Hu  Jintao

Hu Jintao

President, People's Republic of China (2003-2013)

Date of Birth: 21/12/1942
Place of Birth: Jiangyan, Jiangsu

In April 2009, China's leader embarked on his fourth tour of Africa. The itinerary - Mali, Mauritius, Senegal and Tanzania - shows the range of relationships built up under Hu Jintao. These are medium-size economies with multi-party systems; three are Francophone, much to Paris's irritation.

Hu, a former engineer, joined the Communist Party in 1964 and soon answered Mao Zedong's call to go to the countryside: he spent the 1970s in Gansu, an underdeveloped province, diligently climbing provincial party ranks. Where the Party sent him, Hu went. He became Party chief of Guizhou, then Tibet, where he stifled unrest in Lhasa in December 1988 with martial law. He returned to Beijing in 1992 as the youngest-ever member of the Politboro Standing Committee, and was groomed to succeed President Jiang Zemin (1989-2002).

Some analysts saw Hu as a weak candidate: a bureaucrat with no military allies. By 2005, he had confounded the sceptics and consolidated his position; Jiang was pushed into full retirement and handed control of the military to Hu.

Hu has won plaudits in China: he took power without major political ructions and will hand it over in the same way to Vice-President Xi Jinping in 2012. China, despite the global slowdown, remains a rising economic and diplomatic power and a counter to the United States. Yet Hu lacks the charisma of his Premier, Wen Jiabao; his appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was wooden, not triumphant. However, the stern exterior may hide a more adventurous soul: Hu's old biography spoke of his enthusiasm for dancing as a student – lines since purged from the official record. Will African warmth summon the rhythms within? Will the call of Terpsichore overcome years of Party discipline?

Hu stepped down on 15 November 2012 and was succeeded, as planned, by Xi Jinping, in early 2013.

Displaying 1-10 out of 14 results.

Vol 52 N0 12


Trial by procrastination

In this case, the name of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s son Hu Haifeng emerged amid the legal argument (AC Vol 50 No 16)...

Vol 51 N0 23


A multi-faceted business

Senior Chinese officials, including President Hu Jintao, were concerned enough about this relationship to inform President Mugabe personally that these Hong Kong traders had links to Triad criminal syndicates, which have already established a strong base in South Africa...

Vol 50 N0 16


Behind the sidelining of General Martin Shalli

The three were arrested after an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which says it may call as a witness Nuctech's former Chairman, Hu Haifeng, son of Chinese President Hu Jintao...

Vol 48 N0 22


The wooing of Kinshasa

Kabila has been invited to almost every major world capital: to Washington to meet United States’ George Bush on 26 October; a date with Belgium’s Guy Verhofstadt; an upcoming trip to China to meet Hu Jintao, followed by a stopover in Moscow to meet Russia’s Vladimir Putin; then to India to see Prime Minister Manoman Singh, whose officials are putting together a Chinese-style investment package for Congo...

Vol 48 N0 5


The bitter side of the boom

Many targeted companies are Asian-owned: last month, protests forced China's President Hu Jintao to cancel a visit to the copper town of Chambishi (AC Vol 48 No 4)...

Vol 48 N0 5


Zambia's big new investments

part of President Hu Jintao's $800 mn...

Vol 48 N0 4


Shuffling the deckchairs

China's President Hu Jintao, during the 10-day Africa tour which ended on 10 February, visited South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Congo-Kinshasa - but not Zimbabwe...

Vol 48 N0 4


China in Chambeshi

Chinese President Hu Jintao's planned visit to the Copperbelt was cancelled at the last minute amid reports that several hundred miners working for the Chinese-owned Non Ferrous Corporation had organised a protest against him...

Vol 48 N0 3


Snowe white-out

This last move was rather awkward for Johnson Sirleaf, ahead of the state visit by China's President Hu Jintao on 1 February...

Vol 47 N0 22


Commerce, cooperation and controversy

Hu Jintao's calling card After President Hu Jintao's visit in April 2006, China promised to invest $4 bn...

Displaying 1-10 out of 14 results.