• Tue
  • Sep 16, 2014
  • Updated: 7:04pm

Yu Zhengsheng: Party man of patrician roots

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 October, 2007, 12:00am

As one of the rising stars of the Chinese Communist Party, Hubei party chief Yu Zhengsheng has defied his patrician roots to scale communist political heights.

Mr Yu, 62, was born into an aristocratic family in Shaoxing , Zhejiang province , and many of his ancestors occupied official posts during the late Qing Dynasty and the Kuomintang regime. But other family members had a party pedigree.

Mr Yu's father, Yu Qiwei , also known as Huang Jing , was at one point married to Mao Zedong's third wife, Jiang Qing , and introduced the former first lady to the party. He was also the first mayor of Tianjin and head of the Ministry of Machine-building Industry in the 1950s.

His mother, Fan Jin , was director of Beijing Daily, and his wife, Zhang Zhikai , is the daughter of Zhang Zhenhuan , the vice chairman of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence.

Mr Yu graduated from the Missile Engineering Department of the Harbin Military Institute and spent 16 years as a cadre in the Ministry of Electronics Industry, with his last two years as a deputy department head under Jiang Zemin .

His career went on to include stints as mayor and party chief of Qingdao , and member of the Shandong party standing committee. He became Minister of Construction in 1998 and, in 2001, he was promoted to Hubei party head. In 2002 he became director of the provincial CPC standing committee and was appointed to the Politburo.

Mr Yu's career continued, despite the defection to the US in 1985 of his older brother, Yu Qiangsheng , a senior intelligence officer from the Ministry of State Security, while the younger Yu was deputy party secretary of the Shandong city of Yantai .

Also among his relatives are his grand-uncle, Yu Da-wei, who served as Taiwan's national defence minister in 1954, and his cousin, Yu Yang-ho, the son-in-law of former Taiwanese president Chiang Ching-kuo.

However complex his family background, Mr Yu has displayed a solid capacity to govern. While mayor of Qingdao, he sold off the municipal government's downtown offices to an overseas developer and moved operations out of the city to boost development in the countryside, a decision that was well received.

'He is a high-profile and competent leader,' a Qingdao professor said. 'He doesn't miss any chance to show off his capabilities, but he's very skilful.'

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