Yu Zhengsheng 俞正声
Chair of CPPCC
Politburo Standing Committee Member and Chair of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. Nominally responsible for Tibet policy
Pronunciation: Yoo Jung-shung (Jung & shung rhyme with ‘lung’) soundbite
Born: 1945. A princeling (and his father was once married to Jiang Qing, who then married Mao Zedong!).
Education: Harbin Military Engineering Institute (studied automated missiles).
Career: Politburo Standing Committee Member. Until November 2012 Party Secretary of Shanghai.
Prospects: Appointed Chair of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in March 2013, a position associated with United Front work and the Tibet Work Leading Group.
Relevance to Tibet: One of China’s most senior leaders and nominally in charge of Tibet policy. Visited Kardze in January 2013
Standing in the Party and Career Highlights:
Yu Zhengsheng joined the CCP in 1964 and spent almost twenty years in the electronics industry before joining the Ministry of Electronics Industry in the 1980s.
Served as deputy party secretary and mayor of Yantai City, Shandong Province between 1985–89 and then mayor and party secretary of Qingdao City, Shandong Province from 1987–1997 before returning to Beijing as vice minister then Minister of Construction (1997–2001). Yu was first elected to the Central Committee as an alternate member at the 14th Party Congress in 1992. His career was temporarily stalled by the defection to the United States of his brother, who is an intelligence official.
He became Party Secretary of Shanghai in 2007, replacing Xi Jinping.
In September 2012, the South China Morning Post tipped Yu Zhengsheng, “known for his strong connections and adroit handling of complex relationships,” to take over from Wu Bangguo as chairman of the National People’s Congress, but he took the 4th position on the Standing Committee and became Chair of the Chinese People’s Consultative Conference in March 2013.
Cheng Li, describing Yu’s family connections as “extraordinary” says he is widely considered a protégé of both Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, agrees Yu is a strong contender for promotion, correctly predicting that he would succeed Jia Qinglin as Chair of CPPCC. Cheng Li wrote: “Based on his previous leadership experiences and recent public speeches, Yu’s hot-button policy issues may include the promotion of the private sector, urban development, legal development, and social reform to promote confidence-building and mutual trust in society.”
From 6-8 January 2013, Yu went on an “inspection tour” of the Kardze area (Sichuan Province). Xinhua reported that Yu “called on monks and nuns to be patriotic and observe the law and monastic rules”. Xinhua wrote:’Yu said he hopes Tibetan Buddhists can cultivate higher religious attainments to enable them to run the monasteries and better guide people in religious practices.’ Also in January 2013, Yu visited representatives of a number of religions in Beijing, including Catholics, Taoists, Muslims and Buddhists (including a Tibetan buddhist college).
Quotations By/Comments About
- Statements on his visit to Kardze, January 2013 “The fight against the Dalai Lama clique should continue”, Mr. Yu said, “in order to create a favourable social and political environment for economic development and the improvement of people’s well-being”.
- The Hindu, quoting the South China Morning Post In a lecture to 5,000 students at a Shanghai university, he said Mao Zedong “made a serious personal mistake” and “shouldn’t have sought such a wrong way out”. He said at least six members of his family died during the Cultural Revolution. His sister killed herself, while his mother reportedly became schizophrenic after a seven-year jail term. His family was targeted because of its aristocratic roots going back to the Qing dynasty.
- Xinhua, March 2013 “We need to more strictly follow the socialist path of political development with Chinese characteristics, not imitate Western political systems under any circumstances, always adhere to the correct political orientation, and strengthen the CPPCC’s ideological and political foundations of collective struggle.”
- China Daily: (When Party Secretary of Hebei, to members of the Hebei Party Committee at the CPPCC) “If you have any questions, bring them up. If you have any problems or any worries, tell us. Only by being frank can we become devoted friends.”
Yu Zhengsheng’s Contact Information:
- Address: Zhongnanhai, Xi Chang’an Jie, Beijing 100017.
- Website: www.gov.cn
- Phone: + 86 10 6307 0913
- Fax: + 86 10 6307 0900
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