Zhang Gaoli is the current first-ranked Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China and a member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China. He was previously CPC Tianjin Committee Secretary until November 2012 and was the Party Secretary in the economic sprawl of Shandong province until March 2007.
Zhang was born in Jinjiang, Fujian, in November 1946. He joined the CPC in November 1973, and he is an economist by profession. He was educated at Xiamen University in Xiamen from 1965 to 1970.
From 1997 to 2002 he held prominent leadership positions in the special economic zone of Shenzhen and the provincial government of Guangdong, and was instrumental in the economic development of region. An economic thinker, Zhang was then entrusted with the economic development of Shandong, where he was the first-in-charge CPC Shandong Committee Secretary.
Before the 17th Party Congress the central leadership moved Zhang in a provincial leadership reshuffle to lead the coastal city of Tianjin. He is believed to be an emerging member of the fifth generation of Chinese leadership.
At the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, he was elected to the 18th Standing Committee. On 15 March 2013, he was appointed first vice premier to the cabinet led by premier Li Keqiang.
Mr. Zhang is not only a noted economist but also the main specialist for issues on Korean peninsula. He is fluent in Korean after studying two years in North Korea.