Born in 1945, Zhejiang native Yu Zhengsheng graduated from Harbin's Military Engineering Institute specializing in the design of automated missiles. Yu was mayor of Qingdao and Yantai in his early political career. His brother Yu Qiangsheng defected to the US in 1985, dealing a heavy blow to Yu's political career. Yu became Minister of Construction in 1998, became a Politburo member in 2002, and Shanghai party chief in 2007. He was promoted to the Communist Party's top body, the 7-member Politburo Standing Commitee, during the 18th Party Congress in November 2012.
Defector’s brother Yu Zhengsheng made chairman of CPPCC
Yu Zhengsheng made head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC)
A senior Chinese politician whose brother defected to the US in a major spy scandal was on Monday elected as chairman of the country’s highest-profile advisory organisation, state media reported.
Yu Zhengsheng, who ranks as number four in the Communist Party’s ruling seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, was made head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the official Xinhua news agency said.
He is regarded as one of the party’s “princelings” but has had to overcome major setbacks during his career.
As well as the 1985 defection of his brother Yu Qiangsheng, an intelligence official, his father Yu Qiwei was also once married to Mao Zedong’s fourth wife, Jiang Qing, who was blamed for many of the horrors of the Cultural Revolution.
A 700-word biography of Yu put out by Xinhua mentioned neither his father nor his brother, but said he graduated from the Harbin Military Engineering Institute and specialised in ballistic missile control systems.
The CPPCC is currently holding its annual meeting in Beijing, in parallel with the National People’s Congress, China’s rubberstamp parliament.
The CPPCC is a purely advisory body with little political clout and some non-Communist members, but it is given a high profile as part of the ruling party’s efforts to appear consultative and democratic rather than hierarchical.
Delegates include prominent citizens such as scientists, business owners and artists, with Nobel literature prize winner Mo Yan, basketball star Yao Ming and Hong Kong movie actor Jackie Chan among them this year.