Hu Jintao is the present Paramount Leader of the People’s Republic of China. He also holds other positions in high office, including the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2003. He is also the acting Chairman of the Central Military Commission for the last 7 years. His association with Communist Party of China started during his youth and has continued ever since. Having first assumed official responsibilities for smaller provinces, he rose through the ranks to become the Vice-President of the party.
Hu Jintao’s leadership style and his ideological leanings are exceptional in the history of Chinese politics. Ever since the Communist Revolution during the early decades of the twentieth century, the country has embraced socialist policies for the common good. But Hu Jintao represents a band of young leaders who do not belong to the revolutionary generation. Instead, they espouse a pragmatic approach to politics and policymaking that has helped China to integrate into the global neo-liberal regime. It is for this reason that Chinese economy was able to grow at a phenomenal rate over the last two decades, prompting economists to brand it as an emerging superpower. In this respect, Hu Jintao’s approach is similar to that of Vladimir Putin’s.
Putin, the former President of the Russian Federation presently serves a nominal role as the Prime Minister of the country. Having assumed Presidency in the year 1999, Putin won back to back elections in 2000 and 2004 with convincing majorities to mark a new path in Russian politics. Similar to Hu Jintao’s deviation from traditional Communist policy framework, under Putin Russian economy was opened up to foreign capital and the country consolidated into a capitalist democracy. Similar to the Chinese success story, the Russian economy under Putin rose for 9 consecutive years, as the Gross Domestic Product shot up 72% overall. The standard of living for most Russians increased during his reign as did average per-capita income. Hence, both Hu Jintao and Vladimir Putin have helped their country emerge as strong, sovereign and flourishing geo-political entities with their thoughtful and ingenious leadership. The study of these two leaders of the emerging economies is useful for a student of comparative politics, as one can learn about individual qualities and thought processes associated with visionary leadership.
Willy Wo-Lap Lam. (2006). Chinese politics in the Hu Jintao era: new leaders, new challenges. M.E. Sharpe. p. 5.
Rutland, Peter (2005). “Putin’s Economic Record”. In White, Gitelman, Sakwa. Developments in Russian Politics. 6. Duke University Press. ISBN 0822335220.