She is known as
"China's iron lady," but impresses the world with her soft tone and
premier Wu Yi poses for a group photo with women at home and abroad
in Beijing in this March 7, 2006 file photo.
She dreamed of becoming a great
entrepreneur in her youth, but turned into the only female
figure in China's core of political power.
Elegant and intelligent, Vice-Premier Wu Yi, 67, is the world's third
most powerful woman, according to a Forbes magazine list published on
Friday. It also said German Chancellor Angela Merkel overtook US Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice as the world's most powerful woman, with Rice
But Wu is not the only influential Chinese woman to feature on the
list. She is joined by Wu Xiaoling, 59, vice-governor of the People's Bank
of China, and Yang Mianmian, 65, chairwoman and executive director at the
Haier Group, the world's fourth-largest manufacturer of household appliances . They respectively
rank 35th and 70th on the list of the world's 100 most powerful women.
China's resource-starved and fast-paced economy has kept Vice-Premier
Wu busy this year, the US-based magazine said.
"Among the issues on her very full plate are addressing intellectual
copyright concerns and trade imbalances while nurturing new markets," it
She placated the European Union when she declared that "bilateral trade
co-operation is in the common interests of both sides."
She announced more than US$18 billion worth of government contracts,
including an estimated US$5 billion order for Boeing aircraft, while
visiting the United States in April.
She also travelled to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on an
official goodwill visit, part of international efforts to tackle the DPRK
"In my eyes, Wu is a wise and capable woman, and a little bit
aggressive. Her benevolent smiles always give others a sense of security ," said Chen Ruya, who
works for a foreign consultancy company in Beijing.
Her outstanding performances in China's diplomatic activities
guaranteed her place on the list, Chen said.
Wu helped hammer out five trade agreements with Russia in 1999 and
oversaw delicate negotiations for China's accession to the World Trade
Wu ranked second in 2004 and 2005 on the Forbes' list. Its annual
listing is based on a power ranking that is a composite of visibility
measured by media citations and economic impact.