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.
Graft buster Wang Qishan orders staff to ditch VIP cards
Reuters in Beijing
China’s top anti-corruption official has demanded his staffers ditch their VIP cards, commonly given out by Chinese businesses to grant access to discounts or exclusive services, state media said on Monday, as part of the country’s push to defeat graft.
VIP cards in China can offer everything from cheap deals at massage parlours to free gifts in department stores and preferential seating at popular restaurants, and hence offer countless opportunities for abuse by corrupt officials and businesspeople.
“Although membership cards are small (objects), they reflect big problems of working style,” the official Xinhua news agency cited Wang Qishan, head of the ruling Communist Party’s anti-corruption bureau, as saying at a meeting.
Officials and employees working in disciplinary and supervisory departments should discard all their VIP cards by June 20 and follow this order “seriously and earnestly”, the report added.
This campaign is a way for graft-busters to act by example for other party members by showing they have high standards, Wang said.
“The demands of the campaign are not onerous, but they have to be followed and are totally doable,” he added. “Men of honour need to show that they are honourable.”
Since becoming Communist Party boss in November, and president in March, Xi Jinping has made battling pervasive corruption a top theme of his administration, warning the problem is so severe it could threaten the party’s survival.
A major theme of that fight has been an austerity drive that has emptied top-end restaurants and dented the sale of expensive food and drink, as the party tries to allay criticism of the extravagant lifestyles of some officials.
However, there has been little apparent progress to get officials to publicly disclose their assets, and the party has given no indication it will allow the establishment of a fully independent judicial body to tackle corruption.