The new president, Xi Jinping, promised that he will rout out corruption. His new prime minister, Li Keqiang, echoed his view. Now they found another man Wang Qishan. They will rely heavily on him to eradicate endemic corruption in China. He is nicknamed China as fire chief. Former Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner presented him with an authentic New York City Fire Department hat during Wang’s visit to the United States in 2011
He was made an executive vice Governor of Guangdong in 1998 to handle the bankruptcy of a major financial institution in the wake of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. His friend and former colleague, Huang Jiangnan, told the Financial Times, “I tried to tell him just how powerful these bankers were and how close their ties were to top political leaders and I said how worried I was about their reaction if he forced them to take such huge losses. He just told me to stop speaking and insisted he had to persevere. He is really a very resolute and insistent person.” U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson said that Wang is “decisive and inquisitive” and “an avid historian, enjoys philosophical debates and has a wicked sense of humour.” Paulson writes, “And he is bold — he takes on challenges, does things that have never been done before and succeeds. Wang managed the largest bankruptcy restructuring in China’s history in 1998 and thereby prevented a banking crisis that could have crippled the country’s growth.”
He and three other young scholars (Weng Yongxi, Huang Jiangnan, and Zhu Jiaming), all in their late 20s and early 30s, wrote a comprehensive economic reform report in which they explored the periodic crisis of shortages in socialist economy—a previously taboo subject. The report was submitted to senior economic policy-makers in the top leadership. Instead of being rapped for their audacity they were invited by Premier Zhao Ziyang to a roundtable discussion of their report. Their report received favourable comments.
He was appointed party secretary of Hainan Province in 2002 to address the decade-long real estate bubble on the island. He was transferred to Beijing at the peak of the SARS epidemic in the spring of 2003. He was mayor of Beijing during the 2008 Olympics. He is married to Yao Minshan, daughter of former vice-premier Yao Yilin and is considered a “princeling” through his marriage.
With his impressive track record Wang moves into the inner circle of President Xi, to crackdown on corruption in China. He is expected to perform better than all his predecessors. Mr Wang,66, still young by Chinese political standards, is ranked only sixth in the seven-man Politburo Standing Committee that in effect governs China and includes President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. In so far as corruption is concerned Wang is only second to President Xi himself.
Exposing corruption at top level could lower the public opinion of their leaders which could have a destabilising effect on Chinese politics. Mr Wand has a tight rope walking task ahead of him. Chinese people believe that he will be the best man for the job.