Hu Jintao: Background of China’s soon-to-be-leader

Mr. Hu, 59, is the son of a diplomat and rising political star, a rising star in his own right in China. Mr. Hu served as vice premier from 1998 to 2004, and as president of China from 2008 to 2013.

Hu Jintao spent most of his career building up China’s international economic and political standing before leaving office and heading into academia. He has taught at two universities and held a post at China’s Central Party School.

He came from a privileged background and developed a taste for luxury goods while in office. Mr. Hu has also made the country more interested in beefing up its navy and taking greater ownership of the South China Sea.

His family connections and affluence landed Mr. Hu on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires three times. He reportedly kept a herd of more than 120 Holstein cows in an eight-bedroom house and bankrolled a major refurbishment of its guest house. In a recent interview with a Chinese television station, Mr. Hu was asked about how he would live now that he had left office and replied: “The problem of rich people having a billion dollars in a small flat is that you might have trouble remembering where you put your money.”

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