Li Yuanchao, New VP of China, Once a Student at Harvard


In October 2007, Li was elected a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, as well as appointed as a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee.
In this file photo taken on Aug. 26, 2011, Li Yuanchao (2nd R) holds a local child up
during a visit in Kashi, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Xinhua)

In the past five years, as the head of the CPC’s official management organ, Li impressed others by embarking on a mission of reform and innovation. He proactively and steadily promoted the reform of the official and personnel system, as well as selected and appointed officials in a democratic, open, competitive and merit-based manner.

He adhered to an official selection standard that stresses both integrity and ability, as well as prioritizes moral integrity.

“Honest men should not suffer losses and those who serve personal interests through trickery must not succeed,” he said.

He was determined to rectify unhealthy tendencies in the selection of officials.

“Those who trade official positions must lose all reputation and those who bribe and buy positions should suffer a double loss,” he said. Li’s words struck a chord among both officials and society.

An official satisfaction survey established by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee has become an important method of promoting the credibility of official appointments.

Li has been actively promoting China’s Medium- and Long-Term Talent Development Plan (2010-2020) and the Thousand Talents Program, which introduces overseas distinguished scholars to China.

“An opening China has enormous opportunities and a developing China boasts tremendous prospects. Today’s world not only has an American dream, but a Chinese dream as well,” Li said, adding that more and more Chinese people who have studied overseas have returned to start their dreams in China, while more and more foreigners have chosen China as their land of opportunity.

“Being advanced and pursuing excellence are characteristics of CPC members,” said Li, who has spared no efforts to inspire grassroots CPC organizations, officials and members to pursue excellence.

“We should do better work as people expect us to do,” he said.

Having experienced and learned from hardship in the countryside, Li has encouraged university graduates to go to villages to “take the people as their teachers.”

A program that has allowed about 200,000 university graduates to become village officials has brought fresh blood and knowledge to the construction of the new countryside. It has also become a backup for future CPC and government officials.

“Most of the time, Li is gentle, cultivated, modest and easy-going, but sometimes he shows an iron hand when something illegal happens,” Jiangsu officials and CPC Central Committee Organization Department colleagues have said of Li.

Li loves to read and solve math problems while traveling by train. He obtained a master’s degree in science at the Peking University and a doctorate degree in law at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. Li was also one of the first provincial and ministerial officials sent by the Chinese government to study at the Harvard University.

At the first plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee held last November, Li was once again elected member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Li’s wife, Gao Jianjin, graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She is now a professor at the Central Conservatory of Music, as well as the first director of the school’s department of music education.

The pair are both alumni of the Shanghai Nan Yang Model High School. They have one son.