Zeng Qinghong

Zeng Qinghong

Infobox President | name=Zeng Qinghong

order=Vice President of the People's Republic of China
term_start=March 15, 2003
term_end=March 15, 2008
predecessor=Hu Jintao
successor=Xi Jinping
birth_place=Ji'an, Jiangxi, China
spouse=Wang Fengqing
party=Communist Party of China

Zeng Qinghong (zh-stpw|s=曾庆红|t=曾慶紅|p=Zēng Qìnghóng|w=Ts'eng Ching-hung) (born July 1939) was the Vice-President of the People's Republic of China from 2003 to 2008. He became a member of the Politburo Standing Committee and member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee during the 2002 16th Party Congress. Although he was formally ranked fifth in the nine PSC members, Zeng's actual power was believed to be second only to President Hu Jintao.Fact|date=October 2007 Since the retirement of his patron Jiang Zemin, Zeng was the primary force behind the party's organization and personnel.

Early life

A Hakka native of Ji'an, Jiangxi Province, Zeng was born in July 1939. He graduated from Beijing 101 Middle School and the Automatic Control Department, Beijing Institute of Technology. Like the eight other members of the 16th Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee, Zeng is an engineer, a specialist in automatic control systems. He joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in April 1960. Zeng belongs to the elite group of China's so-called Communist "Crown Prince Party," the children of veteran revolutionaries.

Zeng spent the early part of his career as a technician in the military defense industry in Beijing. He was sent down to do manual labor on PLA bases in Hunan and Guangdong during the Cultural Revolution. With the opening of the reform era, Zeng joined the State Development and Reform Commission in 1979 and then held a series of management positions in the state petroleum sector.

Climbing the ranks

In 1984, Zeng moved to the Shanghai Municipal Government, where he became a key ally of then-mayor Jiang Zemin. When Jiang was elevated to national leadership in Beijing following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he brought Zeng Qinghong along as his trusted adviser.

As the Deputy director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee from 1989 to 1993, Zeng guided Jiang, an outsider to national politics, through the inner workings of the party, military and bureaucratic structure in Beijing. He promoted Jiang's leadership and thinking, broadened Jiang's network, and became Jiang's right-hand-man. Over the 1990s, Zeng consolidated control of party organs responsible for the appointment of cadres to important political positions. As head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee from 1999-2002, he strengthened Jiang's position by promoting members of the president's "Shanghai clique" to leading central and regional posts. He also helped advanced Jiang's guiding political philosophy the Three Represents.

Over the next decade, he acquired a fearsome reputation as Jiang's hatchet against rivals. In 1992 he helped bring down the powerful, elder PLA Generals Yang Shangkun and Yang Baibing,Fact|date=October 2007 who threatened Jiang's support within the military. Then, he used an anti-corruption campaign to orchestrate the downfall of Beijing party secretary and Jiang's foe Chen Xitong.

On July 20, 1999, The Jiang Zemin regime started cracking down Falun Gong. On July 23, 1999, a person in charge of the CCP Organization Department (the head of the Department Zeng Qinghong or his representative) made a statement to a People's Daily reporter and requested that the entire CCP should participate in the movement of persecuting Falun Gong. In January 2001, Zeng Qinghong spoke in the center group meeting of the CCP Organization Department and emphasized that Communist Party branches and departments at all levels should participate in the long-term combat with “Falun Gong”. On April 20, 2001, Zeng Qinghong spoke in the 4th Chinese Countryside "Three Represents" Important Thought Study and Education Conference and requested suppressing Falun Gong and reeducating Falun Gong practitioners. Zeng Qinghong’s speech was documented as the CCP Organization Department’s “Document No. 11 [2001] Distributed by the CCP Organization Department” and was sent to everywhere in the country for studying.

National politics

After the 16th Party Congress in 2002, he has been a member of the 16th CPC Central Committee, a member of its Political Bureau and of the Politburo Standing Committee, the Party's central decision making body, and a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee.

On 6 June 2003, Zeng issued an order "not to play or sing 'The Internationale' in any provincial, city or county level party or party member meetings." The move further characterized China's movement away from the traditional norms of communist doctrine.

Although Jiang stepped down from the powerful Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China to make way for a younger "fourth generation" of leadership led by Hu Jintao, Jiang will probably continue to wield significant influence with the help of Zeng. Due in large measure to Zeng's efforts, six out of the nine new members of the Standing Committee, including Zeng as well as Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Huang Ju, Wu Guanzheng, and Li Changchun are linked to Jiang's "Shanghai Clique" and considered his protégés. The 22-member Politburo is elected by the Party's central committee. Real power in Communist China lies with this committee, which works as a kind of inner cabinet and groups together the country’s most influential leaders. At the 2002 16th Party Congress, the Standing Committee was expanded to include nine members.

As Jiang Zemin reached the end of his term, many observers speculated that Jiang preferred Zeng Qinghong over Hu Jintao as his successor. But Hu prevailed in succeeding Jiang. Zeng subsequently became Vice-President in March 2003. During the SARS outbreak, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao took very strong and assertive action while Zeng and other Jiang loyalists receded to the background. Zeng was also expected to succeed Hu as Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission as a condition of Jiang's resignation from the chairmanship in favor of Hu. However, when Jiang stepped down on September 19, 2004, Xu Caihou and not Zeng replaced Hu.

Although known as a Jiang loyalist, most observers speculate that Zeng is more liberal than his mentor, and interested in political reform (transparency, institutionalization, and greater specification of powers) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of party and state operations. Zeng remains an important figure within the highest ranks of party leadership. After the death of Zhao Ziyang, the former party secretary who lost power following the Tiananmen Square protests, Zeng worked as the intermediary between the Zhao's family and the senior party leadership. Zeng Qinghong has the head of the Ministry of State Security, known as China's top intelligence gathering bureau, report directly to him as his father was the former director of this agency. When Shanghai party chief Chen Liangyu was dismissed in September 2006, Zeng led the anti-corruption task force against the staunch Jiang ally. The move was seen as a mild rebuke to his links with Jiang.

In August 2007, Zeng headed a delegation of several high-ranking Central Government representatives at the celebrations at the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

During the 17th Party Congress Zeng was removed from the Central Committee, making him ineligible for election to the Politburo Standing Committee. [cite news | url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7054919.stm | publisher = BBC News Online | title = China's vice-president loses post |date=21 October 2007] His removal, which is seen as his retirement because of age, means he will no longer serve on the Communist Party's secretariat and no longer oversee the party's organization. His Vice-presidency ended in March 2008 at the 2008 National People's Congress. Before his retirement, however, Zeng used his political strength to secure the elevation of Xi Jinping into the Politburo Standing Committee.Fact|date=August 2008 Xi is now one of the two main candidates to succeed current president Hu Jintao. [ [http://www6.chinesenewsnet.com/MainNews/Forums/BackStage/2007_11_4_23_13_46_80.html 多維月刊﹕曾慶紅顛覆團派布局迎來太子黨新時代] ]

ee also

*Politics of the People's Republic of China
*History of the People's Republic of China (2002–present)


External links

* [http://www.zhuichaguoji.org/en/index2.php?option=content&task=view&id=8&pop=1&page=0 Zeng Qinghong and his CCP organization] - World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong
* [http://www.chinavitae.com/biography_display.php?id=23 Zeng Qinghong biography @ China Vitae, online database of China VIPs]
* [http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/data/people/zengqinghong.shtml Zeng Qinghong] - People's Daily biography
* [http://www.jamestown.org/print_friendly.php?volume_id=18&issue_id=661&article_id=4678 Zeng Qinghong: A Man to Watch] - Jamestown Foundation
* [http://www.jamestown.org/print_friendly.php?volume_id=17&issue_id=638&article_id=4589 Zeng Qinghong: A Potential Challenger to China's Heir Apparent] - Jamestown Foundation
* [http://www.msnbc.com/news/850268.asp?0cb=-e1n5737 Zeng Qinghong: An Heir To Power] - MSNBC

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