Zhang Qingwei

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Zhang Qingwei
张庆伟
Communist Party Secretary of Heilongjiang
Assumed office
March 2017
Deputy Lu Hao (governor)
Preceded by Wang Xiankui
Governor of Hebei
In office
August 2011 – March 2017
Party Secretary Zhou Benshun
Zhao Kezhi
Preceded by Chen Quanguo
Succeeded by Xu Qin
Personal details
Born (1961-11-07) 7 November 1961 (age 55)
Jilin City, Jilin, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Alma mater Northwestern Polytechnical University

Zhang Qingwei (Chinese: 张庆伟; born 7 November 1961) is a Chinese politician, business executive, and aerospace engineer. He is the Communist Party Secretary of Heilongjiang, former Governor of Hebei, and former chairman of the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND). Prior to his government career he was president of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and chairman of Comac, an aerospace manufacturer.[1][2][3]

Zhang was well known for his work for military contractors, and headed the team that designed and constructed the Xian JH-7 "flying leopard" combat aircraft. He was also the deputy leader of the project to send a Chinese man into space, and the leader of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, Chang'e 1. In 2009, Zhang was named one of China's 40 most powerful people by BusinessWeek.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Zhang Qingwei was born in Jilin City, Jilin Province[6] on 7 November 1961,[7] but is considered a native of his ancestral home of Laoting County, Hebei province by Chinese convention.[3][7] His family later moved to Tangshan, Hebei.[6]

Zhang studied at the aircraft department of Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) in Xi'an from September 1978 to August 1982, majoring in aircraft design.[1][3] After graduation, he was assigned to No. 603 Research Institute of the Ministry of Aerospace Industry, designing aircraft tails.[7] Within three years he became the leader of a team that developed the FBC-1 fighter-bomber that is still in use by the People's Liberation Army Air Force.[6]

In 1985 Zhang returned to NPU to continue his studies, and received a Master of Engineering degree in aircraft control in 1988.[1][6]

Aerospace industry[edit]

In 1988 Zhang Qingwei returned to work for the Ministry of Aerospace Industry and later joined China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), the birthplace of China's Long March rocket.[6] He showed exceptional talent at CALT[6] and was credited with the 1990 launch of the AsiaSat 1 satellite for the American company Hughes Satellite Systems. It marked the first time for the Long March rocket to successfully launch a foreign satellite.[7]

After the success with AsiaSat 1, Zhang was tasked with developing the Long March 2 rocket for China's human spaceflight program (later called the Shenzhou program). He became the deputy director of CALT in 1996,[7] and the vice-manager of the newly established China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) in 1999. In 2001 he was appointed president of CASC, and starting in February 2002 he concurrently served as deputy chief commander of the Shenzhou program.[3] In October 2003 Shenzhou 5 completed China's first ever human spaceflight mission, and two years later two more astronauts safely returned to earth after a five-day spaceflight on Shenzhou 6.[7]

In August 2007 Zhang Qingwei was appointed chairman of the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), becoming one of the youngest persons to hold a minister-level post in China.[7] He guided the merger of COSTIND with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2008.[6] He also concurrently served as head of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program.[3]

In 2008 Zhang was appointed chairman of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac),[1][3] a state-owned enterprise that was newly established to develop China's own jumbo jets.[6] In 2009, he drew international attention after being named one of China's 40 most powerful people by BusinessWeek.[4][5]

Political career[edit]

Zhang joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in December 1992. In 2002, less than ten years after he joined the party, he was appointed to the 16th Central Committee of the CPC, the party's top authority.[1][3] At age 41 he was the youngest full member of the committee.[5] He has subsequently been elected to full memberships of the 17th and 18th Central Committees.[1][2]

In August 2011 Zhang left Comac and was appointed acting governor of Hebei Province, replacing Chen Quanguo, who had been promoted to Party Secretary of Tibet Autonomous Region. In January 2012 he was officially elected by the Hebei Provincial Congress as governor, and reelected in January 2013.[2] Zhang was one of the earliest examples of rocket scientists taking on major political posts in China, a trend that intensified following Xi Jinping's ascension to the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in 2012, with many "space alumni" joining government ranks thereafter. Zhang was transferred to Heilongjiang to serve as party secretary in April 2017, becoming the fourth official born after 1960 to assume a provincial party secretary post.[3]

Awards[edit]

  • Top ten young scientists in the space industry (1991)
  • Top ten outstanding young people in China (1999)
  • CCTV business figure of the year (2003)[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Zhang Qingwei". China Vitae. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  2. ^ a b c 张庆伟简历 [Biography of Zhang Qingwei] (in Chinese). Xinhua News Agency. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h 张庆伟简历 [Biography of Zhang Qingwei] (in Chinese). People's Daily. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  4. ^ a b "China's Most Powerful People 2009: Zhang Qingwei". BusinessWeek. 
  5. ^ a b c "Rise of corporate chiefs in politics". Straits Times. 2012-11-03. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Stephen Chen (2012-03-19). "Hebei governor was a star of China's aerospace programme". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 2013-02-19. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Wenxian Zhang; Ilan Alon, eds. (2011). Biographical Dictionary of New Chinese Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9781848449510. 
Party political offices
Preceded by
Wang Xiankui
Communist Party Secretary of Heilongjiang
2017–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Chen Quanguo
Governor of Hebei
2011–2017
Succeeded by
Xu Qin