Lu Hao (陆昊), who was appointed to the position of acting governor of China’s northeastern Heilongjiang Province in 2013, is widely regarded as a dark horse promoted to the high ranks of government officials.
Born in 1967 in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, Lu joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the age of 18 and became the youngest CPC member at that time. He was recommended for admission to Peking University that same year. Also in 1985, he joined a discussion held in Huairentang, Zhongnanhai, headquarters of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.
On this occasion, Lu pointed out China’s reform should in no ways come to a halt and university students should not be satisfied with being mere spectators on the reform’s sidelines. Instead, he said, they should care about the nation’s difficulties and share responsibilities. His remark was met with the overall approval of that meeting.
He was elected chairman of the student union within two years after this discussion at Zhongnanhai, becoming the first chairman elected directly by students.
Upon his graduation, Lu was appointed a bottom-level official in the Qinghe Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Workshop, Beijing. He was then promoted to the position of assistant factory manager and deputy factory manager. He also applied for a master’s program in economics taught by prominent economist Li Yining during his tenure at the factory.
In 1991, the country held a meeting to solve the issue of textile product overstocking, which made a big splash in the industry. Bearing in mind what he had learned by that point, Lu pointed out that “if the reform in the industry does not speed up, the textile [sector] would have no way to survive.” It was in that same year that both Shanghai and Guangdong piloted in the reform of the textile industry, which expanded to the whole country in one single year.
In 1995, Lu was appointed the youngest state-owned factory manager of the over-5,000-staff Qinghe Woolen Cloth Manufacturing Workshop, which had been continuously unprofitable for years.
Under his guiding reform, the factory stopped losing money and became profitable within three years. Thanks to his contributions, he was awarded with the title of “Outstanding Chinese Youth” in 1998. Meanwhile, his title was changed into that of Standing CPC Committee Member, board member and deputy manager of the Beijing Textile Shareholding (Group) Co., Ltd. His achievements were also highly complimented by the media.
At age of 32, he entered the political circle by taking charge as director of the Zhonguancun Science and Technology Zone. His appointment was given right after the State Council had issued a report entitled “Comments on the Problems Concerning the Construction of Zhongguancun Science and Technology Zone.” He carried out a series of mechanic reforms, including the regulation of the zone. Through his efforts, the zone kept booming despite the impact of the global meltdown on the IT industry in the early 21st century.
In 2003, he was elected as deputy mayor of Beijing at the 12th Beijing Municipal People’s Congress, becoming the youngest deputy majors among his peers.
In 2008, Lu was appointed as General Secretary of the CPC Youth League. In October 2012, he was elected a member of the CPC Central Committee at the 18th CPC National Congress.
In March 2013, he was appointed as acting governor of Heilongjiang Province.