Wang was born in Guixi County, Jiangxi province. He worked in a local crafts factory as a labourer, then an elementary school teacher; he completed high school after the Cultural Revolution. He joined the Communist Party of China in June 1985, then he attended law school at Jilin University. He earned a graduate law degree at Peking University in 1987.
In January 2008, he became Deputy Secretary-General of the State Council, in charge mainly of legal and policing affairs; since 2013, he has served as the chief of staff to State Councilor and Public Security Minister Guo Shengkun. In June 2012, Wang was named deputy Director of the Working Committee for State Organs, and in November 2012, the chief of the Office of the Central Institutional Organization Commission, entering minister-level ranks for the first time.
In April 2013, Wang succeeded Zhou Benshun as the Secretary-General of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission.
Wang is a full member of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.