Hu Jin Tao

The Common Touch

On the eve of the Lunar New Year, China's most important holiday, the country's President took time out from running the world's next superpower, drove several hours outside Beijing and knocked unannounced at the two-room village home of peasant Lu Zhanlin. As Lu gaped in astonishment, Hu helped the family stuff dumplings and chatted for an hour about corn prices. Then he handed Lu a red envelope with $120 to buy fertilizer and left. "Hu says he'll help us grow richer, and he follows through on his promises," says Lu, who was impressed--even though "my dumplings looked nicer."

The social call...

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