BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX   SEARCH 

Front Page | In Depth | World | Asia-Pacific  | China's Party Congress  
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




Zhu Rongji
Premier

The legacy of Zhu Rongji, China’s outgoing premier, will undoubtedly be his contribution to economic development.

He took over the economics portfolio in 1993, and his commitment to reform, along with his charisma and straight-talking style, made him the darling of the West’s business community.

He had a reputation for getting things done. Among his accomplishments were cooling down an overheating economy, dismantling some of the country’s ailing state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and navigating China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation.

Mr Zhu’s determination may have stemmed from his experiences as a victim of Maoist political purges in the 1950s and 60s.

Born in 1928 in Changshan, Hunan province, early promise saw him given a job in the state planning commission fresh from the prestigious Qinghua university, where he studied electrical engineering.

'Rude and arrogant'

Yet his pragmatic and forthright approach also earned him two separate spells of “re-education” in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution.

He bounced back in the 1980s, rising rapidly through a string of economic posts until by 1989 he had become mayor of Shanghai.

During his tenure as mayor, he won popular respect for the construction in the city of a special economic zone, Pudong, as well as the development of the city’s telecoms, construction and transport sectors.

His economic achievements eventually led to his appointment as state premier in 1997.

However, his time in office was not without blemish. Some observers noted the tension between Mr Zhu’s commitment to markets and his propensity for authoritarian government.

Although Mr Zhu was at the forefront of the break-up of SOEs he was slow to clarify Beijing’s position on privatisation, and was wary of giving companies the freedom to list on China’s stock market.

His sense of good governance also made him a keen opponent of official corruption. This made him popular among Chinese weary of the privileged lives and dealings of officials.

Mr Zhu’s direct personality had a flip-side, though. He was often criticised for being rude and arrogant, and dismissive of subordinates.

But analysts said his self-confidence perversely also enabled Mr Zhu to give his unquestioning support to his designated successors, because he did not felt threatened.

© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy Search Help | Feedback