Red Star

Zhu Rongji is ready for a cool welcome in the U.S. this week. But if he can't reform China, who can?

Life seems different when you are looking down the barrel of a gun--more focused, urgent. That is the way Zhu Rongji, China's Premier, likes it. Zhu, 70, is a risk taker, a breed apart in the Chinese leadership. In Beijing they call him Zhu Fengzi, Madman Zhu, as he crashes through the rickety communist superstructure in the name of reform, laying off millions of workers from state-owned enterprises, terrorizing corrupt officials, having smugglers shot. On a good day they call him Zhu Laoban, Zhu the Boss, the only man capable of imposing order on an economy of 1.3 billion money-hungry people...

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