Who’s Hu? 10 facts about China’s Hu Jintao

January 20, 2011

After a stop in Washington, D.C., Hu Jintao heads to Chicago as part of his presidential visit. Hu is planning on meeting Mayor Daley and local business leaders today.  For those playing along, here’s a quick primer on the Chinese leader.

1. Hu is a Sagittarius with a Gemini rising. Born in Taizhou, Jiangsu on 21 December 1942. Though some sources say he was born on December 25.

2. He’s 5’8”

3. He came from a poor family though his father owned a tea trading business and was raised by an aunt after his mother died when he was seven years old.

4. He was a good student, which was helped by his rumored photographic memory.

5. Hu met his wife Liu Yongqing while studying hydraulic engineering at Beijing's Tsinghua University. They have a son and a daughter together—Hu Haifeng and Hu Haiqing.

6. During the Cultural Revolution Hu worked technical jobs in the Gansu region. Here he met his mentor Song Ping, an elder in the communist party who helped him rise through the ranks.

7. In 1992 he was appointed a member of the Secretariat of the CCP Central Committee, a post that allowed him to make more political ties.

8. Hu was the first modern Chinese leader to start his political career after the 1949 communist revolution—he became Vice President of China in 1998, and President in 2003.

9. Hobbies include table tennis, singing and ballroom dancing.

10. One of Mr Hu's few recorded quotes is that success in life “requires resolve, attention to concrete matters and courage in making decisions.”