Li Zhi (politician)
|Communist Party Secretary of Ürümqi|
November 2006 – 6 September 2009
|Preceded by||Yang Gang|
|Succeeded by||Zhu Hailun|
Lixin County, Anhui, China
|Political party||Communist Party of China|
Li Zhi (Chinese: 栗智; pinyin: Lì Zhì; born November 1950) is a politician in the People's Republic of China, most notable for his role as the Communist party chief of Ürümqi during the city's rioting in July 2009. He spent his entire political career in Xinjiang. He originated in Lixin, Anhui. He was detained by the authorities for investigation in 2015.
Life and career
According to his official biography, Li joined the People's Liberation Army in 1969, joined the Communist Party of China in March 1971, and has a post-graduate degree. After retiring from military service, Li worked in Nilka County in Xinjiang as a labourer in the grains department. He then went on to serve in the Region's Light Manufacturing Bureau. He then served for about a decade in the hops industry. In 1993, he became the General Manager and Chairman of Xinjiang Hops Holdings Ltd.
His administrative career with the Communist Party began in 2000 as the deputy party chief of Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture. He then became the party chief of the Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture. He returned to Changji in January 2005 as the prefecture's party chief, and was elevated to the party chief of Ürümqi in November 2006, becoming first-in-charge of Xinjiang's capital. The party chief position in Ürümqi typically comes with an ex officio seat on the provincial Party Standing Committee.
Li Zhi was highly visible during the July 2009 Ürümqi riots; he calmed crowds on the streets of the capital using loudspeakers. On September 5, 2009, after approval from the Xinjiang Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, Li was stripped of his post as party chief of Ürümqi. Some sources suggest that his removal was to calm speculation that Wang Lequan's leadership in the region has been questioned, and that Wang remains ultimately in charge.
In January 2008 he became one of the Vice-Chairmen of the Xinjiang Regional People's Congress, he stayed on the post for five years. In March 2015 Li was detained by the party's anti-graft agency for investigation. Li was the first official who spent their entire career in Xinjiang to be investigated in the anti-corruption campaign after the 18th Party Congress. His predecessor as party chief of Urumqi Yang Gang had also been investigated, but Yang was not serving in Xinjiang at the time of his investigation.