Premier of China between 2003 and 2013, Wen Jiabao served as vice-premier between 1998 and 2002. Wen, who was born in 1942, spent 14 years working in Gansu province’s geological bureau before being promoted in 1982 to vice-minister of geology and mineral resources. Wen graduated from the Beijing Institute of Geology in 1968 and has a master’s degree in geology. He was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee between 2002 and 2012.
Paying the price for dealing in death
Heng Tinghan , foreman, life sentence
Zhao Yanbing , kiln supervisor, death sentence
Wang Bingbing , kiln owner, nine years in jail
Yang Xiaolan , Heng's wife, two years in jail, suspended for three years
Heng Mingyang , Heng's brother and kiln supervisor, two years' jail
Liu Dongsheng , kiln supervisor, two years' jail
June 5 About 400 Henan and Shanxi parents make a public appeal on the internet for the rescue of hundreds of children forced to work under brutal conditions in brick kilns.
June 10 CCTV broadcasts footage of crackdowns on illegal kilns in Linfen and Yuncheng .
June 15 President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao order an investigation into the scandal.
June 16 Kiln foreman Heng Tinghan is arrested in Hubei after fleeing raids at the end of May.
June 20 Mr Wen heads a meeting in which he pledges to crack down on illegal kilns, rescue slaves and protect workers' rights.
July 5 160 suspected kiln bosses in Shanxi are detained and at least one village-level Communist Party secretary is expelled from the party.