Wen Jiabao

(born Sept. 1942, Tianjin, China) Premier of China (from 2003). While studying at the Beijing Institute of Geology, Wen joined the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In 1985 he was named deputy director of the General Office of the CCP Central Committee and the following year became director. While at the General Office, Wen also served as chief of staff to several general secretaries of the CCP, including Zhao Ziyang. The two men faced criticism after visiting Beijing's Tiananmen Square during demonstrations there in 1989. Although Zhao was placed under house arrest, Wen escaped any lasting political damage. In 1993 he became a full member of the Secretariat of the CCP Central Committee and four years later a member of the Political Bureau. In 1998 he was appointed one of China's four vice-premiers. Aided by his experience in shaping agricultural policy, Wen succeeded Zhu Rongji as premier in 2003.

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