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PKU, Harvard-trained Li Yuanchao elected deputy head of state

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Peking University, Mar. 14, 2013: Li Yuanchao, 63, was elected vice president of the People’s Republic of China at the ongoing legislative session on March 14.


Li studied at Peking University from 1988 to 1991 and obtained a master’s degree in economic management.


Li has since 2007 been a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, China’s key decision-making body. He was re-elected on November 15, 2012 after the 18th CPC National Congress.


Li becomes the first non-Politburo Standing Committee member to hold the vice presidency since 1998, when Hu Jintao was elected deputy to the then-President Jiang Zemin.


In the same “single-candidate” manner, the 12th National People's Congress elected Xi Jinping, the CPC chief since last November, as president and military chief.


“The vice president of the People's Republic of China assists the president in his work,” reads the Chinese Constitution. “The vice president of the People's Republic of China may exercise such parts of the functions and powers of the president as the president may entrust to him.”


The newly elected vice president obtained his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Fudan University and doctorate in law from the Central Party School.


Fudan University President Su Buqing (L) and Li Yuanchao in the 1980s (File photo)


Li was under the supervision of Professor Li Yining, a leading economist, during his 3-year part-time study at PKU.


With his three students Li Yuanchao, Li Keqiang, and Meng Xiaosu, the supervisor compiled a book in 1991 titled “Towards Prosperity: A Strategic Option,” to which Li Yuanchao contributed a chapter on “Development approaches for corporate groups.”


“A basic phase in China's economic reform includes restructuring corporations, improving their operating mechanism, and increasing economic benefits,” wrote Li. This part in the influential pro-reform work was also his master’s thesis.


Li warned: In the development of China's corporate groups, we should pay attention to problems that are possible to arise, such as: monopoly of such groups; bureaucratic tendency within groups; and "group fever" or "group rush."


Towards Prosperity: A Strategic Option


Li Yuanchao (L4) and Professor Li Yining (C) (File photos)


Li’s former name, Yuanchao, literally means “to aid (DPR) Korea,” part of a prevalent slogan in China during the Korean War (1950-53) together with “to resist US aggression.” He changed it into another two-character word with identical pronunciation in Chinese.


Li, then Party secretary of Nanjing, pursued mid-career training at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 2002. The Harvard curriculum, specially designed for the team of selected Chinese officials, zeroed in on specific topics such as US policy and government, how the media operates, negotiation strategy, and social media.


Faced with a serious poison-tainted food crisis within weeks of his return to Nanjing, Secretary Li was able to act fast and avert a larger crisis. “In the process of dealing with this emergency, the Harvard training benefited me,” said Li in an October 2009 speech at Harvard titled “Coping with the Crisis - China's Benign Interactions with the World.”


Li Yuanchao, then personnel chief of CPC, speaks at Harvard University on Oct. 16, 2009 (Xinhua)


Li added: “More than 200 lives were saved, the suspect was caught within 36 hours, and we as local people received recognition from the central government. So, when once again here today, I want to say thank you, Harvard!”


“China’s scientific, harmonious, and peaceful development will make a unique contribution to human well-being,” Li also noted.


Li with PKU People’s Hospital volunteers (File photo)  


"Attracting overseas talents and cultivating domestic ones," wrote Li on the inauguration of the PKU Center for Statistical Science in June 2010 (File photo


The following is a biographical sketch of Li Yuanchao: (Source: Xinhua)

1968-1972 Worker, Shanghai Farm, Dafeng County, Jiangsu Province

1972-1974 Student, Department of Mathematics, Shanghai Normal University

1974-1975 Teacher, Nanchang Secondary School, Shanghai

1975-1978 Teacher, Luwan District Spare-time Vocational School, Shanghai

1978-1982 Student of mathematics; and deputy secretary and secretary, CYL General Branch; of Department of Mathematics, Fudan University

1982-1983 Teacher, Department of Management; and deputy secretary, CYL Committee; of Fudan University

1983-1983 Deputy secretary and secretary, CYL Shanghai Municipal Committee

1983-1990 Member, Secretariat, CYL Central Committee (1988 - 1991: studied at the Center for Management Science at Peking University, now the PKU Guanghua School of Management, and awarded the degree of Master of Science)

1990-1993 Director, First Bureau, International Communication Group, CPC Central Committee

1993-1996 Deputy head, International Communication Group, CPC Central Committee; deputy director, International Communication Office, CPC Central Committee; deputy director, Information Office, State Council (1991-1995: studied scientific socialism at the Graduate Department at Central Party School, and awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws)

1996-2000 Vice minister; and deputy secretary, Leading Party Members' Group; of the Ministry of Culture

2000-2001 Deputy secretary, CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee

2001-2002 Deputy secretary, CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee; secretary, CPC Nanjing Municipal Committee

2002-2003 Secretary, CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee; secretary, CPC Nanjing Municipal Committee

2003-2007 Secretary, CPC Jiangsu Provincial Committee; chairman, Standing Committee, Jiangsu Provincial People's Congress

2007-2012 Member, Political Bureau and Secretariat; and head, Organization Department; of the CPC Central Committee

2012 Member, Political Bureau

2013- Member, Political Bureau; vice president of the People’s Republic of China.



Edited by: Jacques

Tag: 2013 NPC & CPPCC Sessions