Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Zhu Rongji

Zhū Róngjī is a prominent Chinese politician who served as the Mayor and Party chief in Shanghai between 1987 and 1991, before serving as Vice-Premier and then of the People's Republic of China from March 1998 to March 2003.

A tough administrator, his time in office saw the continued double-digit growth of the Chinese economy and China's increased assertiveness in international affairs. Known to be engaged in a testy relationship with President Jiang Zemin, under whom he served, Zhu provided a novel pragmatism and hard work ethic in the government and party leadership increasingly infested by corruption, and as a result gained great popularity with the Chinese public. His opponents, however, charge that Zhu's tough and pragmatic stance on policy was unrealistic and unnecessary, and many of his promises were left unfulfilled. Zhu retired in 2003, and has not been a public figure since. Premier Zhu was also widely known for his tasteful humour.

Purges, "rehabilitation," and Deng Xiaoping

Zhu joined the Communist Party of China in October, 1949. He graduated from the prestigious Tsinghua University in 1951 where he majored in electrical engineering. Afterwards, he worked for the Northeast China Department of Industries as deputy head of its production planning office.

From 1952-1958, he worked in the State Planning Commission as group head and deputy division chief. Having criticized Mao Zedong's "irrational high growth" policies during the Great Leap Forward, Zhu was labeled a "Rightist" in 1958 and sent to work as a teacher at a cadre school. Pardoned in 1962, he worked as an engineer for the National Economy Bureau of the State Planning Commission until 1969.

During the Cultural Revolution, Zhu was purged again, and from 1970 to 1975 he was transferred to work at a "May Seventh Cadre School," a type of farm used for re-education during the Cultural Revolution .

From 1975 to 1979, he served as the deputy chief engineer of a company run by the Pipeline Bureau of the Ministry of Petroleum Industry and as the director of Industrial Economics Institute under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

When Deng Xiaoping started economic reforms in 1978, his politic looked for like-minded economic advisors and sought out Zhu. The CCP formally rehabilitated Zhu on the strength of Zhu's forward-thinking and bold economic ideas. His membership in CCP was restored. Deng once said that Zhu "has his own views, dares to make decisions and knows economics."

Career in Shanghai

Zhu went to work for the State Economic Commission as the division chief of the Bureau of Fuel and Power Industry and as the deputy director of the Comprehensive Bureau from 1979 to 1982. He was appointed as a member of the State Economic Commission in 1982 and as the vice-minister in charge of the commission in 1983, where he held the post until 1987, before being appointed as the mayor of Shanghai.

As the mayor of Shanghai from 1989 to 1991, Zhu won popular respect and acclaim for overseeing the development of Pudong, a Singapore-sized Special Economic Zone wedged between Shanghai proper and the East China Sea, as well the modernization of the city's telecommunications, urban construction, and transport sectors.

Vice Premiership

In 1991, Zhu became the vice-premier of the State Council, transferring to Beijing from Shanghai. Also holding the post of director of the State Council Production Office, Zhu focused on industry, agriculture and finance, launching the drive to disentangle the "debt chains" of state enterprises. For the sake of the peasantry, he took the lead in eliminating the use of credit notes in state grain purchasing.

Between 1993 and 1995, Zhu served as a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee while retaining his posts as the vice-premier of the State Council and as the governor of the People's Bank of China. From 1995 to 1998, he retained the positions of Standing Committee member and vice-premier.

Concurrently serving as governor of the Central Bank, Zhu tackled the problems of an excessive money supply, rising prices, and a chaotic financial market stemming, in large measure, from runaway investments in fixed assets. After four years of successful macro-economic controls with curbing inflation as the primary task, an overheated Chinese economy cooled down to a "soft landing". With these achievements, Zhu, acknowledged as an able economic administrator, became premier of the State Council.


Zhu has a reputation for being a strong, strict administrator, intolerant of flunkeyism, nepotism, and a dilatory style of work. For his hard work ethic and general truthful and transparent attitude, he is generally considered one of the most popular Communist officials in mainland China..

With support from Jiang Zemin and Li Peng, then president and premier respectively, Zhu enacted tough macroeconomic control measures. Favoring healthy, sustainable development, Zhu expunged low-tech, duplicated projects and sectors that would result in "a bubble economy" and projects in transport, energy and agricultural sectors, averting violent market fluctuations. He focused on strengthening agriculture, still the economic base of the developing country and on continuing a moderately tight monetary policy.

President Jiang Zemin nominated Zhu for the position of the Premier of the State Council at the Ninth National People's Congress , who confirmed the nomination on 17 March 1998 at the NPC First Session. Zhu was re-elected as a member of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, China's ''de facto'' central decision-making group, at the 15th CPC Central Committee in September 1997.

The 1990's were a difficult time for economic management, as unemployment soared in the cities, and the bureaucracy became increasingly tainted with corruption scandals. Zhu kept things on track in the difficult years of the late 1990s, so that China averaged growth of 9.7% a year over the two decades to 2000. Against the backdrop of the Asian financial crisis mainland China's still grew by 7.9% in the first nine months of 2002, beating the government's 7% target despite a global economic slowdown. This was achieved, partly, through active state intervention to stimulate demand through wage increases in the public sector, among other measures. China was one of the few economies in Asia that survived the crisis.

While foreign direct investment worldwide halved in 2000, the flow of capital into mainland China rose by 10%. As global firms scrambled to avoid missing the China boom, FDI in China rose by 22.6% in 2002. While global trade stagnated, growing by one percent in 2002, mainland China's trade soared by 18% in the first nine months of 2002, with exports outstripping imports.

Despite the glowing growth statistics, Zhu tackled deep-seated structural problems: uneven development; inefficient state firms and a banking system mired in bad loans. Observers think there are few substantial disagreements over economic policy in the CPC; tensions focus on the pace of change. Zhu's economic philosophies had often triumphed over that of his colleagues, but it nevertheless resulted in a testy relationship with then-President Jiang Zemin.

The PRC leadership struggled to modernize State-owned enterprises without inducing massive urban unemployment. As millions lost their jobs as state firms close, Zhu demanded financial safety nets for unemployed workers, an important aim in a country of 1.3 billion. China needs 100 million new urban jobs in the next five years to absorb laid off workers and rural migrants; so far they have been achieving this aim due to high per capita growth. Under the auspices of Zhu and Wen Jiabao , the state tried to alleviate unemployment while promoting efficiency, by pumping tax revenues into the economy and maintaining consumer demand. Zhu has won acclaim domestically and internationally for steering the People's Republic of into the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Critics have charges that there is an oversupply of manufactured goods, driving down prices and profits while increasing the level of bad debt in the banking system. But so far demand for Chinese goods, domestically and abroad, is high enough to put those concerns to rest in the time being. Consumer spending is growing, boosted, in large part, due to longer workers' holidays.

Zhu's right-hand man, Vice Premier Wen Jiabao, oversaw regulations for the stock market and campaigned to develop poorer inland provinces to stem migration and regional resentment. Zhu and Wen set tax limits for peasants to protect them from high levies by corrupt officials.
Well-respected by ordinary Chinese citizens, Zhu also holds the respect of Western political and business leaders, who found him reassuring and credit him with clinching China's market-opening World Trade Organisation deal, which has brought foreign capital pouring into the country.

Zhu remained as Premier until the National People's Congress met in March 2003, when it approved his struggle to clinch trusted deputy Wen Jiabao as his successor. Wen was the only Zhu ally to appear on the 9-person Politburo Standing Committee. Like his fourth-generation colleague Hu Jintao, Wen's personal opinions are difficult to discern since he sticks very closely to his script. Unlike the frank, strong-willed Zhu, Wen, who has earned a reputation for being an equally competent manager, is known for his suppleness and discretion.

During the in Taiwan, Zhu gave the warning "there will be no good ending for those involved in Taiwan independence". In his farewell speech to the National People's Congress, Zhu unintentionally referred to China and Taiwan as two "countries" before quickly correcting himself. His stance on Taiwan during his time in office was always with the Party line.


Zhu has a good command of . He is rarely seen speaking from a script. In his free time, Zhu enjoys the Peking Opera. According to some reports, Zhu is a descendent of Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming Dynasty . His wife, Lao An, was once vice-chairman of the board of directors of China International Engineering and Consulting. She and Zhu were in the same schools twice, first the Hunan First Provincial Middle School and then Tsinghua University. They have a son and a daughter.

Zhu is known for his technical intellect. In 1997 at a state banquet in Australia, Zhu left for the bathroom, and was gone quite a while. Concerned security staff finally went off to find him. He was in the bathroom, studying the water-saving dual-flush system which he had just disassembled. As a hydrologist, Zhu grasped the impact such water savings, multiplied by China's huge population, could have on China's infrastructure.


Zhu Rongji was noticeably more popular than his predecessor, Li Peng, and some analysts point out that Zhu's tough administrative style in the Premier's office bore a certain resemblance to Premier Zhou Enlai. Zhu, a competent manager and a skilled politician, ran into various roadblocks during his tenure because of the attitude of President Jiang Zemin and the Chinese political system in general, which has seemed to historically favour talkers instead of doers. Critics charge that Zhu made too many "big promises" that are unable to be achieved during his term in office. In dealing with the Falun Gong situation, Premier Zhu received international attention for being the first Chinese communist leader to deal with an issue of public outcry through the methods of dialogue.

Zhou Fohai

Zhou Fohai , Chinese politician, and second in command of Wang Jingwei's collaborationist Nanjing Nationalist Government Executive Yuan.

Born in Hunan Province in 1897, Zhou chose a political career after studying in Japan. He attended the first conference of Communist Party of China in July 1921 but quit the Party in 1924 to join the Kuomintang and his political career began while he was assigned to the publicity department of the central government. In 1938, as the Second Sino-Japanese War was going badly, he became a close collaborator of Wang Jingwei.

Zhou followed Wang when he formed the puppet Nanjing Nationalist Government in Japanese occupied China. Zhou control in the regime extended to finance, treasury, foreign affairs and part of the army. He was also police minister, treasurer and mayor of Shanghai.

After the invading Japanese were defeated in 1945, Zhou was captured and taken to Chongqing where he remained in custody for nearly a year. He was then sent to Nanjing in Jiangsu Province where he stood trial for his wartime role. He was sentenced to death but this was commuted to life imprisonment by Chiang Kai-shek, after his wife had interceded for him. He suffered from heart and stomach problems while in prison and died on February 28, 1948, aged 52.

Yuan Meng

Yuan Meng is a female professional tennis player. She is China's fifth-highest ranked women's singles player and has won four singles titles and one ITF doubles title.



Yuan began competing on the ITF circuit at age fifteen in May 2001, but that year lost in the first round of qualifying in all four events she entered, and ended the year still unranked.


In 2002, she won seven matches in qualifying and one in a main draw, and finished the year ranked 984th.


In 2003, she won eleven matches in qualifying and five in main draws, and after reaching the final qualifying round for a $50,000 event at Shenzhen she finished the year world-ranked nearly 300 places higher, at 689th.


In March 2004, she reached the final of a $10,000 grass-court event at Yarrawonga, Australia, only to default to her last opponent. In early June, shortly after her eighteenth birthday, she reached the semi-final of a $25,000 event at Wulanhaote, before losing to more experienced countrywoman Liu Nan-Nan. In December, she reached her first $25,000 tournament final at Port Pirie, before losing a tight three-set championship decider to a little-known Australian. Overall, she had won thirty-two matches in the year, lifting her world ranking to 387, up another 300 places year-on-year.


Yuan's consistent upward progress through the rankings continued in 2005. In February, she reached the semi-final of a $50,000 hard-court tournament at Bendigo, Australia. In March, she finally won her first career ITF singles title at the $10,000 grass-court event in Benalla, also in Australia. She performed solidly in several successive $25,000 tournaments over the Spring, reaching the semi-final at Campobasso, Italy in May with an impressive win over emerging star Jarmila Gajdosova , and defeating Gajdosova in three once more, as well as the equally promising youngster Kaia Kanepi of Estonia, and the experienced Australian Christina Wheeler, in reaching the final at Grado in June. In August, she nearly qualified for the $50,000 Bronx tournament after a fine three-set victory over Tatiana Poutchek, but lost in the deciding set in an extremely close qualifying-round match against Angelika Bachmann.

In September, Yuan won her second career singles title and first $50,000 title at Beijing, defeating the highly competent Top-150 player Vilmarie Castellvi 4–6 6–4 6–4 in the final. Then she finally qualified for her first event at Guangzhou, but lost in the first round to Arantxa Parra-Santonja of Spain. In October, as a direct entrant to the WTA tournament at Bangkok, she impressed in defeating Aiko Nakamura and Sania Mirza , to win her first ever main-draw matches at a WTA event in reaching the quarter-final, where she took Gisela Dulko to three sets. Two further semi-final performances at $25,000 ITF contests rounded off the Chinese teenager's best year to date, which saw her ascend another 234 places in the world rankings to 153rd, well within contention for qualifying for more WTA tournaments in the new year.


2006 began well with the much-improved Chinese rising star qualifying for with wins over Cara Black, Kaia Kanepi and Casey Dellacqua. But Top 20 player Francesca Schiavone was a challenge too far in the main draw first round, defeating Yuan for the loss of just five games. Not one for being easily discouraged, she proceeded to come through qualifying for her fourth WTA Tour main draw and her first at level, the , with straight-sets wins over Yulia Beygelzimer of Ukraine, Elena Baltacha of Great Britain and Bethanie Mattek of the United States. In the main draw, she defeated Melinda Czink 6–4 6–2, then faced the World No. 2 Kim Clijsters, and took six games from her; but the result in the Belgian's favour was virtually a foregone conclusion. Still, these performances had lifted her dramatically to 108th in the world in just one month.

After a couple of disappointing qualifying losses in early February, to Vania King at Tokyo and Akgul Amanmuradova at Pattaya, Yuan next broke through in , defeating Christina Wheeler once more to gain the main draw, where she battled past talented Uzbekistan player Varvara Lepchenko in three sets before succumbing to the solid Jill Craybas in Round Two. This performance was enough to restore her to a level-best World No. 108 as February came to a close.

Then at Indian Wells in March, she came through qualifying with impressive wins over Angela Haynes and Varvara Lepchenko, then advanced to Round Three of the main draw with straight-sets wins over Akiko Morigami and Catalina Castano. Even if she does not win her third-round tie, the estimated 39 ranking points accrued from her performance so far will give her a very strong chance of edging just inside the World Top 100 for the first time in her career in the week following the tournament.


Yuan won her first 2007 main draw match at Indian Wells, where she qualified and beat Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano in 3 sets. She then lost in two tight sets to Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama. Two weeks later, she won a 25K ITF tournament in Hammond, Louisiana.

While Yuan struggled during the clay and grass season, she won a few main draw matches in the hardcourt season. She defeated Casey Dellacqua of Australia in Cincinnati, eighth-seeded Russian Yaroslava Shvedova in Bali, Marina Erakovic of New Zealand in Seoul, and fourth-seeded Japanese Ai Sugiyama in Tokyo. This win over 37th-ranked Sugiyama was Yuan's best win of the season.


In July, Yuan won three matches to reach the quarterfinals of the East West Bank Classic in , California where she lost to wildcard Bethanie Mattek of the USA, 6–2, 7–5. As a result, her world singles ranking jumped 24 places, from number 122 to 98. Later that month, as a qualifier at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, she had to quit in the first round against ninth seed Patty Schnyder because of a left thigh injury, 7–6 , 3–2 .

In August, Yuan was the number one seed in the women's singles qualifying tournament, but she lost in the qualifying first round to unseeded Hana Sromova of the Czech Republic, 6–3, 6–2.

Yang Kaihui

Yáng Kāihuì was the second wife of Mao Zedong from 1920 to 1930.

She was born in Bancang village, Changsha, Hunan, the daughter of Yang Changji, head of the Hunan First Normal School and one of Mao's favorite teachers. She joined the Communist Party of China in 1921. In October 1930, the Kuomintang captured her along with her son, Mao Anying. The KMT put them in prison. Anying, then 8, was forced to watch as the KMT tortured and killed her.


Yang Kaihui was Chairman Mao's second wife. Their marriage produced three sons. The youngest was lost during war. The second, Mao Anqing, long afflicted with mental illness, passed away in 2007, leaving behind a single son who in turn had a single son, born in the 1922s. Her eldest son, Mao Anying, was killed in a bombing raid during the Korean War, leaving no offspring.

In the 1950s, many years after Yang's death, Chairman Mao wrote a poem to commemorate her; it is among his most famous poems, and many Chinese can still recite it. In China, Yang is still remembered as a great heroine and martyr.

Xie Juezai

Xie Juezai was a Chinese politician and the President of the Supreme People's Court of China.


Xie Juezai was born in Ningxiang, Hunan. He was the from 1949 to 1959, and the President of the Supreme People's Court from 1959 to 1965 and Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference from 1964 to 1971.

Xiang Zhejun

Xiang Zhejun , native of Ningxiang county in Hunan province. jurist and prosecutor at International Military Tribunal for the Far East.

Education and Early Career

After graduating from Tsinghua in 1917, Xiang went to the United States for further studies and enrolled at Yale University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American and English Literature. He later transferred to the George Washington University Law School, where he studied international law and obtained his . After his return to China in 1925, Xiang Zhejun taught law at a number of schools, including Peking University and Beijing Jiaotong University. After the establishment of the Nationalist Government in 1927, Xiang held a number of positions in several government bureaus, including the ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs.

Tokyo Trial

In January 1946, Xiang was appointed the prosecutor for the Republic of China in the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, in preparation for which he vigorously collected oral and material evidence. Instead of prosecuting Japanese war crimes dating from the outbreak of hostilities in July 1937, Xiang also managed to persuade the court to prosecute Japanese wars crimes dating back to the Huanggutun Incident in 1928, when the Kanto Army assassinated Zhang Zuolin. During the trial, Xiang Zhejun become known for confronting defendants such as Iwane Matsui, and with evidence establishing their guilt of war crimes. Among other things Xiang established the guilt of Iwane, who was confronted with evidence of the atrocities, including Harold John Timperley's reports in the Manchester Guardian.

However, following the political directives of Chiang Kai-shek, Xiang did not investigate crimes committed by the Imperial Japanese Army in Communist based areas such as the "Three Alls Policy". Thus, military like Yasuji Okamura were not prosecuted before the Tokyo tribunal. He also let down evidence about the use of chemical weapons authorized by the Imperial General Headquarters.

Later life

After his return to China, Xiang Zhejun refused Chiang Kai-shek's inivtation to serve as a prosecutor in the Supreme Court, but chose to teach at instead. He remained on the mainland after the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Even though Xiang had already retired when the Cultural Revolution erupted in 1965, he became a target for political persecution. He died in Shanghai in 1987 at the age of 91.

Wei Yuan

Wei Yuan , born Wei Yuanda , courtesy names Moshen and Hanshi , was a scholar from . He moved to Yangzhou in 1831, where he remained for the rest of his life. Wei obtained the provincial degree in the Imperial examinations and subsequently worked in the secretariat of several prominent statesmen, such as Lin Zexu. Wei was deeply concerned with the crisis facing China in the early 19th century; but, while he remained loyal to the Qing Dynasty, he also sketched a number of proposals for the improvement of the administration of the empire.

From an early age, Wei espoused the school of Confucianism and he also became a vocal member of the statecraft school, which advocated practial learning in opposition to the allegedly barren as represented by scholars like Dai Zhen. Among other things, Wei advocated sea transport of grain to the capital instead of using the and he also advocated a strengthening of the Qing Empire's frontier defense. In order to alleviate the demographic crisis in China proper, Wei also spoke in favor of large scale emigration of Han Chinese into Xinjiang.

Later in his career he became increasingly concerned with the threat from the s and maritime defense. ''Military history of the Qing Dynasty'' and a narrative work on the Opium War . Today, he is mostly known for his work from 1844, ''Illustrated Treatise on the Maritime Kingdoms'' , which consisted of Western material collected by Lin Zexu during and after the First Opium War.