Former Vice Premier of China Chen Muhua Dies

May 20, 2011
Editor: Sarah Wang

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R1) shakes hands with a relative of Chen Muhua, former vice premier of China and president of the All-China Women's Federation, during the funeral in honor of Chen, on May 18 in Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing. [Xinhua]

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R1) shakes hands with a relative of Chen Muhua, former vice premier of China and president of the All-China Women's Federation, during the funeral in honor of Chen, on May 18 in Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing. [Xinhua]

Chen Muhua, former vice premier of China, died of illness on May 12 in Beijing at the age of 90.

Chen, a veteran revolutionary of the Communist Party of China, also held several other key official posts during her career, including State Councilor, vice-chairperson of the Standing Committee of the Seventh and the Eighth National People's Congress, and president of the All-China Women's Federation.

Chen Muhua, a native of Qingtian County, east China's Zhejiang Province, was born in 1921. In 1938, Chen went to study at the Chinese People's Anti-Japanese Military and Political College in Yan'an, Shaanxi Province, where she met with Zhong Yi, marrying him in 1940. Zhong Yi graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology. After New China was established in 1949, Zhong Yi retired early at a ministerial post due to poor health conditions.

Chen Muhua joined the Communist Party of China in June 1938. In October 1942, she served as staff officer of the Yan'an Rear Corps No. 5 Garrison, and then as officer of the Headquarters Education Section and researcher of Military Research Office.

After 1949, Chen became head of the Publicity Department of the Northeast Railway Political Department, and then deputy head of the Publicity Group of the Ministry of Railway Political Department in January 1953.

In May 1961, Chen was appointed deputy director of the Complete Plant Bureau under the Foreign Economic Liaison Bureau and began to work as deputy director general of the Foreign Economic Liaison Commission No. 3 Bureau in October 1964. She had participated in several overseas economic assistance projects and made proactive contributions to China's foreign aid programs.

Since 1971, Chen had served as vice minister and minister of International Liaison Department of the Central Committee of the CPC (ILD), vice premier of the State Council, minister and secretary of the Leading Party Group of the Ministry of Foreign Economics, and Trade and State Councilor.

Chen paid great attention to the economic zone construction, the opening up of coastal port cities, and the establishment of economic and technical development areas, and promoted Chinese policies towards foreign capital.

In 1978, Chen held concurrent posts as deputy director of the Central Patriotic Public Health Campaign Committee and head of the Family Planning Leading Group under State Council. She restored patriotic public health campaign committees at all levels and guided them to improve urban and rural environmental health. She also called on the Chinese people to strictly follow the family planning policy.

Chen became president of the People's Bank of China (PBC) in March 1985. She attached great importance to financial regulation and legal construction. The Interim Regulations of the Peoples Republic of China on the Management of Banks, which was drafted under her leadership, laid a solid foundation to the establishment and carrying out of the following financial regulations and laws. She also initiated the China Institute of Finance & Banking and the Financial News.

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