What qualities China seeks in a leader

In China, where accurate polling is rare, a peephole just opened into what qualities Chinese citizens most admire in a leader, hinting at a China ruled differently someday.

In both public displays of mourning and on social media, people have been paying tribute to a former premier, Li Keqiang, who died Friday just a year after being sidelined by Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.

Mr. Li’s popularity can be measured by the fact that a hashtag about him on Weibo, China’s second-largest social media platform, garnered more than 1 billion views in just a few hours after his passing. In contrast, China’s official media had his death as a distant item, even though he was once second in power. Security has also been tight to prevent mass gatherings, while censors worked hard to prevent “overly effusive” comments about Mr. Li and indirect criticism of Mr. Xi’s autocratic rule.

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