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LIU YUNSHAN (simplified Chinese : 刘云山; traditional Chinese : 劉雲山; pinyin : _Liú Yúnshān_; born July 1947) is one of the top leaders of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
, and a current member of the Politburo Standing Committee , the _de facto_ top decision-making body of China.

Liu currently holds a number of important offices in the national leadership of the Communist Party, including that of the first-ranked Secretary of the Secretariat , Chairman of the Commission for Building Spiritual Civilization , leader of the Propaganda and Ideology Leading Group and President of the Central Party School . He is generally seen as the top official in charge of ideology, propaganda work, and party organization.

Liu built his career in Inner Mongolia, working initially as a teacher, then a Xinhua
Xinhua
reporter, before entering the Communist Youth League and Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
party propaganda department. He had a short stint working as the Party Secretary of the city of Chifeng , in Inner Mongolia. Between 2002 and 2012, Liu served as the head of the Central Propaganda Department .

CONTENTS

* 1 Early life

* 2 Politburo career

* 2.1 After 18th Party Congress

* 3 Criticism * 4 Family * 5 References * 6 External links

EARLY LIFE

Liu was born to an ordinary family of farmers in Tumed Right Banner in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
; he traces his ancestry to Xinzhou , Shanxi province. He spent over twenty years of his career in Inner Mongolia. He joined the Communist Party in 1971. He initially worked as a teacher, then was "sent down" to do manual labour in the countryside as part of the Cultural Revolution .

He attended college part-time at the Jining Teachers College in Ulanqab League , Inner Mongolia. He then worked in the local propaganda department of Tumed Right Banner. He became a Xinhua reporter in 1975, writing stories about nomadic herders in Inner Mongolia and occasionally sleeping in tents to get close to the people that were part of his story. He was eventually promoted to a supervisory role. He then worked for the provincial Communist Youth League organization. In 1985, the 38-year old Liu earned an alternate seat on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
. In 1986, Liu became the Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
party organization's director of propaganda in 1986, and by 1987, the Secretary-General of the Inner Mongolia party committee, a position in charge of coordination the execution of party policy.

Between 1989 and 1992, Liu attended the Central Party School to take courses in public administration . In 1991, he became Party Secretary of the eastern Inner Mongolian city of Chifeng while also holding a seat on the Autonomous Region's Party Standing Committee, making him one of the most powerful officials in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia
at the time. Between 1993 and 2002, he worked in Beijing as the deputy head of the Central Propaganda Department as a deputy to Ding Guangen .

POLITBURO CAREER

In 2002, at the 16th Party Congress , Liu became the head of the Central Propaganda Department . Although he also gained a seat on the Politburo at the same time, the overall direction of ideology and propaganda work was 'supervised' by Standing Committee member Li Changchun ; thus Liu was, for all intents and purposes, not the top propaganda official in China at the time. Liu also became a Secretary of the Secretariat. He was also a member of the 17th Politburo of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
.

After the 18th Party Congress in November 2012, Liu was elected to both the 18th Politburo and its Standing Committee . Liu accumulated a number of high-level positions in addition to his role of overseeing propaganda, including the top spot in the Secretariat , which was formerly held by Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping
, who became General Secretary of the Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
, i.e., party leader. Liu, considered a censorship hard-liner, was seen as a staunchly conservative member of the Standing Committee who religiously upheld party orthodoxy. Previously, the top position of the Secretariat and the leading post for propaganda were held by separate people.

Several theories had been proposed for Liu's elevation to the Standing Committee. His two-term tenure was often cited as a primary factor. China analyst Cheng Li said that Liu was elevated due to the patronage of former leader Jiang Zemin
Jiang Zemin
. Others suggest that Liu was a balancing force in that he had both Communist Youth League experience and loyally upheld party orthodoxy as a conservative. That Liu Yunshan effectively succeeded in the portfolios held by two individuals prior to the Congress was arguably an indication of the breadth of his power. However, unlike his predecessors Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping
and Zeng Qinghong, Liu did not take on the office of Vice President as was customary for the two previous first-ranked Secretaries of the Secretariat, which went to Li Yuanchao . In 2013, Liu was named one of three deputy leaders of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms .

AFTER 18TH PARTY CONGRESS

Following the 18th Party Congress, Liu also emerged as the main official in charge of party organization and personnel, as well as the leading official in charge of propagating the so-called "mass line " education in the party as well as "party building". During the Xi Jinping administration 's crackdown on corruption , which began in 2013, Liu acted as the top official attending the leadership transition meeting in the aftermath of the political 'earthquake' in Shanxi province which saw the removal of a large number of top provincial leaders. That a Standing Committee member attended the 'transition meeting' was regarded as extremely unusual, as generally the central authorities in Beijing would dispatch the head of the Organization Department to such an event.

In May 2015, Liu penned an article on _Study Times_ in which he criticized that political culture in the Communist Party must not become too "lax and flexible" and that party members must resolutely follow party rules. Some commentators saw the remarks as implicitly critical of star television host Bi Fujian , who made some comments critical of Mao which surfaced on an online video.

Liu led the Chinese delegation on a visit to North Korea
North Korea
in 2015, and met with Workers' Party first secretary Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
, becoming the first Politburo Standing Committee heavyweight to meet with the young North Korean leader. Liu delivered a personal letter from Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping
to Kim Jong-un. Liu and Kim embraced in front of cameras in a show of camaraderie. Liu also accompanied the North Korean leader in watching the military parade marking the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the Workers\' Party of Korea . Perhaps due to his wide influence over the portfolios of propaganda and ideology, Liu has played a somewhat unusual role in representing the Chinese leadership in meetings with global technology companies. Liu met with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in March 2016, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella
in November 2016.

Liu is expected to retire at the 19th Party Congress in 2017 due to informally mandated retirement age rules, which stipulates that any official 68 years of age or older during a year in which the Party Congress is held must retire.

CRITICISM

Liu Yunshan has been subject to criticism by the writer Tie Liu , whose work has been published by the Independent Chinese PEN Center. In an essay entitled _We must Account for Liu Yunshan's Crimes Against Reform_, Tie Liu wrote, " Liu Yunshan was the mastermind behind the corruption of China's media organs. He is the arch-nemesis of the path to reform in China, and the biggest opponent of the administration of Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping
and Premier Li Keqiang
Li Keqiang
." Tie Liu also alleged that Liu Yunshan was "morally depraved", and was a supporter of the "Bo Xilai - Zhou Yongkang
Zhou Yongkang
clique", alluding to Liu as one of China's foremost leftists ("leftists" can also be understood as "Maoists "). Tie Liu also wrote, "for over a decade, with publishing and television all under Liu Yunshan's control, there hasn't been a single newspaper reporting the truth, not a single book that could stand on its feet, and not a single good movie or television series." In the same essay, Tie Liu voiced support for other leaders, such as Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, and Wang Qishan
Wang Qishan
.

FAMILY

Liu is married to Li Sufang (李素芳), who worked at the Civil Aviation Administration of China . Liu and his wife had two sons, Liu Lefei (刘乐飞) and Liu Leting (刘乐亭). Liu Lefei was, as of 2014, the vice-chairman of CITIC Securities .

His son and daughter-in-law have been named in association with the Panama Papers .

REFERENCES

* ^ At the 16th Party Congress in 2002, Zeng Qinghong held the first-ranked Secretariat position, while Li Changchun was the propaganda chief; at the 17th Party Congress in 2007, Li retained his position, but Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping
became first-ranked Secretary of the Secretariat.

* ^ " Liu Yunshan sworn in as president of Central Party School". _Want China Times_. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013. * ^ _A_ _B_ ""接地气才能有底气"——记中共中央政治局常委刘云山". _Xinhua_. December 25, 2012. * ^ _A_ _B_ Li, Cheng (October 2012). "China’s Top Future Leaders to Watch: Biographical Sketches of Possible Members of the Post-2012 Politburo (Part 2)" (PDF). * ^ "Xi questions propaganda chief’s handling of censorship row". _Asashi Shimbun_. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014. * ^ Li, Cheng (November 16, 2012). "Shadow of former president looms over China\'s new leaders". _CNN_. * ^ _A_ _B_ Gao, Xin (May 13, 2014). "习近平为何会对刘云山礼让三分(高新)". _Radio Free Asia_. * ^ Cheng, Yi (September 1, 2014). "常委刘云山坐镇山西换帅 高规格交接藏玄机". _Duowei News_. * ^ "炮打毕福剑 刘云山发威". May 18, 2015. * ^ "Message From China’s Leader, Xi Jinping, to North Korea
North Korea
May Signal Thaw". October 10, 2015. * ^ 刘云山晤扎克伯格 脸书进中国没戏 * ^ "Senior CPC Official Meets Microsoft CEO in Beijing". _CCTV_. November 15, 2016. * ^ Original in Chinese written by Tie Liu read: 近十多年来中国新闻出版与电视在刘云山控管与操纵下,沒有一张说实話言真相的报纸,也沒有一本立得住足的好书,更没有一部好电影好电视剧。 * ^ "81岁高龄右派作家铁流昨日被捕 因痛斥刘云山文章惹祸". _Independent Chinese PEN Center_. August 28, 2014. * ^ "现任常委中最腐败,刘云山家族贪腐大起底". _Boxun_. May 7, 2014. * ^ Schmitz, Rob (April 4, 2016). "Xi Jinping\'s family linked to Panama Papers". Marketplace.

EXTERNAL LINKS

* (in Chinese) Biography of Liu Yunshan, People\'s Daily Online . * Biography, China Vitae * Biography Xinhua
Xinhua
(November 2012)

PARTY POLITICAL OFFICES

Preceded by Ding Guangen HEAD OF THE PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT OF THE CPC CENTRAL COMMITTEE 2002–2012 Succeeded by Liu Qibao

Preceded by Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping
First-ranked Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China

.