|6th Premier of the People's Republic of China|
|Preceded by||Zhu Rongji|
|އުފަން ތާރީހް||September of 1942 (age 64)
|Political party||Communist Party of China|
He serves as a member of its Leading Party Members' Group and Secretary of the Financial Work Committee of the CPC Central Committee. Since taking office in 2003, Wen, ranked third in the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China hierarchy, has been a key part of the fourth generation of leadership in the Communist Party of China. Wen is generally popular with the Chinese people, and his modesty and more approachable personality are held to contrast with the bold and serious Hu Jintao.
Rise to power[edit source]
A native of Tianjin, Wen Jiabao went to the famous Nankai High School from which the ex-premier Zhou Enlai graduated. He joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in April 1965 and began working in September 1967.
A postgraduate and engineer, Wen graduated from the specialty of geological structure of Beijing Institute of Geology. Having studied geomechanics in Beijing, he began his career in the Gansu geology bureau; from 1968-1978, he presided over the Geomechanics Survey Team under the Gansu Provincial Geological Bureau and head of its political section. Rising as chief of the Gansu Provincial Geological Bureau and later as minister for the natural resources sector of the economy, Wen would rise through the ranks of the Politburo Central Committee in the 1980s and 1990s. Wen's move from Gansu to Beijing occurred while the party, then under the leadership of General Secretary Hu Yaobang, was conducting a talent search; Wen was quickly promoted to serve as the deputy in the Party's Central Office. He remained in the post for eight years.
Wen Jiabao is the only Standing Committee member to have served under three party secretaries: Hu Yaobang, Zhao Ziyang, and Jiang Zemin. A political survivor, his most significant recovery was after 1989, when Wen was the head assistant to General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. He accompanied then-Party Secretary Zhao Ziyang to Tiananmen Square. Zhao was purged from the party days later for "grave insubordination" and lived under house arrest in Beijing until his death in January 2005. Unlike his mentor, Wen was able to politically survive the aftermath of the demonstrations.
During a political career dating back to 1965, Wen has built a network of patrons. During that time Wen, a strong administrator and technocrat, has earned a reputation for meticulousness, competence, and a focus on tangible results. Outgoing Premier Zhu Rongji showed his esteem for Wen by entrusting him, from 1998, with the task of overseeing agricultural, financial and environmental policies, considered crucial as China prepared to enter the World Trade Organization.
Wen has been the third-ranking member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest ruling council, since November 2002. During the transition of power as Hu Jintao assumed the presidency in March 2003, Wen Jiabao's nomination as premier was confirmed by the National People's Congress with over 99% of the delegates' vote. As premier, Wen has overseen China's economic reforms and has been involved in shifting national goals from economic growth at all costs to growth which also emphasizes more egalitarian wealth, along with other social goals, such as public health and education. In addition, the Chinese government under Wen has begun to focus on the social costs of economic development, which include damage to the environment and to workers' health. This more comprehensive definition of development has been encapsulated into the idea of a xiaokang society.
Wen's broad range of experience and expertise, especially cultivated while presiding over agricultural policies under Zhu Rongji has been important as the "fourth generation" seeks to revitalize the rural economy in regions left out by the past two decades of reform.
Initially regarded as quiet and unassuming, he is said to be a good communicator and is known as a "man of the people." Wen has appeared to make great efforts to reach out those who seem left out by two decades of stunning economic growth in rural and especially western China. Unlike Jiang Zemin and his protégés on the Politburo Standing Committee, who form the so-called "Shanghai clique", both Wen and Hu hail from, and have cultivated their political bases in, the vast Chinese interior. Many have noted the contrasts between Wen and Hu, "men of the people" and Jiang Zemin, the flamboyant, multilingual, and urbane former mayor of the country's most cosmopolitan city. Jiang, unlike the more reserved Hu and Wen, is known to quote maxims from Chinese and Western philosophy and recite poetry in many languages.
Like President Hu Jintao, whose purported brilliance and photographic memory have facilitated his meteoric rise to power, Wen is regarded as well-equipped to preside over a vast bureaucracy in the world's most populated and perhaps rapidly changing nation. In March 2003, the usually self-effacing Wen was quoted as saying, "The former Swiss ambassador to China once said that my brain is like a computer", he said. "Indeed, many statistics are stored in my brain."
Mild-tempered and conciliatory, especially compared to his predecessor, the tough, straight-talking Zhu Rongji, his consensual management style has enabled him to generate a great deal of good will and little hostility in Beijing. Although noticeably, Wen has been widely known to have been in conflict with then-Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu, who disagreed with the central government's policies.
Wen has been involved in a two major episodes involving public health. In early 2003, he was involved in ending the official inaction over the SARS crisis. In November 2003, he became the first major Chinese official to publicly address the problem of AIDS, which has devastated parts of the provinces of Yunnan and Henan and threatens to be a major burden on Chinese development. Since May 2004, Wen made various visits to communities devastated by AIDS, trips shown prominently on national media. By showing these actions, Wen appeared to be attempting to reverse years of actions which many activists have seen as a policies of denial and inaction. Furthermore, Wen is concerned about the health and safety of previous drug addicts; since March 2004, Wen had visited several drug addict treatment facilities in southern China and addressed the issue to the patients in person.
Wen's many visits to relatively poor areas of China's countryside were conducted randomly -- to avoid elaborate preparations to appease officials and hide the real situation, which is done often in China. At committee meetings of the State Council, Wen made it clear that the rural wealth problem must be addressed. Along with President Hu Jintao, the "Three Rural Issues" of agriculture, rural areas, and farmers were highlighted as areas that need work and development. The Hu-Wen administration abolished the thousand-year-old agricultural tax entirely in 2005, a bold move that significantly changed the rural economic model. Like his predecessor, Zhu Rongji, Wen is generally seen as a popular communist official with the Chinese public. His attitude is seemingly sincere and warm, triggering comparisons with former premier Zhou Enlai. Wen spent Chinese New Year in 2005 with a group of coal miners in a Shanxi coal mine. To many, Wen's image is the "people's premier", a populist, and an ordinary Chinese citizen who knows and understands ordinary people's needs. In an annual meeting of the Chinese Authors Association, Wen spoke for over two hours to the delegates without looking at any script. To foreign media, Wen also remains the highest government figure in China to give free press conferences, often facing politically sensitive and difficult questions regarding subjects such as Taiwan Independence, Tibet and human rights.
Wen is also seen by many as an able diplomat. In December 2003, Wen visited the United States of America for the first time. During the trip, Wen was able to get President George W. Bush to issue what many saw as a mild rebuke to the President of the Republic of China, Chen Shui-bian. Wen has also been on visits to Canada and Australia, mostly on economic issues.
On 15 March 2005, after the anti-secession law was passed, by a majority of 2,896 to nil, with two abstentions by the National People's Congress, Wen famously said: "We don't wish for foreign intervention, but we are not afraid of it." as an allusion to the United States' stance on Taiwan. That earned him a long round of applause that was rare even by Chinese standards.
On 5 March 2007, Wen announced plans to increase the military budget. By the end of 2007 the military budget will rise to 17.8 percent compared to last years 45 billion dollars. These actions have created tension with the United States. 
Political views[edit source]
There are significant disputes inside China as well as in the Hong Kong and Taiwan journalistic circles regarding the political views of Wen Jiabao. Because he appears more often than President Hu Jintao in front of the press, Wen's viewpoints, although difficult to gauge in their entirety, are easier to discern than those of President Hu.
On the subject of political reform, Wen is seen as a moderate conservative, although more liberal than the hard-line Hu. He has remarked that "the socialist system will continue in China for the next 100 years", although later in a Press Conference at the 2007 National People's Congress, he vaguely stated that "democracy is one of the basic goals of the socialist system". Wen, a former ally of disgraced Premier Zhao Ziyang, is likely supportive of the latter's political rehabilitation. However, thus far Wen has stuck to script and rarely mentions Zhao.
On the subject of Taiwan, Wen reputedly believes in gradual negotiations as opposed to Hu's slant towards eventual military action. Xinhua has published articles in early 2007 with Wen's name separately attributed in several articles on the direction of national development. This was suspected as a sign that Wen has some differing viewpoints to the official party line.
State Council Administration[edit source]
|Executive Vice Premier (Financial Affairs)||Huang Ju||2003–|
|Vice Premier (Foreign Affairs and Commerce)||Wu Yi||2003–|
|Vice Premier (Economy)||Zeng Peiyan||2002–|
|Vice Premier (Agriculture)||Hui Liangyu||2003–|
|Secretary General||Hua Jianmin||2003–|
|Finance Minister||Jin Renqing||2003–|
|Foreign Minister||Li Zhaoxing||2003–|
|Defence Minister||Cao Gangchuan||2003–|
|Minister of Education||Zhou Ji||2003–|
|Minister of Commerce||Bo Xilai||2004–|
|Health Minister||Gao Qiang||2005–|
|Minister of National Development
and Reform Commission
|Minister of Railways||Liu Zhijun||2003–|
|Minister of Civil Affairs||Li Xueju||2003–|
|Minister of Labour||Tian Chengping||2005–|
the People's Bank of China
Talking about Chinese fast economic growth and social justice and fairness Wen Jiabao said: "The speed of the fleet is not determined by the fastest vessel; rather it is determined by the slowest one."
- BBC: 透视中国：官员的施政个性
- Budget Increase
- China promises socialism for 100 years Richard Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
- Joseph Kahn, China isn't looking to replace U.S., prime minister says, The International Herald Tribune, March 16, 2007
See also[edit source]
- Wen Jiabao biography @ China Vitae, the web's largest online database of China VIPs
- Wen Jiabao Biography and News
- The Age - Who is Wen Jiabao?
- How to pronounce Wen Jiabao
- Wen says China's reforms irreversible
|Premier of the State Council
|Members of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China|
|Hu Jintao | Wu Bangguo | Wen Jiabao | Jia Qinglin |
Zeng Qinghong | Wu Guanzheng | Li Changchun | Luo Gan