Hu Jintao

Hu Jintao (pinyin: Hú Jǐntāo, pronounced ; born 21 December 1942) was the leader of the fourth generation of leadership of the Communist Party of China. He was General Secretary of the Communist Party of China from 2002 to 2012, Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the CPC from 2004 to 2012. He continues to be the country's head of state, holding the position of President, which he is expected to step down from in March 2013.

Hu has been involved in the Communist party bureaucracy for most of his adult life, notably as Party secretary for Guizhou province and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and then later First secretary of the Party Central Secretariat and Vice-President under former leader Jiang Zemin. Hu is the first leader of the Communist Party without any significant revolutionary credentials. As such, his rise to the leadership represented China's transition of leadership from establishment communists to younger, more pragmatic technocrats.

During his term in office, Hu reintroduced state control in some sectors of the economy that were relaxed by the previous administration, and has been conservative with political reforms. Along with his colleague, Premier Wen Jiabao, Hu presided over nearly a decade of consistent economic growth and development that cemented China as a major world power. He sought to improve socio-economic equality domestically through the Scientific Development Concept, which aimed to build a "Harmonious Society" that was prosperous and free of social conflict. Meanwhile, Hu kept a tight lid on China politically, cracking down on social disturbances, ethnic minority protests, and dissident figures. In foreign policy, Hu advocated for "China's peaceful development", pursuing soft power in international relations and a business-oriented approach to diplomacy. Through Hu's tenure, China's influence in Africa, Latin America, and other developing regions has increased.

Hu possesses a low-key and reserved leadership style, and is reportedly a firm believer in consensus-based rule. These traits have made Hu a rather bland figure in the public eye, embodying the focus in Chinese politics on technocratic competence rather than personality.

In November 2012, Hu relinquished the titles Chairman of the Central Military Commission and the General Secretary. Hu was succeeded by Xi Jinping.

Read more about Hu Jintao:  Early Life, Early Political Career, Candidacy, At The Helm, Legacy, Personal Life

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