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Definition of ZHU RONGJI
1928– prime min. of China (1998–2003)
biographical name(Concise Encyclopedia)
(born Oct. 23, 1928, Changsha, Hunan province, China) Premier of the State Council of China (1998–2003). In the 1950s he was denounced as a rightist, and he was purged again in the 1970s, but, once his Communist Party membership was restored, he rose rapidly. In 1988 he became mayor of Shanghai and in 1991 a deputy premier of the State Council. He was governor of the People's Bank of China (1993–95) and became director of the Institute for Economic Management at Qinghua University in 1994. He was appointed premier in 1998. In the face of the Asian economic crisis at the end of the 1990s, he worked to drastically cut back the size of the government bureaucracy. Zhu, whose economic policies have been both praised and criticized, stepped down as premier in 2003 and was replaced by Wen Jiabao.