Strong re­solve

New book shows for­mer pre­mier’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to es­tab­lish clean gov­er­nance and pro­mote eco­nomic re­form.

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­ ‘Valu­able record’

For­mer pre­mier Zhu Rongji un­veiled his third book on Mon­day, fea­tur­ing a record of speeches, pho­tos and let­ters dat­ing back more than 20 years.

Records of Zhu Rongji’s Talks in Shang­hai in­cludes 106 tran­scripts of speeches and talks, 83 pho­tos, and nine let­ters and in­struc­tions writ­ten be­tween 1987 and 1991, when he held lead­ing posts in the city in­clud­ing mayor and Party chief. Most of the book’s contents have never been pub­lished be­fore.

Zhu, now 85, was pre­mier from 1998 to 2003, and is re­ferred to by many ne­ti­zens as the “iron-faced pre­mier” for be­ing up­right, out­spo­ken and firm in his fight against cor­rup­tion.

He is also noted for ini­ti­at­ing bold eco­nomic re­forms of State-owned en­ter­prises and en­cour­ag­ing the tran­si­tion to a mar­ket econ­omy.

The newly pub­lished ar­ti­cles show Zhu’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to es­tab­lish clean gov­er­nance and his ef­forts to pro­mote eco­nomic re­form, im­prove peo­ple’s liveli­hoods, pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment and con­struct Pudong New Area in Shang­hai.

In a speech to high-rank­ing lead­ers of Shang­hai, Zhu urged them to play a lead­ing role in clean gov­er­nance, while in a talk with Ja­panese jour­nal­ists he said he was an­gry at of­fi­cials who ig­nored the peo­ple’s grief and spent a lot on govern­ment ban­quets.

In a speech from April 1988, Zhu said he be­lieved in think­ing in­de­pen­dently.

“I’m an or­phan, and my par­ents died very early,” Zhu said in the speech. “I saw the Party as my mother.”

The book, which runs to about 300,000 words, has been pre­viewed thor­oughly by Zhu be­fore be­ing pub­lished, said pub­lisher Huang Shuyuan, pres­i­dent of the Peo­ple’s Pub­lish­ing House. Huang told South­ern Metropolis Daily that much of the book’s con­tent was in line with the cur­rent “mass line” cam­paign, which was ini­ti­ated by the Party Cen­tral Com­mit­tee in April to en­cour­age close ties with the peo­ple.

In a speech in 1988, Zhu told Shang­hai of­fi­cials that govern­ment lead­ers should say no to for­mal­ism, in­clud­ing re­peated TV re­ports about his daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

On June 18, the Po­lit­i­cal Bureau of CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee said dur­ing a “mass-line themed” meet­ing that it will act as a “thor­ough cleanup” of un­de­sir­able work styles such as for­mal­ism, bu­reau­cratism, he­do­nism and ex­trav­a­gance.

Yang Chun­gui, for­mer vice- pres­i­dent of the Party School of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, said at the book’s launch on Mon­day that he was im­pressed by Zhu’s up­right­ness, high work­ing ef­fi­ciency and ded­i­ca­tion to the peo­ple.

In Shang­hai, Zhu’s new book met with suc­cess in the city’s ma­jor book­stores, with read­ers ex­press­ing deep feel­ings for the for­mer leader.

Zhong Cheng, a Shang­hai lawyer who bought a copy on Mon­day, said, “This is a valu­able and com­pelling his­toric record for Shang­hai peo­ple and re­searchers.”

Shang­hai Book Mall, where there was an eye­catch­ing ad­ver­tise­ment pro­mot­ing the new book, said that by 2:40 pm on Mon­day it had sold 1,008 copies of the pa­per­back edi­tion and 105 copies of hard­back edi­tion.

“Cer­tainly, it is one of the best-sell­ers in re­cent years, and I guess the sales will keep ris­ing in com­ing days,” said Jiang Li, deputy gen­eral man­ager of the book­store.

Xu Bin, a col­lege stu­dent ma­jor­ing in ide­ol­ogy and pol­i­tics, said the book will be a great help to his the­sis.

The sales depart­ment leader from Shang­hai Guji Book­store who gave only his sur­name, Wu, said the book ar­rived on Sun­day and had sold 800 copies out of 1,300 through reser­va­tion.

In 2009, Zhu pub­lished his first book, a com­pi­la­tion of tran­scripts from his news con­fer­ences. The sales of the book hit 700,000 copies in the first week.

In Septem­ber 2011, Zhu’s sec­ond book, Record of Zhu Rongji’s Talks, was pub­lished, in­clud­ing more than 300 of his speeches, talks, let­ters and writ­ten in­struc­tions from 1991 to 2003, when he served two four-year terms as vi­cepremier and an­other term as pre­mier. Chen Lili in Shang­hai and Yan Ran in Bei­jing con­trib­uted to this story.


The launch cer­e­mony for a book by for­mer pre­mier Zhu Rongji is held at the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing on Mon­day. The book fea­tures pho­to­graphs, speeches and let­ters writ­ten by Zhu be­tween 1987 and 1991, when he held lead­ing posts in Shang­hai, in­clud­ing mayor and Party chief.

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