The Full Wiki

Hu Jintao: Map

  
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



Hu Jintao ( ) (born 21 December 1942) is currently the Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of Chinamarker, holding the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 2004, succeeding Jiang Zemin in the fourth generation leadership of the People's Republic of China.

Described as having a low-key and reserved leadership style, Hu's rise to the presidency represents China's transition of leadership from old, establishment Communists to younger, more pragmatic technocrat. Since his ascendancy, Hu has reinstated certain controls on the economy loosened by the previous administration, and has been largely conservative with political reforms. In foreign policy, Hu advocates for an approach termed "China's peaceful development", pursuing soft power in international relations. Through Hu's tenure China's global influence in Africa, Latin America, and other developing countries has increased.

Hu has been involved in the Communist party bureaucracy for most of his adult life, notably as party chief for the Tibet Autonomous Region, and then later Vice-President under Jiang Zemin. An advocate for China's peaceful rise, Hu's political philosophy is summarily described as aiming to found a basis for a Harmonious Society domestically and for Peaceful Development internationally, the former generated by a Scientific Development Concept, which seeks integrated solutions to tackle China's various economic, environmental and social problems.

Early life

Hu Jintao was born in Jiangyan, Taizhou, Jiangsu provincemarker on 21 December 1942. His branch of the family migrated from Jixi of Anhui Province to Jiangyan during his grandfather's generation.

Even though his father owned a small tea trading business in Taizhoumarker, the family was relatively poor. His mother died when he was seven, and he was raised by an aunt. Hu's father was later denounced during the Cultural Revolution, an event that (together with his relatively humble origins) apparently had a deep effect upon Hu, who diligently tried to clear his father's name.

Hu was a talented student in high school, excelling in activities such as singing and dancing. In 1964, while still a student at Beijing's Tsinghua Universitymarker, Hu joined the Communist Party of China, prior to the Cultural Revolution. And he was the chairman of Tsinghua Student Union at that time. He graduated with a degree in hydraulic engineering in 1965. At Tsinghua University Hu met a fellow student Liu Yongqing, now his wife. They have a son and daughter, Hu Haifeng and Hu Haiqing respectively.

In 1968, Hu volunteered for service in Gansumarker and worked on the construction of Liujiaxia Hydro-power Stationmarkerwhile also managing Party affairs for the local branch of the Ministry of Water Resources and Electric Power. From 1969 to 1974, Hu worked for Sinohydro Engineering Bureau, as an engineer.

Early political career

In 1974, Hu was transferred to the Construction Department of Gansu as a secretary. The next year he was promoted to vice senior chief. In 1980, Deng Xiaoping implemented the "Four Transformations" program, which aimed to produce communist leaders who were "more revolutionary, younger, more knowledgeable, and more specialized." In response to this nation-wide search for young party members, Song Ping, the first secretary of CPC Gansu Committee (Gansu's governor) discovered Hu Jintao and promoted him several ranks to the position of deputy head of the commission. Another protégé of Song, Wen Jiabao, also became prominent at the same time.

In 1981, Hu, along with Deng Xiaoping's daughter Deng Nan and Hu Yaobang's son Hu Deping, were trained in the Central Party School in Beijing. Hu made a good impression on Deng Nan, who happened to report it to her father. Hu Deping even invited Hu Jintao to his home and met with Hu Yaobang, who was a standing member of the politburo at that time. Hu Jintao's modesty created an impact on Hu Yaobang.

In 1982, Hu was promoted to the position of Communist Youth League Gansu Branch Secretary. His mentor Song Ping was transferred to Beijing as Minister of Organization of the Communist Party of China, and was in charge of senior cadres' recommendation, candidacy and promotion. With the support of Hu Yaobang and Deng Xiaoping, Hu was assured of a bright future in the party. At Song Ping's suggestion, in 1982 central Party authorities invited Hu to Beijing to study at the Central Party School. Soon after, he was transferred to Beijing and appointed as secretariat of the Communist Youth League Central Committee ("CY Central"). Two years later Hu was promoted to First Secretary of CY Central, thus its actual leader. During his term in the Youth League, Hu escorted Hu Yaobang, who was General Secretary of CPC then, in visits around the country. Hu Yaobang, himself a veteran coming from the Youth League, could reminiscence his youth through Hu's company.

Party Committee Secretary of Guizhou

In 1985, Hu Yaobang pushed for Hu Jintao to be transferred to Guizhoumarker as the provincial Committee Secretary of Communist Party of China. In contrast to the members of the "Shanghai clique", Hu spent most of his career in China's poorer hinterland rather than in the economically prosperous coastal regions. Partly because of this, he was relatively unknown to Western analysts before his ascent to power. In 1987 Hu Jintao handled the local students protest parallel to the Democracy Wall carefully, whereas in Beijing similar protests resulted in Hu Yaobang's forced resignation. During the 1980s, Hu Jintao, was the director of the All China Youth Federation.

Candidacy

Before the opening of the 14th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 1992, the Party's senior leaders, including Deng and Chen Yun, were to select candidates for the Politburo Standing Committee to ensure a smooth transition of power from the so-called second-generation leaders (Deng, Chen, Li Xiannian, Wang Zhen, etc.) to third-generation Communist Party of China leaders (Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Qiao Shi etc.). Deng also proposed that they should consider another candidate for a further future transition, preferably someone under fifty to represent the next generation of leaders. Song, as the organization chief, recommended Hu as an ideal candidate for the prospect of a future leader. As a result, shortly before his 50th birthday, Hu Jintao became the youngest member of the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee, and the second youngest Politburo Standing Committee member ever since the CCP took power in 1949.

In 1993, Hu took charge of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, which oversaw day-to-day operations of the Central Committee, and the Central Party School, which was convenient for him to bring up his own supporters among senior CPC cadres. Hu was also put in charge of the ideological work of the CPC. Although Hu was considered heir apparent to Jiang, he always took great care to ensure that Jiang be at the center of the spotlight. In late 1998, Hu promoted Jiang's unpopular movement of the "Three Stresses" "stress study, stress politics, and stress healthy trends" giving speeches to promote it. In 2001, he publicized Jiang's Three Represents theory, which Jiang hoped to place him on the same level as other Marxist theoreticians. As a result, he left the public with an impression of being low-key, courteous, and adept at forming coalitions. In 1998, Hu became Vice-President of China, and Jiang wanted Hu to play a more active role in foreign affairs. Hu became China's leading voice during the NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999.

When the transition finally took place in the 16th National Congress of the CPC in 2002, Jiang was reluctant to leave the center of power. It was widely believed that he staffed the Politburo with many members of the so-called "Shanghai Clique", including Wu Bangguo, Jia Qinglin, Zeng Qinghong, Huang Ju and Li Changchun, which could ensure Jiang's control behind the stage. Jiang held on to the position of Chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Presidency

Since taking over as Party General Secretary at the Sixteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, Hu and his premier, Wen Jiabao, proposed to set up a Harmonious Society which aims at lessening the inequality and changing the style of the "GDP first and Welfare Second" policies. They focused on sectors of the Chinese population that have been left behind by the economic reform, and have taken a number of high profile trips to the poorer areas of China with the stated goal of understanding these areas better. Hu and Wen Jiabao have also attempted to move China away from a policy of favouring economic growth at all costs and toward a more balanced view of growth that includes factors in social inequality and environmental damage, including the use of the green gross domestic product in personnel decisions. Jiang's clique, however, maintained control in most developing areas, therefore Hu and Wen's measures of macroeconomic regulation faced great resistance.

SARS crisis

The first crisis of Hu's leadership happened during the outbreak of SARS in 2003. Following strong criticism of China for initially covering up and responding slowly to the crisis, he dismissed several party and government officials, including the health minister, who supported Jiang, and the Mayor of Beijing, Meng Xuenong, widely perceived as Hu's protégé. Meng's dismissal was sometimes seen as a yielding compromise to erode Jiang's support in the party. Hu and Wen took steps to increase the transparency of China's reporting to international health organizations, indirectly dealing a blow to Jiang's stance on the issue.

Another test of Hu's leadership was Beijing's low key response to protests against the implementation of Article 23 of the Basic Law in Hong Kongmarker in 2003. In an unprecedented move, the legislation to implement the Article was withdrawn by the Hong Kong government, after a large popular protest on 1 July 2003. At the same time, Hu gave a public show of support to Hong Kong Chief Executive Tung Chee-Hwa after gauging public mood in Hong Kong.

Succession of Jiang Zemin

On 15 November 2002, a new Hu Jintao-led Politburo nominally succeeded Jiang Zemin. Although Jiang, then 76, stepped down from the powerful Politburo Standing Committee to make way for a younger fourth generation of leadership, there was speculation that Jiang would retain significant influence because Hu was not associated with Jiang's influential Shanghai clique, to which six out of the nine members of the all-powerful Standing Committee were believed to be linked. However, later developments show that many of its members have shifted their positions. Zeng Qinghong, for example, moved from a disciple of Jiang to serving as an intermediary between the two factions. In 2003, Jiang was also reelected to the post of Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the CPC, a post from which Deng Xiaoping was able to wield power from behind the scenes as paramount leader, thus retaining military power.

Western observers attribute a sense of caution to Hu's philosophies, citing China's recent history of fallen heirs. Deng Xiaoping appointed three party secretaries, all designed to be successors, and was instrumental in the ousting of two of them, Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang. His third and final selection, Jiang Zemin, won Deng's continued, although ambiguous backing and was the only party secretary in Communist Chinese history to voluntarily leave his post when his term ended.

Although many believe Hu was originally hand-picked by Deng as the youngest member of China's top leadership and a leading candidate to succeed Jiang, he had exercised a great deal of political skills between 1992 and 2002 to consolidate his position, and eventually emerged as Jiang's heir apparent in his own right. Hu also benefited from the slow but progressive institutionalization of power succession within the Party. As a result, attempts to draw parallels with regards to Hu's succession is unreasonable. Since the early 1980s, the People's Republic of Chinamarker has been marked by progressive institutionalization and rule by consensus, and moved away from the Maoist authoritarian model. Although a western-style legal institution and rule of law remain to be put in place, Hu's power succession was conducted in a fairly orderly and civil manner, which was unprecedented in Communist China's history. This trend is expected to continue and an institutionalized mechanism of power transition is expected to emerge, first perhaps within the Party. In fact, it has been one of the Party's stated major goals to create an orderly system of succession and mechanism to prevent informal rule and a cult of personality.

The rivalry between Jiang and Hu after Jiang stepped down from his posts was, arguably, an inevitable product of China's tradition of succession. Some analysts argue that although Jiang has consolidated power by the time he retired, his ideological stature within the Communist Party remains shaky at best, thus Jiang had to buy time to ensure that his ideological legacy such as the Three Represents, is enshrined in China's socialism doctrine. Jiang resigned as Chairman of the Central Military Commission in September 2004, his last official post. Whether this is the result of pressure from Hu or a personal decision is up for speculation. Since then Hu has officially taken on the three institutions in the People's Republic of China where power lie, the state, the party, as well as the military, thus informally, has become the paramount leader. The Hu-Jiang split, however, remains. Officially, Hu has been promoting Jiang's legacy by beginning a mass campaign in August 2006 promoting the Selected Works of Jiang Zemin, a collection of speeches and essays documenting Jiang's philosophies. Hu had corruption charges brought against Shanghai's leader to get rid of Jiang's man.

Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao inherited a China wrought with internal social, political and environmental problems. One of the biggest challenges Hu faces is the large wealth disparity between the Chinese rich and poor, for which discontent and anger mounted to a degree which wreaked havoc on communist rule. Furthermore, the cronyism and corruption plaguing China's civil service, military, educational, judicial and medical systems sought to destroy the country bit by bit. In the beginning of 2006, however, Hu launched the "8 Honours and 8 Disgraces" movement in a bid to promote a more selfless and moral outlook amongst the population. China's increasingly fragile environment has caused massive urban pollution, sandstorms and the destruction of vast tracts of habitable land. It remains to be seen if Hu, usually cautious in nature, is capable of managing the continued peaceful development of China while avoiding international incidents, at the same time presiding over an unprecedented increase in Chinese nationalist sentiment.

At the 11th National People's Congress, Hu was re-elected as President on 15 March 2008. He was also re-elected as Chairman of the Central Military Commission.

Newsweek named Hu the second most powerful man in the world referring to him as "the man behind the wheel of the world's most supercharged economy." Forbes also named him the second most powerful person in the world. Hu has been listed four times (2008, 2007, 2005 & 2004) on the Time 100 annual list of most influential people.

Positions

Scientific Perspective and Harmonious Society

Political observers indicate that Hu has distinguished himself from his predecessor in both domestic and foreign policy. President Hu Jintao's overarching vision, his political philosophy is summarized by three slogans — a "Harmonious Society" domestically and a "Peaceful Development" internationally, the former aided by the "Scientific Development Concept," which seeks integrated sets of solutions to arrays of economic, environmental and social problems, and recognizes, in inner circles, a need for political reform (though studied, cautious and controlled). The Scientific Development doctrine has been written into the constitution of the Communist Party and that of the state in 2007 and 2008, respectively. The role of the Party has changed, as formulated by Deng Xiaoping and implemented by Jiang Zemin, from a revolutionary party to a ruling party. Hu continues the Party’s modernization, calling for both "Advancement" of the Party and its increasing transparency in governance.

What emerges in the view of President Hu is the "China," a systematic approach to national structure and development that combines dynamic economic growth, a free market energized by a vigorous “nonpublic” (i.e., private) sector, unrelenting political and media control, personal but not political freedoms, concern for the welfare of all citizens, cultural enlightenment, and a synergistic approach to diverse social issues (the Scientific Development Perspective) that lead, in Hu’s vision, to a Harmonious Society. Beijing sees its China Model as an alternative to Washington’s Democracy Model, particularly for developing countries. In Hu’s words, "A harmonious society should feature democracy, the rule of law, equity, justice, sincerity, amity and vitality." Such a society, he says, will give full scope to people's talent and creativity, enable all the people to share the social wealth brought by reform and development, and forge an ever closer relationship between the people and government.

Western criticism of Hu, particularly regarding human rights, exposes his hypersensitivity to social stability but does not lay as much emphasis his fresh commitment to address China’s multi-faceted social problems. Hu’s pragmatic, non-ideological agenda has two core values—maintaining social stability to further economic development and sustaining Chinese culture to enrich national sovereignty. In domestic policy, he seems to want more openness to the public on governmental functions and meetings. Recently, China's news agency published many Politburo Standing Committee meeting details. He also cancelled many events that are traditionally seen as communist extravagances, such as the lavish send-off and welcoming-back ceremonies of Chinese leaders when visiting foreign lands. Furthermore the Chinese leadership under Hu has also focused on such problems as the gap between rich and poor and uneven development between the interior and coastal regions. Both party and state seem to have moved away from a definition of development that focuses solely on GDP growth and toward a more balanced definition which includes social equality and environment effects.

In 2004, Hu gave an unprecedented showing and ordered all cadres from the five major power functions to stop the tradition of going to the Beidaihemarker seaside retreat for their annual summer meeting which, before, was commonly seen as a gathering of ruling elites from both current and elder cadres to decide China's destiny, and also an unnecessary waste of public funds. The move was seen by the Chinese public as symbolic of Hu's attitude towards corruption.

In June 2007, Hu gave an important speech at the Central Party School that was indicative of his position of power and his guiding philosophies. In the speech Hu used a very populist tone to appeal to ordinary Chinese, making serious note of the recent challenges China has been facing, especially with regards to income disparity. In addition, Hu noted the need for "increased democracy" in the country. Although the term has different meanings in the party than it does in the general Western sense, it shows that Hu's administration has placed political reform as an important part of the agenda in the coming years, a tone that was nonexistent during the Jiang era .

Media control

Despite initial expectations that Hu was a "closet liberal", Hu has shown a fairly hard-line approach to liberalisation of the media.

The media has been given greater latitude in reporting many topics of popular concern, such as the 2008 Sichuan earthquakemarker, as well as into malpractices at the local level. The government has also been responsive to criticism of its media policy, for example in response to the SARS epidemic, and in regard to public commemorations of popular, but deposed, former leader Hu Yaobang.

Hu has been very cautious with regards to the Internet, choosing to censor politically sensitive material to a degree more strict than the Jiang era. In February 2007, Hu embarked on further domestic media controls that restricted primetime TV series to "morally correct" content—he objected to lowbrow programming including some reality shows—on all Chinese TV stations, and listed "20 forbidden areas" of coverage on news reporting.

In June 2009, the Chinese government attempted to require all computers to be installed with a web-filtering software called Green Dam Youth Escort. This was met with strong resistance from the Chinese internet community and opposition internationally. The Chinese government reversed its decision and declared that it would postpone the implementation of the Green Dam indefinitely. In the aftermath of the July 2009 Urumqi riots, under the pretext that "separatists" were using the internet to organize their activities, the Chinese government cut off access to the internet in the entire Xinjiang region indefinitely .

Taiwan

Early in his presidency, Hu faced an independence supporting counterpart in the form of then-President of the Republic of China Chen Shui-bian. Chen called for talks without any preconditions, repudiating the 1992 consensus. Chen Shui-bian and his party had continued to express an ultimate goal of Taiwanese independence, and make statements on the political status of Taiwan that the PRC considers provocative. Hu's initial response was a combination of "soft" and "hard" approaches. On the one hand, Hu expressed a flexibility to negotiate on many issues of concern to Taiwan. On the other hand, he continued to refuse talks without preconditions and remained committed to Chinese reunification as an ultimate goal. While Hu Jintao gave some signs of being more flexible with regard to political relationships with Taiwanmarker as in his May 17 Statement where he offered to address the issue of "international living space" for Taiwan, Hu's government remains firm in its position that the Mainland side will not tolerate any attempt by the Taiwanese government to declare de jure independence from China.

After the re-election of Chen Shui-bian in 2004, Hu's government changed tactics. Hu's government has conducted a no contact policy with the then Taipei administration due to Chen Shui-Bian and the DPP's independence leanings and repudiation of the 1992 consensus. The government maintained its military build-up against Taiwan, and pursued a vigorous policy of isolating Taiwan diplomatically. In March 2005, the Anti-Secession Law was passed by the National People's Congress, formalising "non-peaceful means" as an option of response to a declaration of independence in Taiwan.

Hu's government increased contacts with the Kuomintang (KMT), then the opposition party in Taiwan. The relationship between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Kuomintang dates back before the Chinese civil war when the two parties twice co-operated in the Northern Expedition and the war against Japan. The increased contacts culminated in the 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China, including a historic meeting between Hu and then-Kuomintang chairman Lien Chan in April 2005.

On 20 March 2008, the Kuomintang won the presidency in Taiwan. It also has a majority in the Legislature. Compared to his predecessors, who often dictated conditions to Taiwan, Hu has been proactive in seeking ties with Taiwan, especially with the pro-unification Kuomintang party.

A series of historical meetings between the CPC and KMT have followed. On 12 April 2008, Hu Jintao held a historic meeting with ROC's then vice-president elect Vincent Siew as chairman of the Cross-strait Common Market Fundation during the Boao Forum for Asia. On 28 May 2008, Hu met with KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung, the first meeting between the heads of the CPC and the KMT as ruling parties. During this meeting, Hu and Wu agreed that both sides should re-commence official dialogue under the 1992 consensus. Wu committed the new government in Taiwan against Taiwanese independence. Hu committed his government to addressing the concerns of the Taiwanese people in regard to security, dignity, and "international living space", with a priority given to allowing Taiwanese participation in the World Health Organisation.

As well as the party-to-party channel, the semi-governmental dialogue channel via the Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits is scheduled to re-open in June 2008 on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, with the first meeting held in Beijing. Both Hu and his new counterpart Ma Ying-jeou agree that the 1992 Consensus is the basis for negotiations between the two sides of the Taiwan strait. On 26 March 2008, Hu Jintao held a telephone talk with the US President George W. Bush, in which he as the leader of CPC for the first time admitted that "1992 Consensus" sees "both sides recognize there is only one China, but agree to differ on its definition." The first priority for the SEF-ARATS meeting will be opening of the three links, especially direct flights between mainland China and Taiwan.

Moral guidance

In response to the great number of social problems in China, in March 2006, Hu Jintao released the "core Socialist moral system" entitled the "Eight Honors and Eight Shames" as a set of moral codes to be followed by the Chinese people, and emphasized the need to spread the message to youth. Alternatively known as the "Eight Honors and Disgraces", it contained eight poetic lines which summarized what a good citizen should regard as an honor and what to regard as a shame. It has been widely regarded as one of Hu Jintao's ideological solutions to the perceived increasing lack of morality in China after Chinese economic reform brought in a generation of Chinese predominantly concerned with earning money and power in an increasingly frail social fabric.

It has become a norm for Chinese communist leaders to make their own contributions to Marxist theory. Whether this is Hu's contribution to Marxist theory is debatable, but its general reception with the Chinese public has been moderate. Its promotion, however, is visible almost everywhere: in classroom posters, banners on the street, and electronic display boards for the preparation of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and World Expo 2010marker in Shanghai. The codes differ from the ideologies of his predecessors, namely, Jiang Zemin's Three Represents, Deng Xiaoping Theory, and Mao Zedong Thought in that the focus, for the first time, has been shifted to codifying moral standards as opposed to setting social or economic goals.

Personal life

Hu is married to Liu Yongqing, whom he met at Tsinghua Universitymarker. They have two children together, Hu Haifeng and Hu Haiqing. Hu is the first Chinese leader since 1949 to speak relatively unaccented standard Mandarin without much regional characteristics. He has been described variously as having a cautious and self-deprecatory personality. Unlike Wen Jiabao, the Premier, he has never granted a public one-on-one interview. He has been noted for his liking for table tennis and ballroom dancing. Hu is also said to possess a photographic memory.

Notes

  1. TIME: In China, Hu is the Man to See
  2. BBC:China's Leader shows his stripes. 11 January 2005
  3. World Savvy Monitor: China and the World - A foreign policy overview
  4. "临夏旅游" (Linxia Tourism), published by Linxia Hui Autonomous Prefecture Tourist Board, 2003. 146 pages. No ISBN. Pages 26-27.
  5. Nathan & Gilley, p. 40
  6. Nathan & Gilley, p. 42
  7. Nathan & Gilley, pp.42-43
  8. Nathan & Gilley, p. 84
  9. "Hu Jintao reelected Chinese president", Xinhua (China Daily), 15 March 2008.
  10. http://www.newsweek.com/id/176298
  11. http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/11/worlds-most-powerful-leadership-power-09-people_land.html
  12. Kuhn, Robert Lawrence: Hu's Political Philosophies
  13. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jDByyshZ0Foc4Oir2dwLSfBmpj4A
  14. The Australian: Hu's secret weapon: harmony
  15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2404129.stm


References



"Taiwan." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. 12 Aug. 2008. APA style:Taiwan. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 12 August 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition

External links




















Embed code:






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message