This is the story of a copybook Communist leader, who has worked his way up the working class to the highest echelons of power in the Communist Party of China. A look at the man and his walk up the ladder:
Hu was born to a tea-selling family in Anhui province on December 21, 1942. As a student he joined the Communist Party of China in 1964 and was known for his earnest lessons in ideological purity to fellow students.
A hydraulic engineer by profession, Hu met his mentor, Song Ping, the first secretary in the party, where he was working. That led him to meet and impress China's most powerful men - Deng Xioping and Hu Yaobang. However, he also showed his tough side with a crackdown on Tibetan activists as party chief. Chosen one: Ahead of the 14th party congress, he was handpicked by Deng at Song Ping's suggestion and backed by others, to become the youngest Politburo member inm1992. Six years later, Hu became vice-president of China. In 2002, he became general secretary of the CPC. The crowning moment came when he became president in 2003.
Hu is known for shunning all cliques and spent his early career in the poor hinterlands of China rather then the urban prosperous coastal areas - the milieu that perhaps accounts for his "people-first" and harmonious society vision that has become the mantra of his regime. The 63-year-old president — who controls all crucial levers of power in his country, the party, the government and the military — is believed to be a hardline pragmatist.
He has been active on the foreign policy front since the time of Jiang Zemin. Be it a nuclear energy pact now with Egypt or engaging Africa by plunging huge investments, China is quite capable of dictating world events.
View from India
There is cause for concern — Tibet and Arunachal, given President Hu’s no-nonsense attitude. But India wants to make it work. New Delhi said it does not want Arunachal Pradesh to come in the way of overall development of bilateral ties with China. The two sides will utilise the four-day visit to add “substance” to their ties.