Zhang Gaoli, the Tianjin party secretary, was born in Jinjiang, Fujian Province, in November 1946. From 1965 to 1970, Zhang earned a degree in economics at Xiamen University, where he studied planning and statistics.
After graduating, Zhang entered the oil business, and from 1970 until 1985, he worked for a stet-run oil company, working his way up the ranks of the industry. In 1984, Zhang entered the political scene in Guangdong, where he first served as the deputy secretary of Maoming. He then held the positions of chairman of the economic committee of Maoming, deputy governor and head of the Provincial Planning Committee of Guangdong, as well as party secretary of the special economic zone of Shenzhen.
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