Qiao Shi

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Qiao Shi
乔石
Qiaoshi in 1994.jpg
Qiao Shi in 1994
6th Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
In office
27 March 1993 15 March 1998
Preceded by Wan Li
Succeeded by Li Peng
Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
In office
October 1987 October 1992
Preceded by Chen Yun
(first secretary)
Succeeded by Wei Jianxing
Director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China
In office
June 1983 April 1984
General Secretary Hu Yaobang
Preceded by Hu Qili
Succeeded by Wang Zhaoguo
Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission
In office
1985–1992
Preceded by Chen Pixian
Succeeded by Ren Jianxin
Personal details
Born(1924-12-24)24 December 1924
Shanghai, China
Died14 June 2015(2015-06-14) (aged 90)
Beijing, China
Political party Communist Party of China
Spouse(s)
Yu Wen
(m. 1952;died 2013)
Children2 sons and 2 daughters
Qiao Shi
Traditional Chinese 喬石
Simplified Chinese 乔石

Qiao Shi (24 December 1924 – 14 June 2015) was a Chinese politician and one of the top leaders of the Communist Party of China. He was a member of the party's top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee, from 1987 to 1997. He was a contender for the paramount leadership of China, but lost out to his political rival Jiang Zemin, who assumed the post of General Secretary of the party in 1989. Qiao Shi instead served as Chairman of the National People's Congress, then the third-ranked political position, from 1993 until his retirement in 1998. [1] Compared with his peers, including Jiang Zemin, Qiao Shi adopted a more liberal stance in political and economic policy, promoting the rule of law and market-oriented reform of state-owned enterprises. [2]

Communist Party of China Political party of the Peoples Republic of China

The Communist Party of China (CPC), also referred to as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China. The Communist Party is the sole governing party within mainland China, permitting only eight other, subordinated parties to co-exist, those making up the United Front. It was founded in 1921, chiefly by Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The party grew quickly, and by 1949 it had driven the nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) government from mainland China after the Chinese Civil War, leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It also controls the world's largest armed forces, the People's Liberation Army.

In modern Chinese politics, the paramount leader of the Communist Party of China and the government of China is an informal term for the most prominent political leader in the People's Republic of China. The paramount leader is not a formal position nor an office unto itself and the term gained prominence during the era of Deng Xiaoping (1978–1989), who was able to wield power without necessarily holding any official or formally significant party or government positions at any given time.

Jiang Zemin General Secretary of the Communist Party of China

Jiang Zemin is a retired Chinese politician who served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2002 as Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China from 1989 to 2004 and as President of the People's Republic of China from 1993 to 2003. Jiang has been described as the "core of the third generation" of Communist Party leaders since 1989.

Contents

Early life

Qiao Shi was born Jiang Zhitong (蔣志彤; Jiǎng Zhìtóng) in December 1924 in Shanghai. His father was from Dinghai, Zhejiang province and worked as an accountant in Shanghai. His mother was a worker at Shanghai No. 1 Textile Mill. [3] He studied literature at East China Associated University, but did not graduate. He adopted the nom de guerre Jiang Qiaoshi after becoming involved with underground revolutionary activities when he was sixteen years old, as was common practice at the time for young aspiring Communists. He eventually dropped the surname Jiang altogether and simply went by "Qiao Shi". He joined the Communist Party of China in August 1940, and became involved with the anti-Kuomintang student movement in his youth. His specialty was intelligence and security. [4] [5]

Shanghai Municipality in Peoples Republic of China

Shanghai is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of the central government of the People's Republic of China, the largest city in China by population, and the largest city proper in the world, with a population of 26.3 million as of 2019. It is a global financial center and transport hub, with the world's busiest container port. Located in the Yangtze River Delta, it sits on the south edge of the estuary of the Yangtze in the middle portion of the Eastern China coast. The municipality borders the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang to the south, east and west, and is bound to the east by the East China Sea.

Zhejiang Province in China

Zhejiang, alternately romanized as Chekiang), is an eastern coastal province of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered by Jiangsu and Shanghai to the north, Anhui to the northwest, Jiangxi to the west, and Fujian to the south. To the east is the East China Sea, beyond which lie the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. The population of Zhejiang stands at 57 million, the 10th highest among China. Other notable cities include Ningbo and Wenzhou.

Kuomintang Political party in the Republic of China

The Kuomintang of China, also spelled as Guomindang and often alternatively translated as the Nationalist Party of China (NPC) or the Chinese Nationalist Party (CNP), is a major political party in the Republic of China based in Taipei that was founded in 1911. The KMT is currently an opposition political party in the Legislative Yuan.

Mao era

After the People's Republic of China was established in 1949, Qiao Shi served as a leader of the Communist Youth League in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province until 1954. From 1954 to 1962, he worked at Anshan Iron and Steel Company in Northeast China, and then Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company in Gansu, Northwest China. [6]

Communist Youth League of China organization

The Communist Youth League of China, also known as the Young Communist League of China or simply the Communist Youth League, is a youth movement of the People's Republic of China for youth between the ages of fourteen and twenty-eight, run by the Communist Party of China (CPC). The league is organized on the party pattern. Its leader is its First Secretary, who is an alternate member of the CPC Central Committee. The current First Secretary is He Junke. The Communist Youth League is responsible also for guiding the activities of the Young Pioneers.

Hangzhou Prefecture-level & Sub-provincial city in Zhejiang, Peoples Republic of China

Hangzhou formerly romanized as Hangchow, is the capital and most populous city of Zhejiang Province in East China. It sits at the head of Hangzhou Bay, which separates Shanghai and Ningbo. Hangzhou grew to prominence as the southern terminus of the Grand Canal and has been one of the most renowned and prosperous cities in China for much of the last millennium. The city's West Lake, a UNESCO World Heritage site immediately west of the city, is among its best-known attractions. A study conducted by PwC and China Development Research Foundation saw Hangzhou ranked first among "Chinese Cities of Opportunity". Hangzhou is also considered a World City with a "Beta+" classification according to GaWC.

Northeast China geographic region

Northeast China or Dongbei is a geographical region of China. It also historically corresponds with the term Inner Manchuria in the English language. The name Manchuria was first invented in the 17th century by Japanese people to refer to a large geographic region in Northeast Asia. However, no term for "Manchuria" exists in the Manchu language, which originally referred to the area as the "Three Eastern Provinces"; mnc.ᡩᡝᡵᡤᡳ
ᡳᠯᠠᠨ
ᡤᠣᠯᠣ
, Dergi ilan golo; zh. 東三省 / 东三省, Dōng Sānshěng).

In 1963, Qiao Shi was transferred to the International Liaison Department (ILD) of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. He was recognized as an expert in international studies, and travelled widely to other communist countries. [4] However, he was severely persecuted when the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, because his wife Yu Wen was a niece of Chen Bulei, a key advisor to the Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek. He underwent numerous struggle sessions, which caused him to be hospitalized for duodenal ulcer and blood loss. In 1969, Qiao Shi and his wife were sent to work in rural labour camps, first in Heilongjiang, and later in Henan province. He was able to return to the ILD in 1971, when Geng Biao became Director of the department. [3]

Central Committee of the Communist Party of China political body that comprises the top leaders of the Communist Party of China

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is a political body that comprises the top leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC). It is currently composed of 205 full members and 171 alternate members. Members are nominally elected once every five years by the unicameral National Congress of the Communist Party of China, though, in practice the selection process is done privately, and exclusively by the party's Politburo and its corresponding Standing Committee. The members have no essential decision making power. They ceremonially exercise their voting, to provide evidence to the nation that a decision has been made by the people.

Cultural Revolution socio-political movement in China

The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement in China from 1966 until 1976. Launched by Mao Zedong, then Chairman of the Communist Party of China, its stated goal was to preserve Chinese Communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Mao Zedong Thought as the dominant ideology within the Party. The Revolution marked Mao's return to a position of power after the failures of his Great Leap Forward. The movement paralyzed China politically and negatively affected both the economy and society of the country to a significant degree. An estimated 500,000 to 2,000,000 people were killed.

Chiang Kai-shek Chinese politician and military leader

Chiang Kai-shek, also known as Generalissimo Chiang or Chiang Chungcheng and romanized as Chiang Chieh-shih or Jiang Jieshi, was a Chinese nationalist politician, revolutionary and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China between 1928 and 1975, first in China until 1949 and then in Taiwan until his death.

Rise to power

After the end of the Cultural Revolution, Qiao Shi became the Deputy Director of ILD in 1978, [7] and Director in 1982, responsible for managing relationships with foreign communist parties. He also became an alternate member of the central Secretariat, the day-to-day executive arm of the party organization. Subsequently, he also held the positions of head of the CPC General Office, in charge of routine party administration, and of the Organization Department, in charge of human resources. [4] Under his directorship, the General Office changed its focus from class struggle to economic development, as part of the reform and opening-up policy. [7]

Secretariat of the Communist Party of China body serving the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and its Standing Committee

The Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China is a body serving the Politburo of the Communist Party of China and its Standing Committee. The secretariat is mainly responsible for carrying out routine operations of the Politburo and the coordination of organizations and stakeholders to achieve tasks as set out by the Politburo. It is empowered by the Politburo to make routine day-to-day decisions on issues of concern in accordance to the decisions of the Politburo, but it must consult the Politburo on substantive matters.

General Office of the Communist Party of China

The General Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, often referred to as the Central Office (中办), is an office directly under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in charge of the routine administrative affairs of the Central Committee and its Politburo.

Organization Department of the Communist Party of China organization

The Organization Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China is a department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China that controls staffing positions within the CPC.

In 1985, Chinese spy chief Yu Qiangsheng defected to the United States, causing Politburo member and Political and Legal Affairs Commission Secretary Chen Pixian to be demoted. Qiao Shi was then selected to fill the void, partly due to his proximity to General Secretary Hu Yaobang and earning the approval of paramount leader Deng Xiaoping. [8] In that year, Qiao Shi was elected to the Politburo of the Communist Party, the second highest rung of power. In 1986, he became a Vice Premier of the State Council. [2] [5] From 1987 to 1997, Qiao Shi was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's top decision-making body, overseeing the broad portfolios of internal security, intelligence, justice, and party discipline. [8] From 1987 to 1992, he also served as the Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party's agency in charge of anti-corruption efforts. [5]

Yu Qiangsheng was a spy chief of the People's Republic of China who defected to the United States in 1985. The information he provided led to the arrest and suicide of the top Chinese spy Larry Wu-Tai Chin. He was a son of Communist revolutionaries Huang Jing and Fan Jin, and the elder brother of Yu Zhengsheng, the fourth highest-ranking leader of the Communist Party of China since November 2012.

Chen Pixian Chinese politician

Chen Pixian was a Chinese Communist revolutionary and politician. He served in several prominent roles, including party chief of Shanghai and party chief of Hubei province. He was purged at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution but was later rehabilitated.

Hu Yaobang former General Secretary of the Communist Party of China

Hu Yaobang was a high-ranking official of the People's Republic of China. He held the top office of the Communist Party of China from 1981 to 1987, first as Chairman from 1981 to 1982, then as General Secretary from 1982 to 1987. Hu joined the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930s, and rose to prominence as a comrade of Deng Xiaoping. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), Hu was purged, recalled, and purged again by Mao Zedong.

Tiananmen Square and aftermath

Qiao Shi was thought to have played a key role during the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, but it is uncertain whether he supported or opposed the crackdown against the student protesters. [1] Most sources, including the autobiography of General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, said that Qiao Shi held an ambivalent position on how to deal with the protests. He was said to be tolerant of the student movement, and abstained from a May 1989 Politburo vote on whether to send the army to Tiananmen Square. [2]

Qiao Shi managed to keep his leadership position when his Politburo colleagues Zhao Ziyang and Hu Qili, who opposed the crackdown, were purged. In the political aftermath of Tiananmen Square, Qiao Shi and Premier Li Peng were touted as two of the top candidates to lead the party. However, Deng and many party elders felt that Li Peng was too far left and had insufficient knowledge of economics to take the top job. Qiao Shi therefore appeared to be a 'default' choice based on his experience and seniority at the time. [4] Deng personally arranged a meeting with Qiao Shi to discuss the leadership question. [8] However, Qiao Shi eventually lost out to his rival, Shanghai Party Committee Secretary Jiang Zemin, who assumed the party's leading post in 1989 and the presidency in 1993. [4]

It was never made clear why Qiao Shi did not get the nod to become party leader. Observers speculated that Qiao Shi had too much prior experience in law enforcement and therefore was more prone to hardline, aggressive tactics to deal with issues, or that Qiao Shi had lost favour with important "party elders" retired leaders who nevertheless held significant influence in the leadership succession process. Qiao Shi instead became Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in March 1993, officially ranked third in political positions in the People's Republic of China, after General Secretary and Premier. As head of the national legislature, he tried to strengthen China's legal system and turn the national congress from a rubber-stamp body into an institution with real power in establishing the rule of law. [1] Dissident leader and Tiananmen student leader Wang Dan once commented, "Although Qiao Shi is a master of illusions, it's possible that he could lead China toward more enlightened rule." [4]

Relationship with Jiang Zemin

After 1989, Qiao Shi was known to have a tense relationship with the newly anointed party General Secretary Jiang Zemin. Jiang, who had overnight climbed from a municipal leader to Leader of the Communist Party of China, was a mere Politburo member at the time he was called up to Beijing to take the reins (Qiao was a Standing Committee member, one rank above Jiang). Qiao was a party veteran who had served the central organization for over a decade, while Jiang never had any experience in the centre. Qiao also had a glowing resume with revolutionary credentials during his days as a student agitator in Shanghai; Jiang's revolutionary experience appeared unsubstantial by comparison. [8] As a result, it was not lost on political observers and those in the highest echelons of power that Jiang had 'leapfrogged' over Qiao, who by all measures seemed more qualified, had better credentials, and had a wider political network compared to Jiang. [8] Moreover, Qiao Shi's time as China's law enforcement chief meant that he had trusted aides staffed in key positions around the country, which was seen as a dormant threat if not an explicit challenge to Jiang's leadership. [8]

Retirement

After the death of China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in 1997, Party general secretary Jiang Zemin succeeded in excluding Qiao Shi from the CPC Central Committee and the Politburo at the 15th National Congress of the Communist Party of China by lowering the retirement age for party officials to 70 years of age, consolidating his power. [9] In 1998, Qiao Shi, then 73, retired from politics, and largely stayed out of the public eye thereafter. [1]

While Qiao Shi left active politics in 1998, his tenure in the highest echelons of the party and government earned him the distinction of holding the largest number of key offices compared to any of his contemporaries or any leader in succeeding generations. Among other things, Qiao Shi was at one point the top official in charge of party administration, organization and human resources, ideological indoctrination, internal discipline, intelligence, internal security, legislation, law enforcement, and the justice system. [lower-alpha 1] By virtue of his Standing Committee membership, Qiao Shi remained the top official in charge of law enforcement even during his term as the chairman of the National People's Congress. [8]

Unlike his peers, most notably Jiang Zemin and Li Peng, Qiao Shi did not attend even the most important events on the Chinese political calendar after he retired, including the successive party congresses, National People's Congresses, the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, or various anniversaries of historical events. [10] In 2012, he published the book Qiao Shi On Democracy and Rule of Law, which received significant attention from both domestic and international media. [4] That Qiao Shi, a normally low-profile figure content with retirement, would publish such a work in his old age led to speculation that the book was a veiled criticism against the perceived deterioration of the legal and security portfolio under security chief Zhou Yongkang. In 2014, Qiao Shi donated 11 million yuan to the China Legal Exchange Foundation, whose goal was to promote justice and the rule of law. [11]

Death

Qiao Shi died on 14 June 2015 in Beijing at the age of 90. In his official obituary, Qiao Shi was extolled as "an excellent Party member, a time-tested fighter for the communist cause, and an outstanding proletarian revolutionary, statesman and leader of the Party and the state". [7] Qiao Shi was the first major leader from the third-generation of leadership to have died. His obituary numbered over 2,000 Chinese characters, half of the length of the obituaries of second-generation stalwarts Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yun, but far higher than the word count of the obituaries of Hua Guofeng, Liu Huaqing, and Huang Ju, who were each given a mere few hundred words. [12] The announcement of his death was the third item on the evening Xinwen Lianbo program; the announcement was made in the form of a "joint statement" by the top organs of the party and state, which is generally reserved for only the highest-ranked leaders. [13]

Flags were flown at half-mast in mourning of Qiao Shi's death. [14] Qiao's send-off ceremony took place at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery on June 19, 2015. It was attended by President and Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and all the other sitting members of the Politburo Standing Committee except for Zhang Gaoli, who at the time was away on a visit to Europe. Former general secretary Hu Jintao also attended. Jiang Zemin did not attend the funeral proceedings, but state news agencies made special mention of Jiang expressing his condolences; Jiang and his family sent a wreath to the ceremony. [12]

Family

Qiao Shi married Yu Wen (郁文; 1926–2013) in early 1952. They had met when they were both working for the underground Communist Party in Shanghai in the 1940s. They had two daughters and two sons. Their eldest son Jiang Xiaoming (蒋小明; born 1953) earned a doctorate in economics at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Their younger daughter is named Qiao Xiaoxi (乔晓溪), who studied medicine at Baylor University and worked in the United States. [3] [15] They had two other children, son Jiang Xiaodong (蒋小东) and daughter Qiao Ling (乔凌). Qiao's family is largely scandal free and has never been the target of overseas media speculation or criticism, unlike the families of other top Communist officials. [1]

Honours

In April 1996, Qiao Shi was awarded an honorary citizenship by the Cuban capital Havana, and an honorary doctorate in law by the University of Regina of Canada. [6]

Notes

  1. By comparison, "security czar" Zhou Yongkang (Standing Committee term 20072012) was responsible for intelligence, security, and law enforcement, but was never part of the party administration and organization systems.

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References

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  2. 1 2 3 Mackerras, Colin; McMillen, Donald H.; Watson, Andrew (2003). Dictionary of the Politics of the People's Republic of China. Routledge. p. 185. ISBN   978-1-134-53175-2.
  3. 1 2 3 Lu Mengjun (14 June 2015). 乔石往事: 妻子是陈布雷外甥女, "文革"期间被贴了大字报 [Qiao Shi's past: wife was a niece of Chen Bulei]. Eastday (in Chinese).
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Song, Yuwu (2013). Biographical Dictionary of the People's Republic of China. McFarland. p. 258. ISBN   978-0-7864-3582-1.
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  6. 1 2 "Biography of Qiao Shi". Eastday (in Chinese). 14 June 2015.
  7. 1 2 3 "Former Chinese top legislator Qiao Shi dies at age 91". Global Times. 14 June 2015.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Niu Lei (14 June 2015). "牛泪:乔石与江泽民交往秘史". Duowei (History Channel).
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  10. "关于乔石需要了解的五个事实". Duowei News. 14 June 2015.
  11. Jess Macy Yu (23 February 2015). "Former Chinese Premier Draws Praise for His Philanthropy". The New York Times.
  12. 1 2 Mu, Yao (19 June 2015). "第三代无一人露面 中共澄清江泽民不送乔石".
  13. "新闻联播 June 24, 2015". CCTV.
  14. "揭秘中共曾为哪些元老降半旗". 17 June 2015.
  15. "乔石女儿乔晓溪:母亲郁文是我心灵的避风港". Beijing Youth. 1 April 2015.
Assembly seats
Preceded by
Wan Li
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
1993–1998
Succeeded by
Li Peng
Party political offices
Preceded by
Song Renqiong
Head of CPC Central Organization Department
1984–1985
Succeeded by
Wei Jianxing
Preceded by
Ji Pengfei
Head of the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee
1982–1983
Succeeded by
Qian Liren
Preceded by
Chen Pixian
Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission
1985–1992
Succeeded by
Ren Jianxin
Preceded by
Chen Yun
(first secretary)
Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
1987–1992
Succeeded by
Wei Jianxing
Preceded by
Hu Qili
Director of the General Office of the Communist Party of China
1984–1986
Succeeded by
Wang Zhaoguo
Preceded by
Gao Yang
President of the Central Party School
1989–1993
Succeeded by
Hu Jintao