- In-Country Power
- International Power
- Military Strength
- Special Skill: Awaken Asian Giant
- Official Title: President of the People's Republic of China
- Government: One-Party State
- Years Left in Office: To 2012
- Political Classification: Right
- Education: MS in Hydraulic Engineering
- Age: 78 (born December 21, 1942)
Hu Jintao Facts and Information
So who is the leader of the fastest growing international power player? That’s right! It’s Hu! President Hu Jintao of China to be exact. Hu is my main Chinese man with the main Chinese plan. As leader of the dramatically developing dragon, Hu is simultaneously the head of the government and Chairman of the Military Commission, but is also the General Secretary of the Communist Party…which of course is the only political party in China. (So he is head of the party, head of the state, head of the military) You know, China is a one-party state…and while the name of the political party is ‘Communist’, China itself is anything but communist when it comes to its economy.
And what an economy it is! Just in 2009 China has taken over the #3 spot from Germany in the world’s largest economies based on total GDP. If for no other reason, you should really know who is Hu, for the simple fact that his country will soon beat out Japan for the #2 economic spot…and the eventuality is that China will take the top slot from the US in your lifetime. The largest economy in the world….soon!
But Hu has political power too! China has a seat at the UN Permanent Security Council, with all the great veto-wielding power that the position holds. China has the world’s largest standing army (not the best or most technologically advanced, but the biggest). China has 1.3 billion citizens…about 15% of all of humanity…making it the most populous state on the planet. And all these people live in the 3rd largest country by size, a country that is quickly becoming the geopolitical and economic anchor of all of Asia. China got power! And Hu is at the helm of the junk of this jamming Asian juggernaut! So who the hell is Hu?
Back in 1942 in Jiangyan, Jiangsu, little Hu Jintao was born into a poor family….much like the other half billion Chinese people alive at the time. He lost his mom at age 7, was raised by his aunt, and excelled in his studies at school….and was drawn to join the Communist Party while while in college studying hydraulic engineering. (BTW, if you wanted to get a good high-level technical job in China back in the day, you kind of had to join the party to get ahead….much the same way people join fraternities here in the US). After graduation, Hu began working his good government job in hydro-electric plant construction, but he was destined to rise up the party ranks. He was spotted early by a communist party scout looking for young talent, and brought into the fold of the elite, being trained at the Central Party School in Beijing in 1981 . Side note: another famous Chinese cat named Wen Jiabao also rose up the ranks about the same time and place.
Now this ain’t supposed to be a full bio here, so I’ll cut to the chase. Hu was awarded several different party jobs and became known in the inside circles of power, and he ended up being the Committee Secretary of the Communist Party in Guizhou and then Tibet…I point this out specifically because Guizhou and Tibet provinces are in the poor rural central/western parts of China, far from the limelight and hustle and bustle of the prosperous coastal regions. Why would I point that out? Because Hu spent a considerable portion of his career there, and mixed with his humble beginnings, makes him a kind of ?man of the people? much more in touch with the struggling rural poor of his country. Yeah, I know: sappy but true. This kind of shit affects how leaders actually think and behave. It also helps explain why he was relatively unknown to outsiders when he came to power in the big leagues of the central government.
But come to power he did. Taking over as head of the Communist Party in 2002, thus paving the way for his ascendency to the Presidency in 2003, our man Hu has had a hell of a ride, and has thus far done a hell of a good job. As a man behind the scenes and now as a leader in the center of the action, Hu Jintao has consistently been described by all as a smart cookie, a patient man, a quiet man with resolve to make tough decisions and to stand behind those decision no matter what. At heart, is is an ardent nationalist (he loves China!), a loyal party member (he loves the commies!) and a dedicated public servant (he loves the peoples!).
Since taking the top slot of power, Hu has used his low-key, reserved leadership style to oversee China’s freakin’ gi-normous advance onto the world stage….but at a peaceful pace! In fact, Hu coined the phrase ?China’s peaceful rise? in order to let the world know its intentions to regain its international power and standing, but without being threatening to anyone or upsetting the current world order. How?
Hu has made it a bedrock of his foreign policy to not interfere in other countries affairs, and is the greatest fan of sovereignty on the planet. China just don’t like to mess with anyone outside of China! How many Chinese soldiers are deployed outside of China? A: None! Compare that to the situation that the US now finds itself in. In addition, Hu is a huge fan of what we call ‘soft power’ to win the hearts and minds and pocketbooks of other countries. Hu’s international relations center on economic contacts: buying trillions of dollars worth of natural resources, cutting sweet trade deals, investing in business infrastructure in other countries, and giving loans or outright aid to other countries…but never with stipulations, and never with the intent on interfering in domestic politics of other places. This approach has wildly increased the influence of China in Latin America, Africa, and other developing countries around the globe. The US is out, and China got clout.
Economically, Hu has overseen the hottest period of growth for China in its modern history…double-digit growth in GDP has been the norm. That is crazy explosive growth! Hu and his crew have actually spent most of their efforts to try and cool down the economy and stabilize that growth so that is is more sustainable. But China has been making bank for years now, and it has certainly paid off in the current recession…China still got money in the bank, and thanks to its more heavy-handed government oversight on its capitalist-styled economy, the damage wrought on ‘the Western economies’ by their capitalists excesses has not impacted the Dragon as much….and quite frankly is making the Chinese-style capitalism a model for other Asian economies who are increasingly looking towards Hu and his Chinese crew as the natural leaders of the 21st century. Why else does Hu have reason to holla?
Well, culturally China is now at an apex of pride in itself. They were doing good before Hu, but man they are definitely riding higher than ever before! Hu higher! During his watch, China hosted a couple of Miss World pageants, got the Olympics, WON the Olympics, and put a damn Chinese man in space! In space! Chinese spacewalk baby! China has joined the elite ranks of being a space power, and has every intention of putting a Chinese man on the moon in the next decade! I’m telling you people, Chinese nationalistic pride is at an all time high right now! China loves China!
Additionally, China is a cornerstone of the ever-more important SCO?the Shanghai Cooperation Organization: an Asian alliance somewhere between NATO, the EU and OPEC. They are also a nuclear power, a growing military power, and a growing diplomatic power. There is no hope of solving the North Korean nuclear issue without China in the lead, and increasingly Hu is starting to warm up to the idea that China will have to now pony up to its international responsibilities since it is now officially a world power. Look for Hu and crew to become at least a bit more active (but still reserved) on a variety of sticky global issues like North Korea, Iran, and perhaps even Afghanistan.
So know who is Hu for now, but always keep up with your Chinese leadership in the future as they radically impact world events, world cultures, and world cash flows as they continue to grow in power and prestige. For now, I heart Hu and I know you do too. Back off me Dr. Seuus, you cannot hang with this rhyming!
Plaidcasts Involving this Leader
- Battle of the Pacific Blocks has Begun!!!! Nov 21, 2012
- An Election Reflection… Nov 4, 2012
- The Bear Further Embraces the Dragon Jun 5, 2012
- Russia Tilts East by Double-Dissing the West! May 15, 2012
- In Other News…Pissed Indigenous Peeps! Jan 27, 2012
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