Zhu Rongji, China's premier between 1998 and 2003, is back in the limelight, talking once more with the media and the Chinese people.
This time, however, the words of the highly regarded orator are in written form.
Zhu Rongji's Answers to Journalists' Questions, published by People's Press, has been getting good reviews and 27,000 copies flew off the shelves in the first two days.
"Whatever lies ahead, be it a field of landmines or unfathomable abyss, I will exert all my efforts and contribute all my best to the country," the former premier said in the book, which is a collection of comments from domestic and international press conferences.
"Zhu seldom ignored the tough questions raised by foreign media, instead replying with confidence and humor," said Wu Xuejin, co-editor of the book. "He left the reporters and the public with a strong impression."
For example, the former premier once spoke about corruption, saying: "I'll prepare 100 coffins. Ninety-nine for those corrupt officials and one for myself."
Yu Guoming, vice-dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at Renmin University of China, said people in China relish an opportunity to learn more about their leaders.
Chen Pengming, editor in charge of the project, said: "Zhu's personal charisma mirrored the collective wisdom of the Chinese leaders on dealing with the 1997 Asian financial crisis, deepening the economic reforms and the process of joining the WTO. Readers thus are able to gain a clear understanding of how the then central government succeeded in handling those issues."
Ren Chao, vice-president of the People's Press, said he believed the print run could hit 1 million.
Several publishing houses in Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea and Japan have shown interest in the book, which is likely to be translated into English early next year. Online booksellers, Dangdang.com and Amazon.cn have ordered 30,000 copies.
Zhu Rongji is donating proceeds from the book to Project Hope and to helping the poor according to Ren.