After Hu Jintao, the former leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), was deported from the closing session of the CCP’s 20th National Congress, Wang Huning, CCP’s First Secretary of the Secretariat, received more attention from Chinese political observers.

As Hu Jintao did not want to leave his seat and wanted to obtain a brochure in the closing session of CCP’s 20th Congress, 19th Politburo Standing Committee Member Li Zhanshu seemed to explain something to Hu. But Wang pulled Li’s shirt to signal not to continue.

Until now, observers have not been able to explain the actions of Wang. Pulling Li’s shirt made it clear that Wang wanted Hu to be expelled. However, Wang used to be Hu’s close assistant for two terms.

According to observers, Wang Huning is a powerful and mysterious political figure. He established trust and a particularly close relationship with the last three CCP general secretaries, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and now Xi Jinping.

Reports suggest that Wang acted as the brains of all three generations of CCP general secretaries. He participated in the drafting of the “Three Represents” doctrines for Jiang, the “Scientific Development Concept” for Hu, and the “Belt and Road Initiative” as well as the “Chinese Dream” concept for Xi Jinping.

What is noteworthy is that while Jiang and Hu had conflicts, and Jiang and Xi were considered enemies, Wang was still close to all three general secretaries.

Commenting about Wang Huning, Reuters cited Willy Lam, a senior fellow at The Jamestown Foundation in Washington, saying, “He is a political beautician, very good at using cosmetics to dress up political policies and slogans, including foreign policy.” 

Lam added, “All the major slogans, from Jiang Zemin to Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping, seem to have come from Wang Huning.”

As a mysterious political figure, secretive and difficult to explain, however, Wang also revealed his true personality.

According to Reuters, one person met Wang Huning when he was the Director of the CCP’s Central Policy Research Office. This person said that Wang Huning looks like an intellectual but has a short temper. Wang scolded an employee for several minutes for not bringing a pen that Wang liked.

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