Qian Qichen


Age: 89

Chinese veteran diplomat and former vice premier of China from 1993 to 2003 who oversaw the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China while he was chairman of a committee China appointed to prepare for Hong Kong's change of sovereignty in 1997, who was also the country's top foreign affairs official in 2001 when relations with the U.S. took a steep downturn after a U.S. Navy surveillance plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea (the Chinese plane crashed, killing the pilot), and whose diplomatic career started in 1955 when he worked in the Chinese Embassy in Moscow, Russia before returning home in 1963.

Cause of Death: Unspecified illness

Born: January 5, 1928

Died: May 9, 2017

Beijing, China