Lee Zhang

First Minister of Solar Republic 3199-3207

Early Life

Born in the Shanghai Arcology in 3112, to a Senate family Zhang was always expected to enter politics. During his teens he lived in Quadrant Seven where his mother was Governor for five years. He disliked the atmosphere and the politics and at 18 he joined the Pacifier Corps of the Imperial Navy. Unfortunately recurrent claustrophobia resulted in a series of staff jobs. While serving as a Squadron Leader he studied Interstellar politics and Economics, gaining a Doctorate in 3140. As a Wing Commander he ran the Space Traffic Control facility on Phobos before being promoted to Group Captain in 3145 and serving several years as deputy Military Attache to the Wolf Commonwealth.

Imperial Audit Office

In 3150 at the age of 38 he was recruited by the Imperial Audit Office and appointed Director of the Pol/Mil Audit Bureau investigating corruption amongst Ambassadors and Attaches. Over the next few years his IAO career took him into covert auditing and further promotion reaching its climax during his undercover investigation into the Lexmark Scandal while serving as Deputy Governor of Quadrant Two. His cover was perfect for this role as he had been made a probationary Senator under the tutelage of the then Justice Minister. During this time Zhang wrote the treatise "The Lost Wealth of Empires" in which he compared the Earth Empire to the Roman and American Empires in their declining decadent years. The treatise received a very chilly reception from academics and the government, but it earned him sufficient notoriety to get him selected as Senator for Shanghai in the 3166 elections. Aged 54 he officially retired his IAO post.

Senate Years

For the first ten years in the Senate Zhang was a member of the Loyal Opposition, serving on Select Committees to understand the machinery of Government. During this time he rewrote and published his treatise, and followed it with another on the IAO "Knowing Me Knowing You, A-ha". This further increased his notoriety and led to a stint as Chair of the Select Committee on Imperial Justice. Here he led an investigation into the IAO, identifying several areas for improvement, but generally giving the organisation a clean bill of health.

Government

In 3176 Zhang was elected to a government post as Deputy Minister for Justice, and given the task of implementing his own recommendations. In 3181 he was appointed Governor of Mars, and relished the complex entanglements of Martian politics. In 3186 he continued his rise in the Government and was promoted Minister of the Home Systems. During his tenure he further improved his understanding of Interstellar Economics and wrote his first work of fiction "Money, Money, Money" a future history in which he envisaged the economic collapse of the Home Systems and their integration into the surrounding polities. The subsequent outcry resulted in his de-selection from the Council of Senators at the next election in 3191

During the next five years he struggled to regain his credibility, but continued to debate fiercely in the Senate as a non-voting member. He was always a popular speaker and through his contacts at the IAO he was soon revealing scandal and corruption on the floor of the Council. In 3196 he was re-elected to the Council and took over the Chair of the Defence Select Committee. The coincident start of the Exterminator War and a series of military debacles allowed him to catch and ride a wave of criticism of the Government, such that he was the only real candidate for First Minister when the Government collapsed in 3199.

Faced by the crisis of war with an an alien enemy time he worked to reinvigorate the war effort, and forge new alliances, not least of which was the formation of the grand alliance under the Treaty of New London. His most important move was probably to prepare the ground for large scale economic reform in the Home Systems, and revitalise the homeworld economy towards supporting the war effort during the First Exterminator War.

Wilderness Years

3208 saw a catastrophic blow to Lee Zhang's rising star. He was arrested for a number of still-undisclosed reasons related to 'national security' and placed under house arrest. According to a variety of sources it seems that several staff of the Zhangs, both domestic and part of their charitable foundation, had been working for some years for Martian Intelligence. No formal charges were ever brought against Lee or madame Zhang, who were released after a couple of octants. However the incident presaged the rise of the Ashanti faction in the Imperium, and Lee Zhang never recovered his preeminent political position - instead becoming semi-retired and elevating to a Senior Citizen in 3212.

Return to Government

In 3214 First Minister Rathbone invited now-Senior Citizen Lee Zhang to be his deputy Security Advisor. Lee Zhang is said to be delighted at the new role, and quipped enigmatically, "at least I won't need to employ a gardener in this job".



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