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Zhang Dejiang
Special> 18th CPC National Congress> Top Leadership> Zhang Dejiang
UPDATED: January 11, 2013
'Always Bearing the People in Mind' -- Zhang Dejiang

As vice premier in charge of industry, Zhang has repeatedly urged the adjustment and optimization of the industrial structure, improvement of product quality and enhancement of industrial competitiveness. He has also stressed that the deepening of reform of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) must center on the core task of ensuring the preservation and appreciation of state-owned assets.

China's SOEs have grown at a fast pace in recent years, with their number on the Fortune Global 500 list increasing from 20 in 2007 to 54 in 2011. Meanwhile, notable achievements have been made in the reform of SOEs. Take the corporate system reform for example: More than 90 percent of SOEs have so far completed reform in corporate governance and their share-holding system. The percentage of centrally administered enterprises that had completed these reforms by the end of 2011 was 72.3 percent, compared to 64.5 percent in 2007.

When major disasters occurred, Zhang, as director of the State Council Work Safety Committee, would set out for an accident site immediately to oversee rescue operations, no matter how far away the site was and no matter how tough the conditions were.

On March 28, 2010, the Wangjialing Coal Mine in north China's Shanxi Province flooded, but Zhang reached the mine that very night to supervise rescue work. In the end, 115 miners were pulled out of the shaft alive in a "miracle" rescue.

Again, after the fatal high-speed train crash in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou on July 23, 2011, Zhang arrived at the scene quickly and put saving people's lives as the top priority. When he saw the wreckage of train carriages piled in a pit, he gave a clear instruction that no one should bury the wreckage, and the accident site and the train carriages should be properly preserved in order to guarantee investigation and analysis of the cause of the accident.

A string of successful rescue operations has demonstrated Zhang's personal quality of responsibility and his talent for handling complicated issues.

As vice premier, Zhang has made many overseas visits. In July 2011, he led a delegation to visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). He attended the commemorative activities of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between China and the DPRK. He also visited his alma mater, Kim Il Sung University.

 Experienced party secretary

Zhang served as Party secretary for four provincial-level regions from 1995 until late this year. These regions included the provinces of Jilin, Zhejiang and Guangdong as well as Chongqing Municipality.

While he served as Party secretary of Guangdong, a booming economic province in south China, between 2002 and 2007, the province's GDP grew from 1.35 trillion yuan ($214 billion) to 3.1 trillion yuan ($498 billion). In addition, the quality of Guangdong's economic growth and its independent innovative capability further improved, and the province took the national lead in reform, opening up and economic development.

In Guangdong, Zhang put forth a creative plan to boost cooperation in the Pan-Pearl River Delta region, which strengthened economic links among nine provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macao.

In June 2004, the Pan-Pearl River Delta Regional Cooperation and Development Forum was successfully held in Hong Kong, Macao and Guangzhou. With Zhang's push, the largest project of regional cooperation since the founding of the People's Republic of China was unveiled.

When Zhang served as Party secretary of Jilin, an agricultural province in northeast China, between 1995 and 1998, the province's grain yield increased each year and its food per capita, transfer volume, export volume and marketed ratio consistently ranked first place in the nation.

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