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Hu Jintao was (from 2002 to 2012) the Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China, a position formerly filled by Chairman Mao Zedong, Deng "Tiananmen Square" Xiaoping, and a couple of other people who did little of note. Coming from a humble background, Hu rose through the ranks to head the CCP's Youth League and administrator of an integral part of China before becoming Communist Party's general secretary and the preeminent fashion icon for its legions of hip young bureaucrats. His term as Party General Secretary ended in November 2012, and he was succeeded by Xi Jinping.
In this role he advocated a "peaceful development" of his country; this involves overseeing construction of their first aircraft carrier, stealth fighter plane, fast attack boats and the largely defensive Dong Feng missile. Domestically, he promised the Chinese people to build a "harmonious society" that is supposed to alleviate the sharp divergences in income and wealth that developed in the wake of China's economic opening. (It has also helped to "harmonize" the sharp divergences of opinions held by dissidents such as Liu Xiaobo or Ai Weiwei.)
- Which is very, very scary when all you've got to counter this are a couple thousand nukes and a conventional military that costs almost as much as those fielded by the rest of the world combined.
- In fact, the term "harmonious society" has become so synonymous with Internet censorship in China that the authorities censored the Chinese word for "harmonious" on the internet. In response, Chinese internet users began using a similar-sounding Chinese word which means "river crab" as a replacement to get around the censors, creating what may have been the first Chinese internet meme.