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.
'We can clear a path to victory'
Zhu Rongji, who vowed last year to 'blaze my own trail and never hesitate', said yesterday he would overcome 'whatever hurdles and hardship' to victory.
On the eve of delivering his first report card to NPC deputies, the Premier told CPPCC members he was confident of reaching his goals.
'As long as the whole country can conscientiously implement the decisions and strategies set by party central, we can triumph over any obstacles we face on our road ahead,' Mr Zhu was quoted by the semi-official China News Service as saying.
In a joint meeting with deputies from the economic sector, Mr Zhu said there was nothing to deter him.
With confidence and determination, Mr Zhu said, he was sure to do the job well this year.
A number of reform initiatives announced by Mr Zhu have been shelved or checked in the past year due to a severe slowdown of the Asian economies and rising domestic unrest.
Other top leaders also moved around yesterday, collecting opinions from CPPCC members. President Jiang Zemin visited deputies representing the religious sector and Vice-Premier Wen Jiabao held talks with the deputies on agriculture.
Mr Jiang reiterated that religion must not be used to destabilise the country and encouraged the religious leaders to mobilise the faithful to contribute to social stability and harmony.
Another vice-premier, Li Lanqing, met deputies from the eight so-called democratic parties and assured them their suggestions would be taken seriously by the leadership.