The launch ceremony for a book by former premier Zhu Rongji is held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Monday. The book features photographs, speeches and letters written by Zhu between 1987 and 1991, when he held leading posts in Shanghai, including mayor and Party chief. — Former premier Zhu Rongji unveiled his third book on Monday, featuring a record of speeches, photos and letters dating back more than 20 years.
Records of Zhu Rongji’s Talks in Shanghai includes 106 transcripts of speeches and talks, 83 photos, and nine letters and instructions written between 1987 and 1991, when he held leading posts in the city including mayor and Party chief. Most of the book’s contents have never been published before.
Zhu, now 85, was premier from 1998 to 2003, and is referred to by many netizens as the “iron-faced premier” for being upright, outspoken and firm in his fight against corruption.
He is also noted for initiating bold economic reforms of State-owned enterprises and encouraging the transition to a market economy.
The newly published articles show Zhu’s determination to establish clean governance and his efforts to promote economic reform, improve people’s livelihoods, protect the environment and construct Pudong New Area in Shanghai.
In a speech to high-ranking leaders of Shanghai, Zhu urged them to play a leading role in clean governance, while in a talk with Japanese journalists he said he was angry at officials who ignored the people’s grief and spent a lot on government banquets.
In a speech from April 1988, Zhu said he believed in thinking independently.
“I’m an orphan, and my parents died very early,” Zhu said in the speech. “I saw the Party as my mother.”
The book, which runs to about 300,000 words, has been previewed thoroughly by Zhu before being published, said publisher Huang Shuyuan, president of the People’s Publishing House. Huang told Southern Metropolis Daily that much of the book’s content was in line with the current “mass line” campaign, which was initiated by the Party Central Committee in April to encourage close ties with the people.
In a speech in 1988, Zhu told Shanghai officials that government leaders should say no to formalism, including repeated TV reports about his daily activities.
On June 18, the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee said during a “mass-line themed” meeting that it will act as a “thorough cleanup” of undesirable work styles such as formalism, bureaucratism, hedonism and extravagance.
Yang Chungui, former vice-president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, said at the book’s launch on Monday that he was impressed by Zhu’s uprightness, high working efficiency and dedication to the people.
In Shanghai, Zhu’s new book met with success in the city’s major bookstores, with readers expressing deep feelings for the former leader.
Zhong Cheng, a Shanghai lawyer who bought a copy on Monday, said, “This is a valuable and compelling historic record for Shanghai people and researchers.”
Shanghai Book Mall, where there was an eye-catching advertisement promoting the new book, said that by 2:40 pm on Monday it had sold 1,008 copies of the paperback edition and 105 copies of hardback edition.
“Certainly, it is one of the best-sellers in recent years, and I guess the sales will keep rising in coming days,” said Jiang Li, deputy general manager of the bookstore.
Xu Bin, a college student majoring in ideology and politics, said the book will be a great help to his thesis.
The sales department leader from Shanghai Guji Bookstore who gave only his surname, Wu, said the book arrived on Sunday and had sold 800 copies out of 1,300 through reservation.
In 2009, Zhu published his first book, a compilation of transcripts from his news conferences. The sales of the book hit 700,000 copies in the first week.
In September 2011, Zhu’s second book, Record of Zhu Rongji’s Talks, was published, including more than 300 of his speeches, talks, letters and written instructions from 1991 to 2003, when he served two four-year terms as vice-premier and another term as premier.