Hu Jintao

Hu Jintao (/h ɪnˈt/; Chinese: 胡锦涛; pinyin: Hú Jǐntāo; Mandarin pronunciation: [xǔ tɕìn.tʰáu]; born 21 December 1942) is a Chinese retired politician who was General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 2002 to 2012, President of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from 2003 to 2013, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) from 2004 to 2012. He was a member of the CCP Politburo Standing Committee, China's de facto top decision-making body, from 1992 to 2012. Hu was the paramount leader of China from 2004 to 2012.[note 1]

Hu Jintao
胡锦涛
Hu in November 2011
General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party
In office
15 November 2002  15 November 2012
Preceded byJiang Zemin
Succeeded byXi Jinping
President of the People's Republic of China
In office
15 March 2003  14 March 2013
PremierWen Jiabao
Vice PresidentZeng Qinghong
Xi Jinping
Preceded byJiang Zemin
Succeeded byXi Jinping
Chairman of the Central Military Commission
In office
State Commission:
13 March 2005  14 March 2013
Party Commission:
19 September 2004 – 15 November 2012
DeputyXi Jinping
Guo Boxiong
Xu Caihou
Cao Gangchuan
Preceded byJiang Zemin
Succeeded byXi Jinping
First Secretary of Secretariat of the Chinese Communist Party
In office
19 October 1992  15 November 2002
General SecretaryJiang Zemin
Preceded byQiao Shi
Succeeded byZeng Qinghong
Vice President of the People's Republic of China
In office
15 March 1998  15 March 2003
PresidentJiang Zemin
Preceded byRong Yiren
Succeeded byZeng Qinghong
Personal details
Born (1942-12-21) 21 December 1942 (age 78)
Taichow, Kiangsu, Republic of China
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Spouse(s)Liu Yongqing
ChildrenHu Haifeng
Hu Haiqing
FatherHu Jingzhi (胡静之)
ResidenceZhongnanhai (former)
Alma materTsinghua University (BS)
ProfessionHydraulic engineer
Central institution membership
  • 1992–2012: 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th Politburo Standing Committee
  • 1992–2002: Secretary (first-ranked), 14th, 15th, Central Secretariat
  • 1992–2012: 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th Politburo
  • 1985–2012: 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th Central Committee
  • 1982–1985: 12th Alternate Membership of the Central Committee
  • 1988–2013: 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th National People's Congress

Other offices held

Paramount Leader of
the People's Republic of China

Hu Jintao
"Hu Jintao" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Simplified Chinese胡锦涛
Traditional Chinese胡錦濤

Hu rose to power through the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), notably as Party Committee Secretary for Guizhou province and the Tibet Autonomous Region, where his harsh repression of dissent gained him attention from the highest levels.[1] He moved up to First Secretary of the CCP Central Secretariat and Vice-President under Jiang Zemin. Hu was the first leader of the Communist Party from a generation younger than those who participated in the civil war and the founding of the republic. Influential sponsors from the older generation who promoted his rapid rise, including Song Ping, Hu Yaobang, Deng Xiaoping, and Jiang Zemin.[2]

During his term in office, Hu reintroduced state control in some sectors of the economy that were relaxed by the previous administration, and was 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 Outlook on Development, which aimed to build a "Harmonious Socialist Society" that was prosperous and free of social conflict. Under his leadership, the authorities also cracked down on social disturbances, ethnic minority protests, and dissident figures which also led to many controversial events such as the unrest in Tibet and the passing of the Anti-Secession Law. In foreign policy, Hu advocated for "China's peaceful development", pursuing soft power in international relations and a corporate approach to diplomacy. Throughout Hu's tenure, China's influence in Africa, Latin America, and other developing regions increased.

Hu possessed a modest and reserved leadership style. His tenure was characterized by collective leadership and consensus-based rule.[3] These traits made Hu a rather enigmatic figure in the public eye. His administration was known for its focus more on technocratic competence than persona.[4] At the end of his tenure, Hu won praise for retiring voluntarily from all positions. He was succeeded by Xi Jinping.