Hu Jintao's Legacy

21 November 2012

Professor Kerry Brown, Executive Director of China Studies Centre, has written about Hu Jintao's legacy.

"The Hu era -which ends at the 18th party congress starting November 8, as Hu begins the process of officially yielding power to Vice President Xi Jinping -started out with a different vision for the country. From as early as the summer of 2004, apparatchiks began to speak of 'putting people first' and creating a harmonious society - in other words, addressing China's yawning inequalities and imbalances in ways that differed from the Jiang Zemin era. Jiang, a relative liberalizer, had successfully encouraged businesspeople to join the party in 2001. The question facing Hu when he came into office was what to do about the huge differences between the rich and the poor across the country."