Zhu Rongji (born 1 October 1928) is a prominent Chinese politician who served as the Mayor and Party chief in Shanghai between 1987 and 1991, before serving as Vice-Premier and then the fifth Premier of the People's Republic of China from March 1998 to March 2003.
A tough administrator, his time in office saw the continued double-digit growth of the Chinese economy and China's increased assertiveness in international affairs. Rumored to be engaged in a testy relationship with General Secretary Jiang Zemin, under whom he served, Zhu provided a novel pragmatism and strong work ethic in the government and party leadership increasingly affected by corruption, and as a result gained great popularity with the Chinese public. His opponents, however, charge that Zhu's tough and pragmatic stance on policy was unrealistic and unnecessary, and many of his promises were left unfulfilled. Zhu retired in 2003, and has not been a public figure since. Premier Zhu was also widely known for his charisma and tasteful humour.
Zhu Rongji was born in Changsha, Hunan, to a family of intellectuals and wealthy landownders. According to family tradition, his family was descended from Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming dynasty. His father died when he was born, and his mother died when he was nine. Zhu was subsequently raised by his uncle, Zhu Xuefang, who continued to support Zhu's education...
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