Zeng Qinghong

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Zeng.
Zeng Qinghong
曾庆红
Zeng Qinghong.png
First Secretary of Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China
In office
15 November 2002 – 22 October 2007
General Secretary Hu Jintao
Preceded by Hu Jintao
Succeeded by Xi Jinping
7th Vice President of the People's Republic of China
In office
15 March 2003 – 15 March 2008
President Hu Jintao
Preceded by Hu Jintao
Succeeded by Xi Jinping
President of the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China
In office
December 2002 – December 2007
Deputy Yu Yunyao
Su Rong
Preceded by Hu Jintao
Succeeded by Xi Jinping
Head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China
In office
March 1999 – November 2002
General Secretary Jiang Zemin
Preceded by Zhang Quanjing
Succeeded by He Guoqiang
Chief of the General Office of the Communist Party of China
In office
March 1993 – March 1999
General Secretary Jiang Zemin
Preceded by Wen Jiabao
Succeeded by Wang Gang
Personal details
Born July 1939 (age 75)
Ji'an, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Spouse(s) Wang Fengqing
Children Zeng Wei
Alma mater Beijing Institute of Technology
Zeng Qinghong
Traditional Chinese 曾慶紅
Simplified Chinese 曾庆红

Zeng Qinghong (born July 1939) is a retired Chinese politician. He was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, China's highest leadership council, and top-ranked member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee between 2002 and 2007. He also served as the Vice-President of the People's Republic of China from 2003 to 2008. He is also known as a billionaire whose wealth is over billion reminbi.

During the 1990s, Zeng was a close ally of then-general secretary Jiang Zemin, and was instrumental in consolidating Jiang's power. For years, Zeng was the primary force behind the party's organization and personnel. During his term in the PSC, although he was formally ranked fifth, Zeng was seen as a 'power broker' in the party, believed to possess power that was second only to paramount leader Hu Jintao.[1] Initially seen as a rival to general secretary Hu Jintao, Zeng was obliged to show a willingness to work towards consensus with the old guard following Jiang's semi-retirement. Zeng left public life in 2008.

Early life[edit]

A Hakka native of Ji'an, Jiangxi, Zeng was born in July 1939. He was the son of Zeng Shan, a revolutionary and the Minister of the Interior. He graduated from Beijing 101 Middle School and the Automatic Control Department at the 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 People's Liberation Army 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, including a series of foreign liaison positions with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

Climbing the ranks[edit]

In 1984, Zeng moved to the Shanghai Municipal Government, where he became a key ally of then-party chief Jiang Zemin. When Jiang was elevated to General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in national leadership following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, he brought Zeng Qinghong along as his trusted adviser.[2]

As the Deputy chief 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 Jiang's "Shanghai clique" to leading central and regional posts. He also helped advanced Jiang's guiding political philosophy the Three Represents.[3]

Over the next decade, he acquired a fearsome reputation as Jiang's hatchet against rivals. In 1992 he helped bring down the powerful, President Yang Shangkun and elder PLA Generals Yang Baibing,[citation needed] 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.[4] Because he was seen to represent highly partisan interests, many of Jiang's factional opponents in party prevented Zeng from joining the Politburo as a full member for years.[4] However, Jiang made it clear that a 'pre-condition' for his stepping down at the 16th Party Congress was for Zeng to become a member of the elite Politburo Standing Committee.[4]

National politics[edit]

After the 16th Party Congress in 2002, he has been a member of the 16th CPC Central Committee, a member of its Politburo and of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC), 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.[5]

Although Jiang stepped down from the PSC to make way for a younger "fourth generation" of leadership led by Hu Jintao, Jiang continued to wield significant influence with the help of Zeng. Due in large measure to Zeng's efforts, seven out of the nine new members of the Standing Committee, Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Huang Ju, Wu Guanzheng, Li Changchun, Luo Gan, and Zeng himself, were linked to Jiang's "Shanghai Clique" and considered his allies. The 22-member Politburo was 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, ostensibly because Hu had the support of former leader Deng Xiaoping. Zeng subsequently became Vice-President in March 2003. During the SARS outbreak, Hu and Premier 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 19 September 2004, Xu Caihou, and not Zeng, became Vice-chairman.[6]

Shifting loyalties[edit]

Although initially seen as a Jiang loyalist, most observers speculated that Zeng was more sophisticated and manipulative than his boss, and was interested in more controls over the powers of the government. In addition, Zeng was said to be indifferent with Jiang's "Shanghai Clique" in many political views. Zeng was an important figure within the highest ranks of party leadership. He was said to be a crucial player in pushing Jiang headed towards full retirement in 2004, when Jiang relinquished his final title, the Chairman of the Central Military Commission. Observers saw the push for Jiang's retirement as an indication of consensus between Zeng and Hu.[7]

In the following years, Zeng then became a 'point-man' for Hu to manage crises situations. 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 also worked with Hu to manage the potential effects on China of the ouster of authoritarian regimes in Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine.[7] 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 Chen Liangyu in order to revenge against him who had been involved in power struggles with him since they were in Shanghai.[1]

Departure[edit]

During the 17th Party Congress Zeng departed from the Central Committee, its Politburo, and the Politburo Standing Committee.[2] His departure, which was seen as his retirement because of age, meant that he could no longer serve on the Communist Party's secretariat nor 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 and Zhou Yongkang into the Politburo Standing Committee.[8] Xi then became the heir apparent to succeed Hu Jintao as China's paramount leader. Zhou, who was his closest subordinate in his 'Oil Clique', became the most powerful Secretary of the Political and Legal Commission of China.[9] Since then Zeng has made public appearances only on a few ceremonial occasions, such as the 30th anniversary of the Third plenum of the 11th Party Congress.[10] In 2008 Zeng's son, Zeng Wei used millions of dollars to buy a luxurious Australian property which caught up by the media.(April 2010 Sydney Morning Herald) This incidence angered a lot of the old guard of China since the source of money for that purchase was very controversial. In order to maintain his status within the party, Zeng cut off his relationship with his son who was suspicious of corruption involvements.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kahn, Joseph (4 October 2006). "In Graft Inquiry, Chinese See a Shake-Up Coming". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "China's vice-president loses post". BBC News. 21 October 2007. 
  3. ^ Wen, Yu. "ZENG QINGHONG: A POTENTIAL CHALLENGER TO CHINA'S HEIR APPARENT". China Brieft. The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Lam, Willy. "ZENG QINGHONG: A MAN TO WATCH". China Brief. The Jamestown Foundation. 
  5. ^ Reminbao.com: 曾庆红下令不让唱「国际歌」的原因(多图)
  6. ^ Bo, Zhiyue: China's elite politics: political transition and power balancing. ISBN 981-270-041-2
  7. ^ a b Kahn, Joseph (25 September 2005). "China's Leader, Ex-Rival at Side, Solidifies Power". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  8. ^ The Age: Chinese puzzle: who is Hu's heir?
  9. ^ 多維月刊﹕曾慶紅顛覆團派布局迎來太子黨新時代
  10. ^ "李鹏、李瑞环、曾庆红出席大会". People.cn. December 18, 2008. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Wen Jiabao
Chief of the General Office of the Communist Party of China
1993–1999
Succeeded by
Wang Gang
Preceded by
Zhang Quanjing
Head of the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China
1999-2002
Succeeded by
He Guoqiang
Preceded by
Hu Jintao
First Secretary of Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee
2002–2007
Succeeded by
Xi Jinping
Political offices
Preceded by
Hu Jintao
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
2003–2008
Succeeded by
Xi Jinping
Academic offices
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Hu Jintao
President of the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China
2002–2007
Succeeded by
Xi Jinping
Order of precedence
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Jia Qinglin
Conference Chairman
5th Rank of the Communist Party of China
16th Politburo Standing Committee
Succeeded by
Huang Ju
Vice Premier