Li Zhanshu 栗战书
Chair of National People’s Congress
Member of the Politburo Standing Committee. Close to Xi Jinping.
Pronunciation: Lee Jahn-shoe
Born: 1950, Hebei Province
Education: Early education not known. A student of the Harbin Institute of Technology 2005 – 2007.
Career: Worked in Hebei for 25 years, serving alongside Xi Jinping in the 1980s, then successive posts in Xi’an City (Shaanxi) and Heilongjiang Province, rising to Governor 2008 – 2010, before becoming Party Secretary of Guizhou Province 2010 – 2012.
Prospects: Has received successive promotions, ultimately to the 3rd ranked Member of the Politburo Standing Committee. Chair of National People’s Congress.
Relevance to Tibet: Close to, and likely to be influential with, Xi Jinping.
Standing in the Party and Career Highlights:
Li Zhanshu is the 3rd ranked member of the 19th Politburo Standing Committee. He had been a member of the 18th Politburo, and is considered one of Xi Jinping’s closest aides having served as his Chief of Staff since 2012. His role is currently unclear but he could become Chair of the National People’s Congress.
Li Zhanshu’s relationship with Xi Jinping dates back to the 1980s when they were Party Secretaries of neighbouring counties in Hebei Province. The South China Morning Post has also reported that Li was close to Xi’s family: in 2000, when he was a leading official in Shaanxi province, he helped Xi’s mother siblings on a fact-finding tour of the province during which they gathered material for a biography of Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun.
Li has shown considerable loyalty to Xi Jinping, reportedly being the first member of the 18th Politburo to push for Xi to be recognised as “core leader” in June 2016. He has accompanied Xi on many foreign trips and in addition to being Chief of Staff was in 2013 named director of the general office of the powerful new National Security Commission, which is led by Xi. Li’s appointment as Xi’s Chief of Staff in 2012 attracted significant press coverage; this was partly because Xi Jinping was demonstrating he was not afraid to move one of his own protégés into an influential position by ousting a man loyal to Hu Jintao, but also because the man who was ousted, Ling Jihua, had been damaged by a scandal involving his son and a Ferrari, and was later purged from the Party.
Li Zhanshu seriously considered becoming a journalist and has written poems for many years. He has also said he is a fan of Peking Opera and boxing. He worked in Hebei for 25 years, serving alongside Xi Jinping in the 1980s, then successive posts in Xi’an City (Shaanxi) and Heilongjiang Province, rising to Governor 2008 – 2010, before becoming Party Secretary of Guizhou Province 2010 – 2012. He was an alternate Member of the 16th and 17th Central Committees, and full Member of the 18th & 19th Central Committees. Member of the 18th Politburo and 19th Politburo Standing Committee.
Li Zhanshu’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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