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China’s new finance minister is former factory worker

Starting off as a machine factory worker, Xie Xuren worked his way up through the ranks of China’s ruling Communist Party to last week become the nation’s finance minister.

President Hu Jintao elevated Xie, 59, from his post as head of China’s tax bureau to replace Jin Renqing, the official Xinhua news agency said. His promotion caps a steady career of economic positions during which he earned a reputation as a reliable, rather than inspiring, bureaucrat.

“He is very experienced in the financial system, but there are not many remarkable points in his resume,” said Zhang Xin, a professor of public administration at Beijing’s Renmin University.
“From the resume he seems a rather practical person. He began at a basic level and slowly made his way up.”

However before becoming chief of the State Administration of Taxation in 2003, he served on key Communist Party finance work committees that reported directly to the premier.

“This means that he was deemed very reliable and trustworthy,” Zhang said, adding he was not one of the “princelings” in Chinese politics who can thank their family lineage as much as their qualifications for their senior ranks.

“He is not the child of high-level party cadres.”

Xie also served as vice finance minister from 1995-1998, before heading the China Agricultural Development Bank from 1998-2000, according to a government website biography.
Xie was born in eastern China’s Zhejiang province in October 1947 and graduated in economics from Zhejiang University in 1984 after an earlier career at a machine factory from 1967-1981.
According to the official biography, Xie also boasts engineering credentials from when he served as a worker, technician, machinist and deputy factory head of a Zhejiang machinery plant. (Agencies)

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