Zhu Rongji’s latest book hits shelves

By Liu Sha Source:Global Times Published: 2013-8-13 0:18:01

A local resident on Monday reads the new book, which consists of Zhu Rongji's speeches, at the Shanghai Book Mall on Fuzhou Road. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

A local resident on Monday reads the new book, which consists of Zhu Rongji's speeches, at the Shanghai Book Mall on Fuzhou Road. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Nationwide attention has been focused on the new book by outspoken former premier Zhu Rongji, which analysts see as a prelude to a new round of discussions over reforms ahead of the third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China slated for later this year.

Zhu's sixth book, which hit the market Monday, consists of 106 speeches, talks, correspondence and notes, as well as 83 photos, from his tenure as the mayor of Shanghai and the municipality's Party chief from 1987 to 1991.

The speeches reveal many decision-making processes and a local government's determination to push forward economic and political reforms, which are currently needed, said Tian Yun, editor-in-chief of the China Macroeconomic Information Network under the National Development and Reform Commission.

"The book's glamor lies in the fact that it is about a reformer's experience," Tian told the Global Times, adding that public anticipation for a clearer map of reform would intensify before the third plenary session, as the first two sessions dealt more with the general direction of the country's social development under the new leadership.

Zhu, vice premier from 1991 to 1998 and premier till his retirement in 2003, pushed massive financial reforms by encouraging State-owned enterprises to enter the private sector.

Tian said the recent economic slowdown has triggered worries and many have started to compare current problems to those in the 1990s.

Huang Shuyuan, head of the People's Publishing House, which published the book, said the contents were not intentionally selected. "Zhu made those speeches when Shanghai was experiencing a hard time dealing with declining fiscal incomes and serious housing problems."

Zhu started by building a corruption-free government, while many officials in vested interest groups nowadays do not have the motivation or courage to reform, said Huang Weiping, a politics professor from Shenzhen University, adding that Zhu set a good example.

Many excerpts from the book have been discussed by Net users.

Zhu said, "we must reform or we'll be finished" in a speech after seeing the complicated administrative procedure that a foreign investor had to go through in Shanghai back then. 

Huang Weiping said many problems mentioned in the book have been solved, but we could still refer to them when grappling with difficulties like the widening wealth gap and corruption.

The book is also a good reference for the ongoing "mass line" campaign, through which the Party aims to consolidate its ruling status against the backdrop of a more diversified society and growing citizen awareness, Huang Shuyuan said.

Zhu's previous books saw more than 6 million copies sold, while publishers estimate that the latest one will surpass 1 million. All royalties will be donated to institutions as requested by Zhu.

Posted in: Society, Books

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