China’s reserve of talented leaders: Hu Chunhua

Hu Chunhua

Hu Chunhua, 49, is regarded as a rising star who may be Xi Jinping’s successor 10 years later.

He is now party boss of Inner Mongolia. When he attended NPC (China’s legislature) meeting last March, he showed his populist side by promising to improve the livelihood of the poor.

Inner Mongolia is now booming with coal mining, but the pollution and disturbance the industry has brought to the peaceful and quiet grassland there has given rise to ethnic conflicts between local Mongolians and Han migrants.

When a truck from a coal mine hit one of the villagers who blocked its way in order to prevent the truck from bringing dust and noise to the grassland, there were mass protests almost everywhere in the region. Hu personally went to the protesters and resolved the issue promptly.

He dismissed the county party boss there and punishing the truck driver and the two others who tried to shield the driver. It showed Hu’s concern for the people and his courage, vigour and ability in dealing with emergency.

Being one of the youngest provincial-level party bosses, Hu is regarded as having the potential to rise to the top.

According to Reuters’ report yesterday, Hu Jintao wanted to promote Hu Chunhua into the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) but failed.

In my book “Tiananmen’s Tremendous Achievements”, I point out that China’s political system now is the dynasty of a party, the Chinese Communist Party, with a core similar to an emperor and that Jiang Zemin, though retired, remains the core as like Deng Xiaoping before him, he remains dominant without any official title.

In 2007, Hu was unable to choose his successor and had to let Xi Jinping, chosen by Jiang, be his successor despite he had built up his power base for five years. In addition, Hu was only able to promote one of his protégés Li Keqiang into the PSC while Jiang’s Shanghai faction maintained a majority in the PSC.

However, as the key to Jiang Zemin’s art for being an emperor is the discovery and employment of talented people with moral integrity, Hu Chunhua, if indeed talented, may be chosen by Jiang to be Xi’s successor.

Talented people with moral integrity are small in number and difficult to find due to Chinese tradition of honest people being unwilling to join corrupt official circles. I begin my book with the story of Xu You refusing Emperor Yao’s offer of a high official post to make the point.

Besides, Hu Jintao seems to have the best chance to succeed Jiang as the core when Jiang passes away. He will certainly be able to promote Hu Chunhua when he becomes the core. Therefore, both Jiang and Hu may want to promote Hu Chunhua, but they have to test and develop his ability by assigning him the post to run a large municipality such as Shanghai or Chongqing.

Hu is now but the party boss of an autonomous region with a small population. If, as predicted by Reuters, he indeed is appointed the head of Chongqing Municipality and succeeds there, his chance to rise to the top will be greatly enhanced. Anyway, Hu’s performance so far proves his promising potential.

Read the full SCMP report

Categories: Politics & Law

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2 replies


  1. Speculation on Party Secretariat member Wang Huning’s promotion « China Daily Mail
  2. China: Front-runners for Promotion at 18th Congress « China Daily Mail

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