China Leadership Monitor

Zhu Rongji: The Twilight of a Brilliant Career

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

Beijing is displaying signs of Zhu Rongji fatigue. Due both to his impending retirement, and to the particularities of his vision of the economic reform process, Zhu's economic policy prescriptions are not as vital or indispensable as before. However, Zhu's legacy of accomplishment is secure. More immediately, Zhu has been preparing the ground for his all-but-designated successor, Wen Jiabao. A smooth transfer of power to Wen will add to Zhu's already formidable reputation as one of the architects of post-Deng China.