Chinese President Hu Jintao has topped US President Barack Obama on the Forbes list of most powerful people, with the magazine pointing to Hu’s sweeping powers and the stinging defeat of Obama’s democrats in legislative polls.
The list also includes Congress President Sonia Gandhi (ranked ninth) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (ranked 18th). Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata and head of ArcelorMittal, Lakshmi Mittal also make the list.
Of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, Forbes’ list comprises “the 68 who matter”.
The heads of state, major religious figures, entrepreneurs and outlaws on the second annual list were chosen “because, in various ways, they bend the world to their will”.
Jintao, 67, occupies the top slot for being the “paramount political leader of more people than anyone else on the planet” and one who “exercises near dictatorial control over 1.3 billion people, one-fifth of world's population”.
Forbes said unlike his Western counterparts, Hu head of the world’s largest army in size, can “divert rivers, build cities, jail dissidents and censor Internet without meddling from pesky bureaucrats, courts”.