Profile: "Don't let the people down" -- Li Yuanchao

2013-03-17 10:10:54 GMT2013-03-17 18:10:54(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- "As an official, one should show reverence for history, people and life and let what he has done lives up to the expectations of the people," Li Yuanchao once said to officials.

Li, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), was elected vice president of the People's Republic of China at the first session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) on Thursday.

"Supervision of power by the people is most effective, thorough and meticulous. The system of democratic, legal and discipline supervision, as well as supervision through public opinion, should be improved so as to lay a foundation for a binding force for the realization of honest officials, clean government and political integrity," Li said at a panel discussion for a government work report delivered at the 12th NPC's first session.

Born in east China's Jiangsu Province, Li was brought up in a mining area. In 1968, 18-year-old Li was sent from Shanghai to a state farm in Jiangsu's Dafeng County, just like many other young people who participated in former Chairman Mao Zedong's campaign to send urban youth to rural areas to learn from their rural counterparts. After four years, Li had learned how to transplant rice seedlings, herd cows, cut reeds and dig river mud.

"Manual labor taught us how to be a person, a person that society needs. Through labor, we got to know the people and established deep affection for laborers," Li recalled.

In 1977, when college entrance exams were reinstated after a decade of suspension due to the Cultural Revolution, Li was admitted to the department of mathematics at Shanghai's Fudan University. He simply wanted to continue his teaching career after graduation at that time, as he had been a teacher before.

However, his wish did not come true, as he was chosen to take up a post in his department's Communist Youth League (CYL) chapter. Li's lot with the CYL continued as he became secretary of his department's CYL general branch, then deputy secretary of Fudan University's CYL Committee, then deputy secretary and secretary of the CYL Shanghai Municipal Committee.

In 1983, Li became a member of the Secretariat of the CYL Central Committee.

After 1990, Li worked in the international Communication Group of the CPC Central Committee, the State Council Information Office, the Ministry of Culture and other state departments.

In 2000, Li became deputy secretary of the CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee. The following year, he held a concurrent post as secretary of the CPC Nanjing Municipal Committee. Nanjing is Jiangsu's provincial capital.

Li became secretary of the CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee at the end of 2002.

As the CPC Central Committee required Jiangsu to take the lead in comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society and realizing modernization, Li conducted a deep investigation in Kunshan County of Suzhou and other localities in Jiangsu, as well as formulated the country's first provincial index system for comprehensively achieving a moderately prosperous society.

Revitalizing the northern part of Jiangsu Province has been a wish for generations. To achieve it, Li's journeys took him to all counties, townships and villages in northern Jiangsu.

In a shed built for relocated people whose houses were demolished in Siyang County, Li carefully listened to public opinions and proposed a guiding principle of "developing the economy and treating people well."

The northern part of Jiangsu enjoyed a fiscal policy that involved submitting the amount of money the country had required and keeping the rest as its own.

The incentive fully mobilized local initiatives to start businesses, innovate and create excellence.

Li actively implemented the Scientific Outlook on Development and transformed it into the policy intended to enrich the people, develop science, technology and education, protect the environment and encourage thrift.

In October 2007, Li was elected a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, as well as appointed as a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.

In the past five years, as the head of the CPC's official management organ, Li impressed others by embarking on a mission of reform and innovation. He proactively and steadily promoted the reform of the official and personnel system, as well as selected and appointed officials in a democratic, open, competitive and merit-based manner.

He adhered to an official selection standard that stresses both integrity and ability, as well as prioritizes moral integrity.

"Honest men should not suffer losses and those who serve personal interests through trickery must not succeed," he said.

He was determined to rectify unhealthy tendencies in the selection of officials.

"Those who trade official positions must lose all reputation and those who bribe and buy positions should suffer a double loss," he said. Li's words struck a chord among both officials and society.

An official satisfaction survey established by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee has become an important method of promoting the credibility of official appointments.

Li has been actively promoting China's Medium- and Long-Term Talent Development Plan (2010-2020) and the Thousand Talents Program, which introduces overseas distinguished scholars to China.

"An opening China has enormous opportunities and a developing China boasts tremendous prospects. Today's world not only has an American dream, but a Chinese dream as well," Li said, adding that more and more Chinese people who have studied overseas have returned to start their dreams in China, while more and more foreigners have chosen China as their land of opportunity.

"Being advanced and pursuing excellence are characteristics of CPC members," said Li, who has spared no efforts to inspire grassroots CPC organizations, officials and members to pursue excellence.

"We should do better work as people expect us to do," he said.

Having experienced and learned from hardship in the countryside, Li has encouraged university graduates to go to villages to "take the people as their teachers."

A program that has allowed about 200,000 university graduates to become village officials has brought fresh blood and knowledge to the construction of the new countryside. It has also become a backup for future CPC and government officials.

"Most of the time, Li is gentle, cultivated, modest and easy-going, but sometimes he shows an iron hand when something illegal happens," Jiangsu officials and CPC Central Committee Organization Department colleagues have said of Li.

Li loves to read and solve math problems while traveling by train. He obtained a master's degree in science at the Peking University and a doctorate degree in law at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. Li was also one of the first provincial and ministerial officials sent by the Chinese government to study at the Harvard University.

At the first plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee held last November, Li was once again elected member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Li's wife, Gao Jianjin, graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She is now a professor at the Central Conservatory of Music, as well as the first director of the school's department of music education.

The pair are both alumni of the Shanghai Nan Yang Model High School. They have one son.

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