66 Facts About Zhu Rongji


Zhu Rongji is a retired Chinese politician who served as the premier of China from 1998 to 2003 and CCP Politburo Standing Committee member from 1992 to 2002 along with the Chinese Communist Party's general secretary Jiang Zemin.


Zhu Rongji served as mayor of Shanghai from 1988 to 1991 and Communist Party secretary of Shanghai from 1989 to 1991.


Zhu Rongji served alongside CCP leader Jiang Zemin and had a testy relationship with Jiang.


Zhu Rongji had a reputation as a tough but pragmatic administrator.


Zhu Rongji was much more popular than his predecessor Li Peng among the Chinese public.


However, Zhu Rongji's opponents stipulate that his tough and pragmatic stance on policy was unrealistic and unnecessary, and many of his promises were left unfulfilled.


Zhu Rongji retired in 2003 and has not been a public figure since.


Zhu Rongji was born in Changsha, Hunan, to a family of intellectuals and wealthy landowners.


Zhu Rongji's father died before he was born, and his mother died when he was nine.


Zhu Rongji was educated locally, and after graduation from high school he attended the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing.


Zhu Rongji graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, the same year that the Communists captured Beijing, ended the Chinese Civil War, and declared the beginning of the People's Republic of China.


Zhu Rongji then began his career as a civil servant in the Northeast China Ministry of Industries, where he was appointed the deputy head of its production planning office.


Zhu Rongji's comments led to him being subsequently identified as a "rightist" in 1958, for which he was persecuted, demoted, disgraced, and thrown out of the Communist Party.


In 1962, following the famine and industrial collapse caused by the Great Leap Forward, Zhu Rongji was pardoned, and assigned to work as an engineer at the National Economic Bureau of the State Planning Commission.


Zhu Rongji had few connections in the army, the Party, or the bureaucracy, and was able to rise through the ranks of the government mostly through his own skills.


Zhu Rongji held his position as dean at Tsinghua for 17 years, throughout most of his subsequent public career.


In 1987, Zhu Rongji was promoted to work as the mayor of Shanghai, which was then China's largest, most industrially developed, and wealthiest city.


Zhu Rongji became known while administering Shanghai for his strict adherence to law and Party discipline, and for his refusal to grant extrajudicial favours to those close to him.


Unlike the government's violent crackdown of protesters in Beijing, Zhu Rongji was able to peacefully resolve the local situation.


At one point a group of protesters derailed and burnt a train, for which several participants were arrested and executed, but there was otherwise little loss of life, and Zhu Rongji was able to retain significant public sympathy throughout the event.


Zhu Rongji was promoted to work as the Communist Party secretary of Shanghai in 1989.


Zhu Rongji assisted Deng in regaining his prestige and authority by assisting Deng in organizing his 1992 Southern Inspection Tour.


In 1990, Zhu Rongji led a delegation of Chinese mayors to meet with local and national political and business leaders from the United States, attempting to maintain and improve political and business relationships which had been threatened following the suppression of the 1989 protests.


Some officials Zhu Rongji met on the visit included Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, Bob Dole, and Nancy Pelosi.


In 1991, largely due to his success in managing the development of Shanghai, Zhu Rongji was promoted into the central government in Beijing, where he focused on planning and resolving economic projects and issues as the vice-premier of the State Council under Premier Li Peng and the director of the State Council Production Office.


Zhu Rongji served concurrent terms as the governor of the central bank, overseeing monetary policy.


Zhu Rongji attempted to reform the state banking sector by introducing greater oversight to discourage reckless lending, introducing "asset management companies" to manage the many large, non-performing loans that many of China's banks had accumulated, and privatizing large banks in order to expose them to free market competition.


That Zhu Rongji's reforms had quickly gained wide support within the central government was made clear at Li's confirmation process during the Party's 1992 convention: although Li's appointment was already agreed upon by China's top leadership, Zhu Rongji received a relatively large and unusual protest vote by many of the Party delegates.


Zhu Rongji once used the term "patriotic organizations" in a speech in the mid-1990s to describe the triads, citing their history as secret societies in resisting foreign invaders and playing a key role in Chinese history.


Zhu Rongji quarantined these bad loans in newly created "asset-management companies", and recapitalized the banks through government bonds in a restructuring strategy.


Zhu Rongji challenged managers to base salaries on performance and market competitiveness and made profitability and productivity determining factors in managerial and executive promotions within surviving SOEs.


All these economic reform efforts by Zhu Rongji did not dismantle the state sector, but streamlined it with the goal of accomplishing Deng's new form of marketized socialism.


Zhu Rongji claimed that China had upheld the one country, two systems principle and preserved a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong and compared Taiwan to Hong Kong, noting that China allows Taiwan to retain its own army, and was prepared to let the leader of Taiwan become the deputy leader of China in the event of unification.


Three years later, in his farewell speech to the National People's Congress in 2003, Zhu Rongji encouraged Chinese politicians to use softer language in discussing the issue of Mainland China-Taiwan relations, saying that Mainland China and Taiwan should improve economic, transportation, and cultural ties in order to improve their relationship.


Zhu Rongji was chosen to become China's fifth premier in March 1998, largely due to his success in managing large macroeconomic projects.


Zhu Rongji generally favoured stable, sustainable development supported by robust macroeconomic control measures and a tight monetary policy.


Zhu Rongji continued to promote investment in China's industrial and agricultural sectors.


Zhu Rongji responded to the 1997 Asian financial crisis by dramatically reducing the size of the state bureaucracy, maintaining strict capital controls, and through funding massive infrastructure projects.


Zhu Rongji was successful in reducing the size of the official bureaucracy by half by the end of his term in 2003, though the bureaucracies in districts far from the capital continued to expand, leading to increased tension between some local governments and the farmers whose income supports them.


Zhu Rongji introduced limited reforms in China's housing system, allowing residents to own their own apartments for the first time at subsidized rates.


Zhu Rongji earned a reputation as a strong, strict administrator, intolerant of corruption, nepotism, or incompetence.


Zhu Rongji attempted to modernize the bureaucracy's seniority system and improve the government's ability to attract and retain talented workers by opening senior- and mid-level positions to public selection, and by reforming the civil service's examination system.


Zhu Rongji made a strong effort to attract and promote economists and technocrats from academia and the private sector to work under him as advisors in the central government, and was successful in attracting a small core of several dozen such officials to work under and advise him.


Zhu Rongji made frequent official visits outside Beijing to inspect working conditions, especially in the south.


Zhu Rongji attempted to introduce stricter, more formal oversight to keep provincial leaders from receiving kickbacks from businessmen and embezzling state funds.


In one inspection tour in 2001, Zhu Rongji uncovered the largest corruption ring in modern Chinese history, discovering that many of the highest-ranking officials in Fujian had conspired to operate a massive smuggling ring.


Zhu Rongji took the lead in negotiating China's entry into the World Trade Organization, which the country achieved in 2001 to domestic and international acclaim.


Zhu Rongji expected that China's entry into the WTO would lead to economic expansion, but hoped that entering the WTO would force economic and legal changes within China that Zhu Rongji himself had little power to implement.


Zhu Rongji retired from his position as member of CCP Politburo Standing Committee in November 2002 and premier in March 2003 respectively, when he was replaced by Wen Jiabao.


Zhu Rongji has been recognized as a good public speaker and was notable during his career for his proficient command of English.


Zhu Rongji often made public speeches without the aid of a script, and when he did so his speeches were said to be entertaining and dramatic.


Zhu Rongji enjoys literature, and has reportedly spent much of his retirement reading books he had no time to read while in office.


Zhu Rongji plays the erhu, an instrument similar to a two-stringed violin.


Zhu Rongji enjoys Peking Opera, and once appeared on stage as an actor in a performance.


Zhu Rongji was once the president and chief executive officer of one of China's most successful investment banks, China International Capital Corp.


Zhu Rongji is currently the assistant chief executive for the Bank of China, and holds a seat in the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.


Some of Zhu Rongji's reforms were reversed under the leadership of Hu Jintao, and other reforms he hoped would be addressed by the incoming administration were not implemented.


Zhu Rongji appeared at the funeral of Huang Ju on June 5,2007.


Since he left office, Zhu Rongji has written and has been the subject of numerous books.


Zhu's first book, Zhu Rongji Meets the Press, a collection of speeches and interviews with foreign and Chinese journalists and officials, was released in 2009.


One Western biography of Zhu Rongji encouraged leaders in other developing countries to study and emulate his reforms, and compared his influence on practical economic theory to that of Keynes.


Zhu Rongji was well known for his efforts to fight official corruption, but was not able to contain official corruption in his term.


Zhu Rongji publicly supported CCP general secretary Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign in which Wang played a major role.


Zhu Rongji did not appear in the 100 anniversary of the CCP on July 1,2021.


Zhu Rongji celebrated his 92nd birthday on October 23,2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In March 2022, according to a report published by The Wall Street Journal, Zhu Rongji voiced his opposition to current CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping seeking an unprecedented third consecutive term, as it would break the established party system of leadership succession.