<p>Wu Yi (born November 1938 in Wuhan, Hubei, China) was one of four Vice Premiers of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, overseeing the country's economy until March 2008. Known as the "iron lady", Wu is one of the toughest negotiators in China's government.
In April 1962, she joined the Communist Party of China. In August of the same year, she graduated from the Petroleum Refinery department at the Beijing Petroleum Institute, with a degree in petroleum engineering. She spent much of her career as a petroleum technician, eventually becoming deputy manager at the Beijing Dongfang Hong refinery, and assistant manager and party secretary at the Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Corporation.
She was elected deputy mayor of Beijing in 1988, and held that office until 1991. Following the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, she persuaded coal workers threatening to go on strike to continue working after some of their colleagues had been killed. From 1991 until 1998, she held successively the posts of Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, and member of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Central Committee of the</p>