Hu Chunhua

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Hu Chunhua
胡春华
Secretary of the Guangdong CPC Committee[1]
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 December 2012
Preceded by Wang Yang
Secretary of the Inner Mongolia CPC Committee
In office
November 2009 – 18 December 2012
Deputy Bagatur (Regional Chairman)
Preceded by Chu Bo
Succeeded by Wang Jun
Governor of Hebei
In office
April 2008 – November 2009
Preceded by Guo Gengmao
Succeeded by Chen Quanguo
First Secretary of the Communist Youth League
In office
November 2006 – April 2008
Preceded by Zhou Qiang
Succeeded by Lu Hao
Personal details
Born April 1963 (age 51)
Wufeng County, Hubei
Nationality Chinese
Political party Communist Party of China
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Hu.
Hu Chunhua
Traditional Chinese 胡春華
Simplified Chinese 胡春华

Hu Chunhua (Chinese: 胡春华; pinyin: Hú Chūnhuá; born April 1963) is a prominent Chinese politician and regional official. He is the Communist Party Secretary of Guangdong province, the province's top political office.[1] He is a member of the 18th Politburo of the Communist Party of China.[2] Hu has worked in Tibet for much of his political career and ascended the party ranks partly through the Communist Youth League. He is popularly known as "little Hu". He became China's youngest governor when he took the position in Hebei province in 2008. He was then promoted to Inner Mongolia party chief in 2009. As one of the youngest provincial leaders, Hu is seen as a promising candidate in the 'sixth generation' of Chinese leadership.[3][4]

Biography[edit]

Tibet, Hebei, and Youth League[edit]

Hu Chunhua was born into a family of farming background in Wufeng County, Hubei in April 1963. In 1979, he ranked first in the county for the Gaokao examination. At age 16, he was the youngest in his class.[5] He received his B.A. degree from Peking University in August 1983, majoring in Chinese language and literature. After graduation, he volunteered to go work in Tibet. He began work in the region as a cadre in the Organization Department of the Communist Youth League. Hu subsequently held various government and Youth League positions in Tibet, ultimately serving as deputy secretary of the CPC Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee from November 2003 to November 2006 and vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Government from November 2003 to November 2005. In Tibet, Hu played an instrumental role in developing the Tibetan economy, curbing separatist movements, and the settlement of more Han Chinese into region.[6]

From 1997 to 2001 Hu served in the Secretariat of the Communist Youth League and as a Vice Chairman of the All-China Youth Federation. He returned to Beijing to become the First Secretary of the Communist Youth League from December 2006 to March 2008. On April 15, 2008, he was appointed as the acting Governor of Hebei, China's youngest.[7] On January 12, 2009, he was officially elected Governor.[8][9][10] In Hebei, Hu had the reputation of working 'non-stop', visiting all of the province's 11 prefecture-level cities within a few months.[5] While serving in Hebei, Hu came into the limelight during the 2008 Chinese milk scandal, which had roots in Hebei province. He came out of the incident unscathed, some say as a result of his closeness to Party general secretary Hu Jintao.[6] He also took part in the security preparations of the Beijing Olympics, and advocated increasing domestic consumption in response to the global financial crisis.[5]

Hu was a member of the 17th Central Committee and continues to serve in the 18th Central Committee as a member of 25 member Politburo. On December 27, 2008, he was admitted as a substitute delegate to the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) representing Hebei Province.[11]

Inner Mongolia[edit]

In November 2009, he was appointed Regional Party Secretary of Inner Mongolia.[12] He was also elected Chairman of the Inner Mongolia People's Congress in January 2010.[12]

Not long after he took charge of the vast northern region, Hu embarked on a plan to rebalance growth in the region. Under Hu's predecessor Chu Bo, Inner Mongolia saw explosive GDP growth that was the result of developing natural resources. The region's GDP growth ranked highest amongst province-level entities in the country for eight consecutive years. However, the growth opened a large wealth gap, with endemic profiteering from local officials, and a divide between the resource-rich western part of the region (Hohhot, Baotou, and Ordos) and the stagnant industrial-based eastern part (Chifeng, Tongliao, Hulunbuir).

In response, Hu remarked that Inner Mongolia will no longer aspire to be ranked first in GDP growth, but rather focus on sustaining the "quality" and "efficiency" of growth.[13] Hu believed that dogmatically pursuing a mere increase in economic output did not benefit everyone in the region, particularly farmers and nomadic herders, pointing out that the large mining projects had brought significant wealth which did not trickle down to the grassroots. He stressed that one of the priorities of his administration would be assuring equitable policies in the relocation, employment and social welfare of nomadic peoples.[13] Hu also sought to reform tax policy to give more bargaining power to local government and local interests in assessing potential mining projects by large state-owned natural resource companies. These companies were known for running roughshod over local officials that were desperate to attract investment to boost their own GDP numbers.[13] In urban development, Hu has stressed the importance of subsidized housing.[13]

Grievances over the intrusion of mining companies, mixed with ethnic tensions between Mongolian and Han Chinese people in the region, had caused friction for years between the government and the rural populations. It came to a boil in May 2011, when a Mongolian herder's death led to ethnic Mongolian protests in Xilinhot and unrest in other parts of the region. It was the first major protests in Inner Mongolia in more than twenty years. Hu instituted a two-pronged policy of appeasement and force, addressing the grievances of the protesting crowds by making a visit to Xilinhot, meeting with students and teachers, and promising compensation for local herders and more strict regulations over business conduct. Meanwhile, he increased security presence across Inner Mongolia, including in the capital, Hohhot, to contain the unrest.[14]

Guangdong[edit]

In November 2012, Hu was appointed to the 18th Politburo of the Communist Party of China. He, along with Sun Zhengcai, are the youngest members of the politburo, raising speculation they are being groomed to become China's next leaders in 2022.[15] In December 2012, Hu was appointed the party chief of Guangdong.[16]

Public image and political future[edit]

Hu has maintained a relatively low public profile during his rise to higher positions of power. Hu is one of the country's few "post-60s" provincial-level officials, and his relative youth makes him a 'rising star' in Chinese politics. However, Hu is known for his cautious and low-key style in public, and does not discuss his private life. During the 2012 National People's Congress, Hu Chunhua only answered four out of twenty questions posed to him by reporters, casting many sensitive questions to his subordinates. When asked personal questions, he said that he was only interested in matters relating to Inner Mongolia. He refused to comment on his personal ambitions, or whether or not he had a Weibo account.[17] Following the dismissal of Bo Xilai in April 2012, Hu has heavily promoted due to his loyalty to central party authorities under Hu Jintao's leadership.[17] He toes the party line and is seen as a close confidant and loyalist of Hu Jintao.[17]

It is widely speculated that Hu Chunhua will be a major part of the 'sixth generation' of Chinese leadership, who will ascend to power at the 20th Party Congress in 2022. He was selected as a member of the Politburo, the ruling inner circle, at the 18th Party Congress in 2012.[2][6] He is a leading contender for one of the five seats on the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China which will be filled in 2017 due to scheduled retirements.[2]

His political beliefs about Tibet are fairly opaque. He is a fluent Tibetan speaker.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Edward Wong (December 18, 2012). "China: A Rising Party Leader Is Elevated Yet Again". The New York Times. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Edward Wong (November 26, 2012). "China’s Leadership Change Puts Pair Ahead of Their Peers for 2017". The New York Times. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ (Chinese) 官场如战场:中共第六代领导人呼之欲出, Oriental Daily News, December 6, 2006
  4. ^ Ben Blanchard (Reuters), 2012-10-12, ‘Little Hu’ may play a big role in China’s political future, Taipei Times
  5. ^ a b c Kuhn, Robert Lawrence (2011). How China's Leaders Think. Wiley. p. 429. ISBN 978-0470824450. 
  6. ^ a b c d Lam, Willy (15 May 2009). "Hu Jintao Picks Core Sixth-Generation Leaders". China Brief via Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  7. ^ (Chinese) 胡春华任河北代省长 为中国目前最年轻省长 Hu Chunhua appointed as Acting Governor of Hebei, currently youngest governor in China, Sina.com April 15, 2008.
  8. ^ (Chinese) 河北省十一届人大二次会议选举胡春华为省长, People's Daily January 12, 2009.
  9. ^ Hu Chunhua elected governor of Hebei Province, China Daily January 12, 2009.
  10. ^ (Chinese) 胡春华出任河北省省长, Caijing January 12, 2009.
  11. ^ (Chinese) 全国人大常委会确认胡春华、巴特尔全国人大代表资格有效 People's Daily December 27, 2008.
  12. ^ a b "胡春华简历" (in Chinese). Xinhua. 2008-04-15. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c d "胡春华:内蒙不再刻意追求GDP增速全国第一 (Hu Chunhua: Inner Mongolia will no longer pursue GDP growth rankings)". Duowei. 7 August 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Jacobs, Andrew (May 30, 2011). "Anger Over Protesters’ Deaths Leads to Intensified Demonstrations by Mongolians". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  15. ^ "New Politburo Lineup Signals Rising Stars Who May Replace Xi". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Chinese rising star Hu Chunhua made Guangdong party boss". BBC News. December 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c Lam, Willy (26 April 2012). "Hu Jintao’s Sixth Generation Protégés Play Safe to Ensure Promotion". China Brief via The Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Zhou Qiang
First Secretary of the Communist Youth League of China
2006 – 2008
Succeeded by
Lu Hao
Preceded by
Chu Bo
CPC Inner Mongolia Committee Secretary
2009 – 2012
Succeeded by
Wang Jun
Government offices
Preceded by
Guo Gengmao
Governor of Hebei
2008 – 2009
Succeeded by
Chen Quanguo