Born on October 1, 1928 in Changsha, Hunan, Zhu Rongji mayor and party chief in Shanghai between 1987 and 1991, before becoming vice premier and then the fifth premier of the People's Republic of China. He held that position between March 1998 and March 2003. He is known for taking a tough stance against corruption in the government and pushing difficult reforms of the state sector.
Speedy growth 'assured'
The economy should be able to maintain its 'high-speed' growth for decades, according to senior State Council researcher Wang Mengkui.
Mr Wang, director of the Development Research Centre under the council, said despite the Asian financial crisis, China's goal of achieving modernisation by the middle of next century was within reach.
The economy has grown at 'double-digit' rates for much of the past decade but slowed to 8.8 per cent last year.
This year, Premier Zhu Rongji has set an eight per cent target.
At a recent seminar, Mr Wang listed six factors for economic expansion: a strong economic foundation; an early stage of industrialisation and urbanisation; abundant human resources; the emergence of a mature economic framework; political stability; and a favourable international environment.
Mr Wang said the stimulative policies adopted by the Government this year would pull the slackening economy back to an upward spiral and their effects would become more obvious next year, according to a Xinhua report yesterday.
However, he admitted such measures could not be sustained and long-term growth must not depend on 'expansive fiscal policies'.
The Government must maintain sufficient foreign exchange reserves, strive for trade balances and monitor the size of its foreign debts carefully.
Liberalisation of the financial industry must proceed cautiously and in line with economic reforms, said Mr Wang.