Li Qinglong was born in Dingyuan, Anhui province, China. In 1987 he graduated from the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Missile College and later the PLAAF Flight College. A fighter pilot in the PLAAF, he had accumulated 1230 flight-hours.
In November 1996, he and Wu Jie, started training at the Russian Yuri Gagarin Cosmonauts Training Center. When they returned to China a year later, they acted as the trainers for the first group of astronauts. In January 2003 it was reported by a Hong Kong newspaper that Chen Long would make the first manned Shenzhou flight. Then in March 2003 it was reported that Li Qinglong would make the first manned flight. It was thought that "Chen Long" was a misspell of "Qinglong", a fact confirmed by the newspaper a couple of days before the launch of Shenzhou 5, which was flown by Yang Liwei.
- Becker, Joachim. "Taikonaut (yuhangyuan) Biography: Li Qinglong". www.spacefacts.de. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "Li Qinglong". www.astronautix.com. Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
- "BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | China's first astronaut revealed". news.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-27.
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