WU YI Biography - Royalty, Rulers & leaders


Biography » royalty rulers leaders » wu yi


Wu Yi(born 1938 in Wuhan city, Hubei, China) is one of four vice-premiers of the State Council and the Minister of Public Health of the People’s Republic of China. In April of 1962, she joined the Communist Party of China. In August of the same year, she graduated from the Petroleum Refinery department at the Beijing Petroleum Institute , with a degree in petroleum engineering. She spent much of her career as a petroleum technician, eventually becoming deputy manager at the Beijing Dongfang Hong refinery, and assistant manager and Party secretary at the Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Corporation.


She was elected vice mayor of Beijing in 1988, and held that post until 1991. Following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, she persuaded coal-workers threatening to go on strike to continue working after some of their colleages had been killed. From 1991 until 1998, she held successively the posts of Vice Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, and member of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth CPC Central Committees. A protege of Zhu Rongji, she became a state councillor in 1998, and was appointed vice-premier of the State Council in March of 2003. She helped negotiate the PRC’s entry into the World Trade Organization and reorganized the customs service after U.S. complaints over the widespread violation of intellectual property rights.


During the SARS crisis, she replaced Zhang Wenkang , who had been fired over the coverup, as health minister and headed a committee to solve the crisis. She was called the “goddess of transparency” by Time magazine for her leadership during the SARS crisis. In the middle of the SARS endemic, Wu fiercely snubbed the advocation for Republic of China’s WHO participation during the WHO general assembly. One video clip aired widely in Taiwan showed Wu and her official company rebuffing on the question of Taiwan’s representation during interview by a Taiwanese reporter.


Regarded as a firm and direct woman who, unlike her colleagues, is neither male nor has dyed her graying hair black, she remains unmarried. She denied rumors of a relationship with Yang Shangkun in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since becoming Vice-premier , Wu has been an able diplomat in signing agreements with neighboring Asian countries. She also makes frequent inspection visits to many southern Chinese regions.