Wang Qishan was born in Qingdao, Shandong in 1948, and graduated from the History Department of Northwest University in 1976. Wang was a deputy governor of China's central bank between 1993 and 1994, then president of China Construction Bank from 1994 to 1997. He was appointed acting mayor of Beijing when SARS struck the city in spring 2003, and served as mayor until 2007. Known for his straight-talking style and financial management expertise, Wang was promoted to vice premier in 2008. He became a member of the Politburo Standing Committee during the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, as well as secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Vice-Premier Wang Qishan greeted his long-time acquaintance Henry Paulson with his trademark humour yesterday.
In his first meeting with the US Treasury secretary in his new capacity as a vice-premier, Mr Wang said he was a little worried by what he had seen on television the night before. 'I saw you in the news footage and I was a bit concerned because you looked a bit worn out on the TV,' he said. 'But you look glowing today, so I feel really happy and relieved.'
The pair have known each other since Mr Paulson was a senior banker with Goldman Sachs and Mr Wang worked for China Construction Bank.
Mr Paulson congratulated Mr Wang on his new appointment, saying: 'It's great for me to address you as vice-premier now. I am looking forward to working closely with you as we prepare for the next Strategic Economic Dialogue session.'
Mr Wang is being seen as a replacement for Wu Yi as a troubleshooter on international trade affairs. Ms Wu stepped down as a vice-premier last month.