China’s reserve of talented leaders: Wang Qishan

Wang Qishan

In my post yesterday, I quoted Deng Yuwen’s article on the serious problems China faces including “stagnant economic restructuring, pollution, income disparity, the notoriously outdated family planning and household registration polices, a looming energy crisis, moral degradation and the country’s battered international image.”

China is unfortunately not a strong democracy like the US with fine-quality people and civil servants that are able to maintain their country’s status as a superpower when it has mediocre presidents such as George W. Bush Jr. and Barack Hussein Obama. Just as I said in the preface of my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achiemvements”, “In China’s 4,000 years of history, China was prosperous and powerful when it was ruled by talented intellectuals with moral integrity but it was weak and poor when its leaders and officials were mediocre or stupid, or corrupted though talented.”

Now just like in the past, Chins has a pressing need for talented leaders to overcome the above-mentioned seemingly insurmountable problems. Are there talented people qualified to be such leaders? Will they be selected as leaders?

SCMP’s Cary Huang reports from Beijing today that Wang Qishan is China’s economic reformer in waiting.

Huang says: “Like his mentor Zhu Rongji, Wang Qishan is known as a problem solver. Many say his next task is prying the economy further open.

“Symbolism can matter a great deal in politics, and Vice-Premier Wang Qishan’s similarities to his political mentor, Zhu Rongji, have helped boost his popularity among party officials and ordinary citizens.

“With similar personalities, working styles and political careers, Wang and former premier Zhu, a respected reformist, have even shared many nicknames, including problem solver, fire-brigade captain, crisis manager and troubleshooter.

“Both have been described as straight-talking, dynamic and decisive, rare traits in Chinese officialdom, where talking the talk while doing nothing is the safest path to promotion.

“Wang, who is responsible for overseeing the financial sector and foreign trade, and who has built up quite a reputation in recent years as the point man for China’s economic integration with the global economy, was once seen as Vice-Premier Li Keqiang‘s closest rival in the race to become the next premier.

“With Li, President Hu Jintao‘s protégé, set to take over from Wen Jiabao as premier next year, party insiders say Wang is most likely to be appointed executive vice-premier in charge of finance, trade, overall macroeconomic policy and reform. Speculation had also been rife lately that Wang was to become the top legislator, as he made a rare appearance last week at a Standing Committee session of the National People’s Congress.

“Although his future portfolio has seemingly not yet been finalised, Wang is almost certain to be promoted to the party’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee, at this autumn’s congress. Analysts say that whatever portfolio Wang is given, he will bring to it decades of experience in economics and banking and a long record of successful troubleshooting.

“Many nostalgic officials and economists think he is the best candidate to become the mainland’s next economic tsar, another role formerly filled by Zhu.”

I will mention other candidates for talented leaders in my next posts.

Read the full SCMP report

Categories: Politics & Law

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

2 replies


  1. China’s reserve of talented leaders: Wang Yang « China Daily Mail
  2. China’s reserve of talented leaders: Hu Chunhua « China Daily Mail

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