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Inside China's ruling party Voices from Modern China
Leadership changes



Hu
Jintao

Wu
Bangguo

Wen
Jiabao

Jia
Qinglin

Zeng
Qinghong

Huang
Ju

Wu
Guanzheng

Li
Changchun

Luo
Gan

Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
Li Peng
Li Peng
Zhu Rongji
Zhu Rongji
Li Ruihuan
Li Ruihuan
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao
Wei Jianxing
Wei Jianxing
Li Lanqing
Li Lanqing




Li Ruihuan
CPPCC Chairman

Li Ruihuan has missed out on a chance for a top post.

Mr Li had languished as chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a largely ceremonial advisory body.

But he was considered a frontrunner to take over from Li Peng as leader of China's parliament, giving him an important power base for his liberal views.

But he now appears to have been outplayed and has been forced to retire by his long term rival Jiang Zemin.

Li Ruihuan was born in 1934 to a peasant family in the northern port city of Tianjin.

His first job was as a carpenter for a Beijing construction company and he worked on the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square.

During this time, Mr Li studied part-time at Beijing's Architecture Engineering Institute to overcome his lack of schooling.

He joined the Communist Party in 1969 and was persecuted in the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution.

In 1982, after serving in various construction departments and trade union federations, Mr Li was promoted to mayor and party chief of Tianjin - posts which he held until 1997.

Man of the people

But he has never forgot his roots. As mayor he was famous for holding live TV and radio phone-ins to deal with citizens' queries.

His wife remained a factory worker until her retirement.

He has long been considered as the champion of the common man. On a recent visit to Kiev, Mr Li described improving people's welfare as the "ultimate goal of reform".

Many believe that it was Li's liberal views which led to him being forced into the political wilderness.

He is known to favour relaxing controls on the press and making the Party more accountable

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