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Thursday, 14 November, 2002, 11:47 GMT
Profile: Zeng Qinghong
Zeng Qinghong
Mr Zeng looks set to move centre-stage
Zeng Qinghong has been tipped for high office since he emerged as right-hand-man to China's long-term ruler Jiang Zemin.

Mr Zeng belongs to the elite group of China's "princelings", the children of veteran Communist Party revolutionaries.

His father, Zeng Shan, was a Red Army veteran and went on to become vice-mayor of Shanghai in 1949 and minister of internal affairs in 1960.

His mother, Deng Liuqin, was in charge of the Shanghai-based East China Kindergarten where the children of many senior officials were brought up.

Right-hand-man

Zeng Qinghong
Born in 1939
Studied automatic control systems
Joined Communist Party in 1960
Key henchman of Jiang Zemin

But it is his work for Jiang Zemin which has ensured his political rise, and he now heads the Party's important Organisation Department, overseeing all appointments and promotions.

Mr Zeng, a Beijing-trained engineer, joined Mr Jiang when he was Shanghai Party secretary in the mid-1980s.

When Mr Jiang was transferred to Beijing after the 1989 pro-democracy student movement, the one adviser he chose to take with him was Mr Zeng.

Throughout his career Mr Zeng has concentrated on promoting Mr Jiang's leadership and thinking.

He has strengthened Mr Jiang's position by promoting members of the president's Shanghai faction to leading central and regional posts.

But some analysts believe that once he holds power in his own right, Mr Zeng will be more adventurous than Mr Jiang. He is even rumoured to favour introducing limited political reforms.


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