Qiao Shi

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Qiao Shi
6th Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
In office
27 March 1993 – 15 March 1998
Preceded by Wan Li
Succeeded by Li Peng
Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
In office
October 1987 – October 1992
Preceded by Chen Yun
(first secretary)
Succeeded by Wei Jianxing
Member of the 13th,14th CPC Politburo Standing Committee
In office
2 November 1987 – 19 September 1997
General Secretary Zhao Ziyang
Jiang Zemin
3rd Secretary of CPC Central Political and Legislative Committee
In office
Preceded by Chen Pixian
Succeeded by Ren Jianxin
Personal details
Born December 1924 (age 90)
Nationality Chinese
Political party Communist Party of China
Spouse(s) Yu Wen (郁文)
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Qiao.

Qiao Shi (simplified Chinese: 乔石; traditional Chinese: 喬石; pinyin: Qiáo Shí; Wade–Giles: Ch'iao Shih) (born December 1924 in Shanghai) is a politician in the People's Republic of China. He was born as Jiang Zhitong (simplified Chinese: 蒋志彤; traditional Chinese: 蔣志彤; pinyin: Jiǎng Zhìtóng), to parents of Dinghai, Zhejiang province ancestry. He is said to be distantly related to Chiang Kai-shek's family and this was the cause for the persecution he suffered during the Cultural Revolution[citation needed]. A recognised international studies expert within the Communist Party, Qiao Shi was at one time ranked third in the Communist Party leadership. Despite Western speculation in the 1990s, Qiao Shi never rose to paramount power and retired in 1998.[1]

Early life[edit]

Qiao Shi became involved with the anti-Kuomintang student movement in his youth, and joined the Communist Party of China in August 1940.[1] To facilitate undercover work, and also to show his revolution zeal, he changed his name from the original Jiang Zhitong (蒋志彤) to Jiang Qiaoshi (蒋乔石). He was educated at Tongji University, Shanghai. Qiao Shi is married to wife Yu Wen, and they have two sons and two daughters.

Rise to power[edit]

After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Qiao Shi worked in the Communist Youth League system for a number of years. From 1954 to 1962 he worked at Anshan Iron and Steel Development Company. From 1963, he worked in the Communist Party's central International Liaison Department, which was responsible for policy formation in foreign affairs. Starting as an analyst, he rose to be Department Head in 1982, and became an alternate member of the central Secretariat. Subsequently he also held the positions of head of the General Office, and of the Organization Department.

During the Cultural Revolution, Qiao Shi and his family members were persecuted due to their distant biological relation to Chiang Kai-shek; moreover, Qiao Shi's name in Chinese was very similar to that of Chiang Kai-shek. Fed up with the persecution and humiliation, one of Qiao Shi's son convinced the rest of the family to change the surname by either adopting their mother's last name Li, or simply dropping the original surname Jiang. Such move was viewed as revolutionary by Red Guards and other Cultural Revolution zealots at the time because it was viewed as severing the tie to the evil past. Qiao Shi, at the mean time, like many other persecuted cadres, was in jail and powerless to do anything to prevent his children's action, and in the post Cultural Revolution era, nobody in the family bothered to change the names again, so the names remained as they were, including that of Qiao Shi.

In 1985, after a major defection by Yu Qiangsheng, a director of the National Security Department, which resulted in the arrest of Larry Wu-Tai Chin, the Chinese agent in Central Intelligence Agency, Qiao Shi succeeded Chen Pixian and was placed in charge of national security and intelligence. From 1985 to 1998 he was the head of the Communist Party's central Secrets Committee (中央保密委员会). From 1986, he became a Vice Premier of the State Council. During this time, he also took charge of law and order, and became prominent in the promulgation of new laws as the Communist Party sought to establish a Rule of Law to counteract the excesses of Mao-era dictatorship.

From 1987 to 1997, Qiao Shi was a member of the Politburo Standing Committee. From 1987 to 1992, Qiao Shi was also the Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.[1]

From 27 March 1993 to 16 March 1998, he was the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. As head of the legislature, he was officially ranked third in political positions in the People's Republic of China. Qiao Shi gained popularity during this time because of a stated commitment to the Rule of Law, in contrast to then-General Secretary Jiang Zemin's tendency for self-promotion.

In 1998 Qiao Shi, then 74, retired from politics officially due to his age. However, media speculation from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the west hold that Qiao was involved in a power struggle with Jiang Zemin, and eventually lost.

Political speculation[edit]

In the early 1990s there was considerable speculation outside of China that Qiao Shi would rise to further prominence. Some pointed to his being virtually untouched by the fallout of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, despite his alleged pro-democracy sympathies. Others claimed that his appointment as the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress was actually a demotion because the post was mostly ceremonial despite being equally ranked with Qiao Shi's previous posts. It was also claimed that Qiao Shi (born with surname Jiang), was related to Chiang Kai-shek, and could help to resolve the Taiwan issue. There was hope that, with Qiao Shi as leader, the Communist Party of China would pursue further reforms towards a more legalist and democratic system of government. However, the speculation turned out unfounded and Qiao Shi retired in 1998 from his number three position as Chairman of the National People's Congress.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Qiao Shi". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 23 January 2010. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Wan Li
Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress
Succeeded by
Li Peng
Party political offices
Preceded by
Song Renqiong
Head of CPC Central Organization Department
Succeeded by
Wei Jianxing
Preceded by
Ji Pengfei
Head of the International Liaison Department of the CPC Central Committee
Succeeded by
Qian Liren
Preceded by
Chen Pixian
Secretary of CPC Central Political and Legislative Committee
Succeeded by
Ren Jianxin
Preceded by
Chen Yun
(first secretary)
Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection
Succeeded by
Wei Jianxing
Preceded by
Gao Yang
President of the Central Party School
Succeeded by
Hu Jintao