Wang Qishan

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-President Wang Qishan in Davos. China’s right-hand man to President Xi Jinping seems cut from the same pragmatic cloth as Zhu Rongji. Photo: EPA-EFE

Could Wang Qishan be the new face of Chinese pragmatism?

China’s vice-president made it a point in his Davos speech to stress Beijing’s commitment to taking a pragmatic approach in problem-solving – welcome words that should help ease tense US-China relations.