Guo Jinlong 郭金龙
Former Politburo Member. Served in Tibet Autonomous Region for over 10 years including as Party Secretary 2000-2004
Pronunciation: Gwoh Jin-loong Guo Jinlong
Born: 1947, Nanjing.
Education: Graduated 1969 in physics from Nanjing University.
Career: A protégé of Hu Jintao (because of Tibet, rather than Youth League). Mayor of Beijing 2007 – 2012 and leader of Beijing Organising Committees of the 2008 and 2022 Olympic Games.
Prospects: Promoted to the 18th Politburo in 2012. Party Secretary of Beijing Municipality 2012 – 2017. Moved to Vice Chairman of the Central Guidance Commission on Building Spiritual Civilization in May 2017. Due to retire in 2017.
Relevance to Tibet: Served in Tibet Autonomous Region for over 10 years including as Party Secretary from 2000 to 2004.
Standing in the Party and Career Highlights:
Member of 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th Central Committees and 18th Politburo (until 2017).
Guo was promoted from Mayor of Beijing to its Party Secretary in July 2012, a promotion unaffected by dozens being killed when floods hit Beijing (an embarrassment for the authorities who had spent large sums of money improving Beijing’s drainage system). Observers have speculated that his prospects of promotion to the Politburo remain good.
In May 2017 Guo was moved from Beijing to Vice Chairman of the Central Commission for Guiding Cultural and Ethical Progress of the Communist Party of China. This is a commission of the Central Committee, tasked with educational efforts to build a “spiritual civilization” based on socialism and the goal to build a socialist harmonious society, according to the official CPC policy. Established on April 21, 1997, it controls nationwide propaganda and ideological dissemination, overlapping the Leading Group for Propaganda and Ideological Work. Both the Commission and the Leading Group are chaired by the Politburo Standing Committee responsible for propaganda, and overrule the CPC Propaganda Department. He is due to retire at the 19th Party Congress in 2017.
Guo was Executive President of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympics, and in December 2015 was announced as President of the Organizing Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympics. It is unclear whether he had much influence over some of the more controversial Olympics-related issues in 2008, such as pollution, traffic, censorship etc.
His provincial experience is considered invaluable for his future prospects; joined Party in 1979 and went to Sichuan. Went to Lhasa in 1993 as Vice-secretary of the TAR Committee; Party Secretary from 2000 – 2004. According to Wikipedia he was “pivotal” in the railway project.
From 2004 – 2007 Guo was Party Secretary of poverty-stricken Anhui just as Beijing turned its attention to interior regions. He did well developing the economy.
- Eric Eckholm (NY Times) calls him “an urbane and polished official.”
- Washington Post: “According to state media reports, he has a reputation for directness.” At his mayoral nomination ceremony, he was called ‘clear-minded’ and ‘familiar with party affairs and economic management’.
- Carries a laptop with him everywhere. Surfs the web every day; follows message board discussions. Thinks all leaders should be computer-savvy. More open to media interviews than other leaders. Aware of the value of public relations. In attempting to change Anhui’s bad image (poor, backward, corrupt) he noted that “Image is very important to economic development and I want more people to understand Anhui better.”
From his Time in Tibet
- Kate Saunders, TIN 2003: Tibetan cadres and intellectuals felt relief on his appointment as he was much less hard-line than his predecessor (Chen), though he vowed to follow the same policies.
- NY Times, 2001: Strongly promoted economic development paired with no concessions to HHDL. Defended against the charge that investment in Tibet was designed to dilute Tibetan culture. Denied that Han outnumbered Tibetans in the TAR. Relaxed somewhat the restrictions on religious practice by Tibetan government employees enforced by Chen but maintained the principle that the Party is atheist. ”Conditions for large numbers of Tibetans are still quite backward.” ”This [rapid economic development] is all for the good of the people and to strengthen national unity.” ”Tibet has had some violence in the past, but it is basically stable today,” he said. ”I think that as the economy develops further and people become more prosperous, it will be even more so, and the peoples’ commitment to socialism with Chinese characteristics will be even stronger”.
Guo Jinlong’s Contact Information:
- Address: Mayor of Beijing, Municipal General Office, No. 2 Zhengyilu, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100744.
- Website: www.beijing.gov.cn
- Phone: + 86 10 6519 2209
- Fax: + 86 10 6519 2233
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