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Wen Jiabao

Wen JiabaoWen JiabaoA native of Beichen, Tianjin City was born on 15 September 1942. He is the sixth and current Premier and Party secretary of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, serving as China’s head of government and leading its cabinet. Wen Jiabao went to the Nankai High School from which his predecessor premier Zhou Enlai graduated.He graduated with a major of geological structure from the Beijing Institute of Geology. In 1968 he undertook postgraduate study majoring in geological structure at Beijing Institute of Geology and now is an engineer. He joined Communist Party of China (CPC) in April 1965 and began working in September 1967.

In 1968-1978 Wen was Technician and political instructor of the Geomechanics Survey Team under Gansu Provincial Geological Bureau and head of its political section. He was Member of the Standing Committee of the Party Committee of the Geomechanics Survey Team under Gansu Provincial Geological Bureau and deputy head of the team in 1978-1979. And from 1979-1981 he was Deputy section head and engineer of Gansu Provincial Geological Bureau. Rising as chief of the Gansu Provincial Geological Bureau and later as Vice-minister of Geology and Mineral Resources, Wen gained favour of then-General Secretary Hu Yaobang, and joined the ranks of the Central Committee and Politburo. Wen was subsequently appointed to serve as director of the Party’s General Affairs Office, an organ that oversaw day-to-day operations of the party’s leaders. He remained in the post for eight years.

He was transferred to Beijing to work as the head of the Party General Office between 1986 and 1993, and accompanied General Secretary Zhao Ziyang to Tiananmen Square during the 1989 Tiananmen Square Protests. In 1998, he was promoted to the post of Vice Premier under Zhu Rongji, his mentor, and oversaw the broad portfolios of agriculture and finance.

He took office as Premier in 2003, Wen, along with President Hu Jintao, has been a key part of the fourth generation of leadership in the Communist Party of China. Soft-spoken and known for his strong work ethic, Wen has been one of the most visible members of the incumbent Chinese administration, and has been dubbed “the people’s premier” by both domestic and foreign media. He was regarded as quiet and unassuming, but is 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.

Premier Wen Jiabao was appointed to a second five-year term as China’s premier on 16 March 2008, leading efforts to cool soaring inflation and showcase the country to the world at the 2008 Summer Olympics. Wen faced grave economic challenges as the world became increasingly affected by the U.S. economic crisis. Wen toed the government line in blaming supporters of the Dalai Lama for violence in Tibet. Wen acted as the spokesman of the Chinese government during the 2008 unrest in Tibet and refused to negotiate with the Dalai Lama and his followers, unless they chose to “give up all separatist activities.” Wen Jiabao has also played a prominent role in advancing China’s foreign policy positions and has become increasingly visible on the world stage as China’s economic power expanded.

Wen was involved in two major episodes involving public health. In early 2003, he was involved in ending the official inaction over the SARS crisis. On 1 December 2004, 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.

Wen though considered introvert has been described as a populist by most observers. His quick responses and visits to the scenes of various disasters, including the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, has earned him a considerable reputation as an approachable leader in touch with the experiences of the masses. Wen engages regularly with locals on his trips to various Chinese provinces as well as foreign visits. He also played baseball and badminton with Japanese and South Korean citizens during visits to these countries.

As the head of Chinese Central People’s government, Wen Jiabao is considered to be one of the most powerful statesmen in the world. In 2006, he was named to the Time 100 list. In 2009, Wen was named one of ten people and the only non-American in a list compiled by ABC of people who shaped the U.S. economy the most since 2000. He also topped a list of “10 leaders to watch” in 2010 released 19 January by Eurasia Group, a global political risk research and consulting firm. In August 2010, Wen was named “The Man of the People” by Newsweek. And in October 2010, Wen Jiabao was a person selected on the TIME Magazine’s cover that the title was “Wen’s World”.

Wen Jiabao is married to Zhang Peili, a jewellery expert and investor, who has rarely appeared with Wen in public. They have a son, Wen Yunsong, who is CEO of Unihub, a Chinese networking company, and a daughter, Wen Ruchun.

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