Zhang Peili

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Zhang Peili
Simplified Chinese 张培莉
Traditional Chinese 張培莉

Zhang Peili (born 1941) is a Chinese geologist and the wife of former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.[1]

Biography[edit]

Peili was formerly the Vice-President of the Chinese Jewelry Association, and President and CEO of Beijing Diamond Jewelries Co., a company which has operations in both the mainland and Hong Kong.

Zhang met Wen when he was working in Jiuquan as part of Gansu's Bureau of Geology. Being described as a strong-willed woman, her personality is in strict contrast to that of her husband, who is fairly introverted and modest. Zhang is never seen on any official occasions with the Premier. In 2007 Taiwan's TVBS found Zhang to be wearing a bracelet worth over two million RMB (around $300,000US) at a jewelry convention.And were in Taiwan to buy a necklace value forteen million RMB (around $2,240,000US)[2]

According to a U.S. diplomatic cable posted by WikiLeaks, Wen has sought to divorce Zhang and is "disgusted" by how she has used his name to extract huge commissions in the diamond trade.[3][4]

Zhang and Wen have a son and a daughter, Wen Yunsong and Wen Ruchun.

Ms. Zhang is a geologist with expertise in gemstones with a background as a government regulator of the gemstone trade and manager of state-owned diamond firms which were later privatized. She created the principal institutions which regulate the gemstone trade in China, the National Gemstone Testing Center and the Shanghai Diamond Exchange.

Her private gemstone and jewellery business was successful, and after her husband attained high position, her fortune grew rapidly. Despite her great wealth she dresses modestly.[5]

Government and business activities[edit]

As manager of the National Gemstone Testing Center in Beijing and the China Mineral and Gem Corporation a state-owned enterprise Zhang was in a pivotal position which gave her the power to facilitate or deny entry by global diamond firms such as Cartier or De Beers into the regulated Chinese market.

In addition, using her position as manager of China Mineral and Gem Corporation, she facilitated a number of startups such as Beijing Diamond, a retailer; Shenzhen Diamond; and Sino-Diamond, a diamond importer, in the jewellery and gem business which her colleagues and family members were given the opportunity to invest in. Investments in other industries were financed by sale of interests in the diamond firms to wealthy businessmen. There is no evidence that her husband, the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, played a role in advancing Zhang and her friends and relatives' fortunes, but, according to interviews by New York Times reporters with former associates, Zhang has freely traded on the association during the decades of the 1990s and 2000s implying that government favor followed those showing favor to her family and associates.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DAC. DAC. Retrieved on 23 March 2012.
  2. ^ Taiwan's TVBS and the reaction on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. Taipei Times. (16 March 2012). Retrieved on 23 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Sex, Buddhism and ballroom dancing: WikiLeaks reveals Beijing underbelly". The Australian. 20 June 2011. 
  4. ^ "Wikileaks airs Communist Party's dirty linen". Wantchinatimes.com (28 June 2011). Retrieved on 23 March 2012.
  5. ^ a b David Barboza (October 25, 2012). "Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader". The New York Times. Retrieved October 27, 2012. 
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Lao An
Spouse of the Premier of the People's Republic of China
2005–2013
Succeeded by
Cheng Hong