Jiang Zemin

Born in 1926 in Yangzhou, Jiangsu, Jiang Zemin graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University with a degree in electronic engineering, and rose up in state-owned factories and government agencies overseeing industries. He was promoted to China's top power bench soon after the bloody crackdown on student movement in Beijing in 1989, becoming general secretary of the Party and chairman of its Central Military Commission. He became president in 1993. He held on to the military chief job for two more years even after handing Party leadership and presidency to successor Hu Jintao in 2002-2003. He is believed to still wield massive influence on Chinese politics a decade after his retirement. 

Retired academic to keep on writing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 October, 1998, 12:00am

Retired vice-president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Liu Ji is planning to write another two books.

'It's my personal wish to continue doing research,' he said.

'While I still have a clear mind, I'd like to write two books. The average life expectancy of a Chinese person is 72 or 73 so I figure I have another 10 years or so now that I've gone backstage.' Mr Liu, 64, considered an adviser to President Jiang Zemin , was responsible for drafting a number of party documents.

A mechanical engineering graduate from Qinghua University, Mr Liu went from writing science publications to producing numerous political works, including Modernisation and China and A Discussion of the Problem of Contemporary Capitalism.

He also edited Seventy years of the Chinese Communist Party and A Heart-to-Heart Talk with the Party General Secretary.

At the academy, Mr Liu was widely known for his ardent involvement in discussions with a youth theorist group.

One of his most celebrated quotes was: 'Elderly officials should spend more time with young people. If even your children refuse to listen to your old theories and old dogma, you don't need to tell it to the public.' He also said: 'Leaders should not be afraid of academics arguing with them. Where do the ideas of the leaders come from after all? If academics all say their piece, then you, as leaders, can pick out what is good and go by it.'



Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)

Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive