Standard: Hard-liner Hu tightens grip
Some say Hu has cast himself as a hard-liner to consolidate his position after a delicate leadership transition and could still lead the party in a more open direction. There is a growing consensus inside and outside the government, however, that the 62-year-old former engineer believes the party should strengthen its rule by improving its traditional mechanisms of governance, not by introducing democratic reforms.
Hu has placed particular emphasis on tightening the party’s control over public opinion, presiding over a crackdown to restore discipline in state media and intimidate dissident intellectuals. He has also gone further than his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, by adopting new measures to regulate discussions on university Internet sites and the activities of non-governmental organizations.
See also “Hu Tightens Party’s Grip On Power” from the Washington Post.