Zhou Ji (born August 26, 1946) is a Chinese politician. He served as the Minister of Education of the People's Republic of China between 2003 and 2009. He was educated in the United States and served briefly as the Mayor of Wuhan earlier in his career. Zhou is current President of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, succeeding Xu Kuangdi in June 2010.
Zhou Ji is a native of Shanghai, and attended Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he graduated from in 1970. Zhou also acquired a doctorate from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (PhD, '84, M.S.'81) in the United States. Much of his early career was spent at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, where he eventually rose to become its President in 1997. He joined the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 1999. He then spent a tenure in the municipal government of Wuhan, where he served as deputy mayor and Mayor.
He was transferred to work in the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China in 2002 as its Vice-Minister, rising to the Minister position on March 17, 2003. At the re-elections of the 2008 National People's Congress, Zhou received the least votes in favour out of any minister. He received 384 votes against, with 81 abstentions. During Zhou's time in office, China's education system continued to be plagued by academic dishonesty, corruption, and arbitrary fees, with no discernible signs of improvement. Zhou was also unpopular due to his introduction of 16 "officially sanctioned" educational Peking Opera works, some of which allegedly included themes similar to those during the Cultural Revolution. These works were openly opposed by members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in March 2009. He was removed in October 2009 at a regular session of the National People's Congress; he was replaced by deputy Yuan Guiren.
He was instead appointed deputy party secretary at the Chinese Academy of Engineering in Beijing, a "less important but still significant post," according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Stanley Rosen, director of the East Asian Studies Center at the University of Southern California, commented that Mr. Zhou's new post does not suggest serious punishment, and is "a sign that he's a scapegoat, not that he's corrupt."
|President of Chinese Academy of Engineering
|Minister of Education of the People's Republic of China