When Hu Jintao entered the Standing Committeeof the Political Bureau of the 14th Central Committee of the CommunistParty of China (CPC) five years ago, he was the youngest member in thistop decision-making body of the CPC.
His re-election to the Standing Committee of thePolitical Bureau of the 15th CPC Central Committee here yesterday reflectedthe Party's confidence in this young, energetic leader, who is now 54 yearsold.
When he served as a member of the Standing Committeeof the Political Bureau of the 14th Party Central Committee, Hu was incharge of Party affairs, serving concurrently as president of the PartySchool of the CPC Central Committee.
Over the past five years, he has won praise fromall quarters for his outstanding theoretical attainment and his sure, steadystyle of work.
When he was elected into the CPC Central Committee15 years ago, Hu was only 39, also the youngest.
Born in December 1942 in Jixi County, East China'sAnhui Province, Hu studied hydroelectric engineering in Beijing's QinghuaUniversity, China's most prestigious polytechnic university, where he joinedthe CPC in April 1964.
As an outstanding student in his department, Hudreamed of becoming an expert in hydropower. He once said it was not hisoriginal intention to go into politics.
After his graduation in July 1965, Hu stayed atQinghua as a researcher and political instructor until the beginning ofthe "cultural revolution" (1966-76). In 1968, he was sent towork in Gansu, one of China's poorest provinces in the northwest.
After one year of physical labour on a housingconstruction team, he served consecutively as technician, office secretaryand deputy Party secretary in an engineering bureau under the Ministryof Water Resources and Electric Power. This marked the beginning of hiscareer in Party affairs.
In 1974, he was transferred to the Gansu ProvincialConstruction Committee and served as secretary. From 1975 to 1980, he wasdeputy chief of the committee's designing management division.
For his excellent performance, he was promotedto deputy director of the committee in 1980, and later was appointed secretaryof the Gansu Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Youth League(CCYL).
During the 11th National Congress of the CCYLconvened in 1982, Hu was elected a member of the Secretariat of the CCYLCentral Committee and president of the All-China Youth Federation.
In November 1984, he became the first secretaryof the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist YouthLeague, becoming the top leader of China's largest youth organization.
In 1985, when he was 42, Hu was appointed secretaryof the CPC Guizhou Provincial Committee, again the youngest of his rankacross the country.
Within two years, he visited 86 counties, citiesand prefectures in this poverty-stricken southwestern province. He oncesaid economic development in poverty-stricken areas requires people's dedication.
At the end of 1988, Hu became secretary of theCPC Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee. During his four-year stay there,despite the harsh natural conditions on the Tibet Plateau, Hu visited manyareas and made extensive contacts with people in various circles, makinggreat contributions to this region's ethnic unity, social stability andeconomic growth.
During the 14th CPC National Congress in October1992, Hu was elected Standing Committee member of the Political Bureauof the CPC Central Committee, as well as a member of the Central Committee'sSecretariat. He has served as president of the Party School of the CPCCentral Committee since 1993.
He was also a member of the Standing Committeeof the Sixth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political ConsultativeConference.
His former colleagues said Hu is a very persuasiveperson, and very good at coping with complicated situations with firm principlesand flexible tactics.
Speaking of the basic qualities of a leader, Huonce said a good leader must have firm beliefs and lofty pursuits, do solidwork, seek no fame or gain, do away with a bureaucratic air and share thefeelings of the masses.
A good leader should encourage democracy and alsobe capable of taking resolute action at critical moments, and must lovelife, he added.
Hu's experience with China's youth work has enabledhim to have a better understanding of the country's younger generation.He once noted that in the process of China's reform, Chinese youth shouldnot only have a sense of urgency and a sense of mission, but also a goodunderstanding of the hardships and complicated nature of the reform.
"Do not cherish excessively high expectationswhile your psychological capacity to bear upon is low," he was quotedas saying.
Hu loves literature and art, with a special interestin movies, operas and novels. He was a member of the student dance teamin his university years. When he worked in the Communist Youth League CentralCommittee, he occasionally danced solo at parties. He also plays tabletennis fairly well. Hu and his wife, who now works in the Beijing MunicipalConstruction Committee, were schoolmates at Qinghua. They have a son anda daughter.