Born from a peasant family in July 1947, who would have thought that the young boy who used to hang out with the farmers and herdsmen in Inner Mongolia would one day be a top-rated leader and member of the Communist Party of China (CPC)? Liu Yunshan spent a great amount of time with farmers, thus, after completing his education from a local college in 1968, he "taught at a rural school and participated in farm work" (Xinhua) before he embarked on a career as a journalist. His subject was mostly about farming, agriculture, and animal farming and was a good storyteller as evidenced by his writings about the countryside. His writing was fluent and was considered as the epitome of concise journalistic writing.
Yunshan was so in touch with the people in the grassroots and did not have any qualms about spending time with them and living with them. Truly a son of the countryside, he felt comfortable visiting households and because of his affinity with the ordinary people, he slowly made a name in the journalistic world, before being called upon to serve as a member of the CPC. He held various posts ranging from reportorial duties to public relations to becoming an official member of the Party ("Liu Yunshan"). He also became a member of the Politburo of the 17th CPC Central Committee (ChinaVitae).
Despite rising from his stature, he has retained his love and interest for the masses such that his works were mostly connected in the study of rural life and systems. His belief was that the only way for one to understand and know the people one serves is to stay and live with them. His passion is in hearing the stories of the people themselves (Xinhua). He even encourages the new breed of journalists to go to the rural communities, get the stories straight from the people, and give the people a voice. For him, it serves a dual purpose where journalists get to show the real life stories of the peasants and they (journalists) improve their own style of writing.
Yunshan has remained grounded and levelheaded even after holding positions under the CPC. He claims that those who rise from poverty to power should never forget who they really are and where they came from, especially if the individual chooses to serve the people, then the individual must "always be a student and a servant" (Xinhua).
Being a forward thinker, Yunshan was a proponent of the use of the internet and web surfing in order to learn more about other countries and news around the world. He was in the forefront asking the China Central Television network to broadcast live the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Sichuan, Gansu, and Shaanxi provinces in May 2008 to make people aware about the relief operations happening all over. Because of such act, fellow Chinese people saw in real-time what was happening to their neighboring provinces, which led people to donate Yuan and relief goods to help the victims. This was only the beginning of the changes brought about by Yunshan's openness to technology, which soon exposed "food and drug safety scandals" (Xinhua) in the country.
Although Yunshan does not write as much as he did in the past, his mind has never really left the masses and his people. His efforts are now geared at ensuring that the cultural heritage of China is preserved. With most of the villages now have ready access to TV and radio shows as well as bookstores, his thrust of preserving the Chinese culture is slowly coming to fruition. This day, he lives with his wife and two sons.
ChinaVitae. "Liu Yunshan." n.d. Web. 2 April 2013.
"Liu Yunshan." n.d. Web. 3 April 2013.
Xinhua. "Profile: Liu Yunshan: Down-to-Earth Journalist Joins CPC Top Leadership." n.d. Web. 2 April 2013.