Li Lanqing, native of Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, was born in May 1932 and joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in September 1952.
After graduating from Fudan University as an enterprise management major in 1952, Li was assigned to work in the No. 1 Automobile Factory in Changchun.
He worked as a trainee at Moscow's Liharchev and Gorky automobile factories in the former Soviet Union in 1956 and 1957. After his return home, he worked in the Changchun No. 1 Automobile Factory as chief of its planning section. Between 1959 and 1981, he worked successively in the No. 1 Machine-building Ministry, the State Economic Commission, No. 2 Automobile Factory and the No. 3 Automobile Factory.
He became chief of the Government Loan Office under the Administrative Commission of Foreign Investment in 1981; he became director of the Foreign Investment Administration in the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade (Mofert) in 1982, and he became vice-mayor of Tianjin in 1983.
He held the post of Mofert vice-minister from 1986-90, and served as its minister from 1990-92; he has been vice-premier of the State Council since 1993.
Li Lanqing was elected to the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in 1992, and made a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the 15th CPC National Congress in the fall of 1997.