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Profile: Hu Jintao
Updated: 2004-11-11 10:49

Profile: Hu JintaoHu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, was elected president of the People's Republic of China Saturday at the First Session of the 10th National People's Congress, becoming the new head of state of a country with a population of approximately 1.3 billion.

Since taking up the post as Party leader last November, Hu has exhibited an outstanding image in leading the new central leadership in earnestly carrying out the important thought of "Three Represents" and the spirit of the 16th National Congress of the CPC; steadfastly holding high the banner and advancing with the times; promoting democracy and unity; working hard and seeking truth from facts; keeping honest and clean and working wholeheartedly in the public interests; and concentrating on construction and development.

Soon after the 16th Party Congress, Hu Jintao, along with the members of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, made a study tour of Xibaipo, the sacred land of the Chinese revolution in Pingshan County, northern Hebei Province. It was from that place that the then CPC Central Committee left for Beijing on March 23, 1949, to establish state power, a date described by Mao Zedong as the "day to take an exam in Beijing."

Hu made a speech at Xibaipo, calling on the whole Party, leading officials in particular, to review Mao's important remarks on the eve of the founding of New China, bear deeply in mind the great trust by the Party and people as well as the historical mission they shoulder, resolutely carry forward the work style of displaying modesty and prudence while guarding against conceit andimpetuosity, resolutely carry forward the work style of working hard and perseveringly, and strive for excellent performance in the new, great practice of building a well-off society in an all-round way.

A native of Jixi County, Anhui Province, Hu was born in Taizhou City, Jiangsu Province, in 1942, where he finished his primary and secondary school. In 1959, he was enrolled by Qinghua University and graduated from the Hydraulic Engineering Department in 1965.

Hu began to work at the grassroots in west China's Gansu Province in 1968 and stayed there for 14 years. Beginning in 1985,he was appointed, successively, secretary of the CPC Guizhou Provincial Committee and of the CPC Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee. During the eight years in Guizhou and Tibet, Hu Jintao,braving adverse conditions and highland anoxia, visited many remote areas, contacted extensively with people of various nationalities, conducted in-depth investigations and study, and worked out economic and social development strategies and long-term programs suited to local conditions. He made outstanding contributions to stability and development of the two economicallyless-developed regions, by uniting the members of the leaderships,cadres and people of different nationalities to form a strong joint force for great undertakings. His work experiences in west China's harsh areas and at the top echelon of the central authorities have combined to make Hu thoroughly understand the national situation, reinforce his conviction in speeding up economic development and promoting reform and opening to the outside world, help him cultivate a work style featuring fairness and honesty, exemplary role, in-depth research, concern for people's joys and sorrows, steadfastness and pragmatism, and pioneering spirit.

In 1992, 49-year-old Hu Jintao was elected member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the First Plenum of the 14th CPC Central Committee, which was then widely considered as an important step the CPC had taken toward generational transition of central leadership. In September 1997, Hu was re-elected member of the Standing Committeeof the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee at the First Plenum of the 15th CPC Central Committee. In March 1998 and September 1999, he became vice-president of the PRC and vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission. A decade-long member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Hu Jintao participated directly in mapping out policies and guidelines of the Party and the state, and exhibited his outstanding ability in handling Party, government, military and diplomatic affairs.

Sources close to him say that Hu Jintao has perused many classics of Marx, Lenin and Mao Zedong, arriving at a profound understanding of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of "Three Represents," and laying a solid foundation for his theoretical attainment. From 1993 to the end of 2002, Hu Jintao was concurrently president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, which has been the training base for senior CPC cadres and backbones of theoretical studies over the past 70 years. Sources with the school say that Hu Jintao attended almost all the school's opening and closing ceremonies and analyzed internationaland domestic situation, interpreted the central authorities' theoretical lines and policies, and made a point of providing guidance to students. He made painstaking efforts towards the building of the school, the Party's top institution of higher learning, and gave many important instructions on the school's educational guidelines, teaching reform, textbook compilation, theoretical research, and the updating of teaching means.

As a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau taking charge of Party and personnel affairs, Hu Jintao earnestly implemented the important thoughts ofJiang Zemin on Party building and the building of the contingent of Party cadres, and did a great deal of pioneering work. He put forward many propositions on promoting the study of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of "Three Represents," enhancing the whole Party's ideological and theoretical level, deepening reform of the cadre and personnel system, fostering a contingent of qualified cadres, strengthening the building of the Party's grassroots organizations, reinforcing the cohesiveness and competence of the Party organizations at various levels, and improving the work style of leading groups at all levels, and promoting Party building in a systematic and standard manner. Under his guidance, related departments took a series of effective measures and made marked progress in Party building.

When he was secretary, first secretary of the Central Committeeof the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), chairman of the All-China Youth Federation, Hu Jintao organized a string of unique, effective and youth-friendly activities that got a strong and positive response from young people and the society as a whole. Inhis capacity as a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, Hu was then in charge of the affairs relating to trade unions, the CYLC, and the women's federation. He gave useful instructions on mass-related work undernew circumstances, and earnestly acted as he advocated. He has maintained a close contact with the people from all walks of life,and won their respect.

In July 1998, the CPC Central Committee made a decision to steer the country's armed forces, armed police and law-enforcement authorities out of business activities. Hu was entrusted to take charge of implementing the decision. With close cooperation from all parties concerned, Hu smoothly accomplished the complicated task.

Hu has also demonstrated his wisdom, courage and competence in foreign affairs. He met with many political figures and dignitaries from other countries, and has headed a number of Chinese delegations on foreign tours. His trips to five European nations in 2001 and the United States in 2002 caught extensive attention, dubbed by overseas sources as Hu's successful "diplomatic debut". What is worth noting is that Hu impressed the local press and people with his easy-going manner and convincing answers to queries from the press, and won wide acclaim during his European visit. Upon his arrival in New York, Hu braved the rain to extend thanks to overseas Chinese greeting him at the hotel gate with a deep bow. Eyewitnesses were all deeply touched by his affable personality.

At top posts, Hu Jintao has shown great concern for the livelihood of the broad masses. Soon after he was elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Hu presided over a meeting of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau to discuss measures to solve the difficulties the masses were facing in their production and daily life. Whereever his inspection tour took him,Hu called at local poor families to get better knowledge of their production and livelihood. In early 2003, Hu Jintao went to the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region to visit needy people amid a freezing cold of minus 30 degrees Celsius. There he urged officials at all levels to fully recognize the great significance of using power for the welfare of the people and a quick solution to the practical problems in the people's immediate interests.

Hu is a principled man with a strategic vision; he is good at riding on the overall situation and making innovations in a pioneering spirit; he is quick-minded and attentive to details in doing things; he does solid work and dares to take decisions at critical moments; he is democratic in his style of work, easy of approach, sedate and modest, with a strong personal charisma; he is informative and has a good memory; he works selflessly night and day. All these have left a deep impression to the people since he took to politics.

Hu and his wife Liu Yongqing were schoolmates at Qinghua University. The couple have a son and a daughter, who are also graduates of Qinghua University.

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