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Cablegate: Hu Jintao--A Glance at His Character

O 210923Z DEC 88
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1439
AMEMBASSY BEIJING IMMEDIATE
INFO AMCONSUL HONG KONG PRIORITY
AMCONSUL SHANGHAI PRIORITY
AMCONSUL SHENYANG PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L GUANGZHOU 08077

BEIJING PLEASE PASS CHENGDU

E.O. 12356: DECL:OADR
TAGS: PINR PGOV CH
SUBJECT: HU JINTAO--A GLANCE AT HIS CHARACTER

1. CONFIDENTIAL-ENTIRE TEXT.

2. DURING A RECENT CALL ON THE CONSUL GENERAL, U.S. POLITICAL SCIENTIST XXXXXXXXXXXX RECOUNTED A CONVERSATION HE HAD RECENTLY HAD ABOUT HU JINTAO. IN TRAVELLING BACK FROM HAINAN TO GUANGZHOU HE WAS SEATED NEXT TO AN ENTREPRENEUR FROM GUIZHOU. XXXXXXXXXXXX ASKED WHAT HE THOUGHT OF HU JINTAO, WHO HAD BEEN THE PARTY SECRETARY IN GUIZHOU BEFORE BEING NAMED TO TIBET. THE ENTREPRENEUR SAID THAT HE THOUGHT THAT HU HAD TWO SIGNIFICANT FAILINGS WHICH MADE IT DOUBTFUL HE COULD SUCCEED IN TIBET. FIRST, HU HAD NO CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE MILITARY. SECOND, HE WAS A CAUTIOUS, VACILLATING LEADER. AS AN ILLUSTRATION OF HU´S TIMIDITY, THE ENTREPRENEUR SAID THAT DURING ONE OF HIS TRIPS HE HAD WORKED OUT A PROJECT WHICH WOULD HAVE RESULTED IN THE EXPANSION OF GUIZHOU´S EXPORTS. HE SENT A COPY OF HIS SUGGESTION TO HU WHO SAID THAT IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AND HE SHOULD SUGGEST THAT THE APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS IMPLEMENT IT. WHEN THE ENTREPRENEUR TRIED TO DO SO, THERE WAS THE USUAL BUREAUCRATIC OPPOSITION FROM VARIOUS OFFICES, AND IN THE END NOTHING WAS DONE. HE COMMENTED THAT HU WAS PREPARED TO MOVE ONLY IF EVERYONE AGREED WITH SOMETHING; HE WAS NOT PREPARED TO TACKLE OPPOSITION. GIVEN THE SITUATION IN TIBET, HU WILL BE FACING MANY DIFFERENCES AND WILL GET LITTLE DONE IF HE IS NOT PREPARED TO EXERT HIMSELF.

3. COMMENT. THIS IS OBVIOUSLY HEARSAY INFORMATION, BUT WE BELIEVE THAT XXXXXXXXXXXX ACCURATELY RECOUNTED WHAT THE GUIZHOU ENTREPRENEUR TOLD HIM. THE REMARKS SEEM SOMEWHAT OVERLY FRANK FOR SUCH A PERSON TO MAKE TO AN UNKNOWN XXXXXXXXXXXX, BUT THEY MAY REFLECT WHAT SOME CHINESE ARE SAYING TO EACH OTHER ABOUT HU.
PRATT

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