Bo Yibo was born on February 17, 1908 in Dingxiang County of Shanxi Province and he joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in April 1925.
He served as secretary of the CPC branch at Shanxi Civic Teachers' College, deputy secretary and later secretary of the CPC regional committee in northern Taiyuan (capital of Shanxi), head of the organization department of the CPC regional committee in Taiyuan and a member of the CPC care-taking committee in Shanxi Province from 1925 to 1928.
After the failed Great Revolution of 1927, he went into hiding and continued political activities in the rural areas of northern Shanxi.
In late 1928, he was appointed secretary for military affairs of the CPC branch in Tianjin and chief secretary of the military committee in North China. He was in charge of soldiers' movement along the Tianjin-Tangshan, Zhengzhou-Taiyuan and Beijing-Hankou (northern half of today's Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province) railways from 1929 to 1930 and was arrested by the Kuomintang government three times.
While imprisoned at the Beijing military personnel correctional facility in 1931, he served as secretary of the CPC branch there. He was appointed secretary of the working committee of the CPC's Shanxi provincial committee in August 1936 after being rescued from prison.
From August 1937 to October 1942, Bo served as commander and political commissar of the CPC-led resistance forces fighting Japanese invaders in Shanxi and its neighboring provinces of Hebei, Shandong and Henan during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.
He was sent to the Central Party School in Yan'an, Shaanxi Province, for training in December 1943 and served as regional CPC committee secretary in the Taihang Mountains, which spans the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Henan, and political commissar of the area's military command of the People's Liberation Army, among several other important jobs, during the War of Liberation against the Kuomintang government.
After the founding of the People's Republic in October 1949, he was first secretary of the CPC's North China Bureau, political commissar of the regional military command and a member of the Central People's Government.
He also served as a deputy in the Government Administration Council, which was later renamed the State Council, and director of the latter's Number 3 Office.
In September 1954, he was appointed chairman of the State Construction Committee and promoted to the office of State Economic Committee chairman the following May. He moved up again in 1957 when he was named vice-premier of the State Council and director of the State Economic Committee.
He was subject to severe political persecution throughout the 10-year "cultural revolution" (1966-76) and only returned to the office of vice-premier in July 1979. In May 1982, he became a State Councilor.
Apart from central government jobs, Bo was also a senior member of the CPC Central Committee and member in waiting of the CPC Central Committee's Politburo - the country's key decision-making body.
(China Daily 01/17/2007 page2)