Thousands of delegates are pouring into Beijing for this week's political debates, but the Washington Post says the debate is over: President Hu Jintao will keep walking a safe middle path in his next 5-year term. Once deemed a candidate to open China's one-party system, Hu has ignored calls for "self-revolution" as well as pleas to roll back market reforms.
Hu embodies a new breed of Chinese technocrat that replaced the big personas of Mao and Deng Xiaoping. Many labeled him a reformer because of an apparent openness to free media, only to watch him silence critics and tighten media control. “He obviously came to believe that in China stability is the most important commodity,” says his biographer.