Wen Jiabao

Ailing vice-premier keeps himself in the spotlight

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 June, 2006, 12:00am

State media yesterday continued to play up ailing Vice-Premier Huang Ju's partial return to politics after he issued a directive to a national meeting to promote the use of digital technology in government.

China's sixth-highest-ranking official, Mr Huang was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early this year. He did not make a personal appearance, but along with Premier Wen Jiabao sent written directives to the meeting. Only Vice-Premier Zeng Peiyan spoke at the meeting, according to China Central Television.

In his directive, Premier Wen said 'electronic governance', administrative reform and a more efficient public service with higher standards increased the public's opportunities to take part in economic and social activities.

Mr Huang echoed the theme, saying electronic technology was key to bureaucratic reform and improving the public service.

The 68-year-old official was diagnosed with cancer before the Lunar New Year and disappeared from the public spotlight for almost five months.

Last week, a pale-looking Mr Huang made an official appearance at the Great Hall of the People.