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Another Two Towards Seven
Next on my list is Wang Qishan, born in Qingdao, in Shandong province, up in the north east of China, facing Korea across the Yellow Sea, though, like Xi Jinping, his family hail from Shanxi. A historian by training, he was Governor of the China Construction Bank from 1994 to 1997, but is best known for being the Mayor of Beijing from 2004 onward. Now, as far as the USA is concerned, Wang Qishan is one of the most important of the Seven, because its Wang Qishan who was appointed as special representative to chair the Economic Track of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue – from the Chinese side, of course.
I love what the US Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson, said of Wang –
“(He is) decisive and inquisitive… an avid historian, enjoys philosophical debates and has a wicked sense of humour.”
Yes, well that’s precisely the kind of man we need to be talking to. A regular Jiang Lei.
It’s also said that he managed the largest bankruptcy restructuring in China’s history back in 1998, thereby preventing a banking crisis that could have crippled the country’s growth. Yes, and therefore ours too.
I like the look of Wang Qishan. If you’ve time, google his images. Unlike the rest of the Seven he’s always got a smile on his face. Let’s hope he remains in office until 2022!
Moving on, let’s have a look at another Zhang. This time Zhang Gaoli. Born in Fujian in November 1946, Zhang Gaoli looks a lot younger than his years. An economist by training and profession, he worked for several years in the oil industry. He was a party official in Guangdong in the 1990s, then was one of the team that set up the special economic zone of Shenzen, bordering onto Hong Kong, in the late 90s, his work there impressing China’s then Premier, Jiang Zemin. He was also in charge of the economic development of Shandong and it’s for his exceptional ability in this regard that he’s been pushed to become one of the Standing Committee, though not a great deal is known about his personal or political views. His most recent job, however, was as Party chief in Tianjin, a large and wealthy city to the east of the capital.
David Wingrove 24th October 2012