Key positions, most important at top:
· General Secretary of the CCP (Party position)
· Chairman of the CCP Central Military Commission (Party position)
· Member of the Politburo Standing Committee (Party position)
· President of the PRC (People's Republic of China) (Government position)
In the West, we usually refer to Hu as the President of China. This is a government title he was granted by the Party—it is not an elected position, because there are no national elections in China. When analyzing politics in China, it's important to understand that Hu's true power comes from his higher position as General Secretary of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), as well as his control over the military (People's Liberation Army).
Hu Jintao's presidential title may be considered important by foreigners, but it has less importance within domestic politics. Compared to predecessors (Jiang Zemin, Deng Xiaoping, Mao Zedong), Hu has far less authority. Since Hu took office in 2003, key decisions have generally been made by consensus of the Politburo Standing Committee members, rather than by Hu alone.
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