rescued, but the Hubei government granted accolades to some 99 organizations and 253 individuals.
On January 15, 2016, at a meeting of the provincial party standing committee, Li endorsed the "Xi Jinping leadership core" principle, stating, "the Politburo and its Standing Committee are the core leaders [hexin] of the party, General Secretary Xi Jinping is the core leader of the party center. To proactively maintain the authority of the party center means maintaining the leading core of General Secretary Xi Jinping."
In September 2016, Li was appointed the Communist Party Secretary of Tianjin, replacing Huang Xingguo, who was dismissed for corruption. The appointment meant that Li would likely advance one step further to the Politburo at the 19th Party Congress in 2017.
In July 2023, Li was part of a Chinese delegation that traveled to North Korea to commemorate the Korean Armistice Agreement
In March 2010, when Li Hongzhong, then Governor of Hubei, was attending the 11th National People's Congress in Beijing, Beijing Times journalist Liu Jie asked him to comment on the case of Deng Yujiao, a Hubei pedicurist who killed a government official who tried to rape her. Li refused to comment on the case, which was considered an embarrassment to the government of Hubei, and instead grabbed the recorder from her. The incident was widely reported in Chinese media, but Li refused to apologize to Liu Jie, stating that she stuttered when he asked her which newspaper she represented, and that he was unsure about her identity. A week later, at least 210 intellectuals and journalists, including dramatist Sha Yexin, scholars Cui Weiping and Hu Yong, and the prominent former People's Daily editor Zhou Ruijin, signed an open letter demanding Li to resign.
The petition was ultimately unsuccessful, as Li Hongzhong was promoted to party chief (i.e. top office) of Hubei in December. However, in the face of media scrutiny, Li made a statement suggesting that he was in favour of the media reporting the Shishou incident and the Deng Yujiao incident, as long as the news media conducted itself in a "fair and objective" manner.