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Wen Jiabao

Wen Jiabao (wĕnˈ jyäˈbouˈ) [key], 1942–, Chinese political leader, b. Tianjin. Originally a geologist, he worked for the Gansu provincial geological bureau (1968–82), where he was the head of its political section, and rose to deputy director general. He later (1982–85) was an officer of the Ministry of Geology and Mineral Resources. In 1985 Wen became a deputy director of the general office of the Chinese Communist party's central committee, thus beginning a steady climb up the national party's leadership ladder. He served China's top leaders as chief of staff for some two decades, became deputy premier, and then served as premier from 2003 to 2013. Wen, though regarded more as a technocrat than a reformist, favored free-market and other reforms, but as China's premier he was an isolated voice for such changes among party leaders.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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