Emerging as the most powerful Chinese leader after Mao Zedong, President Xi Jinping was ranked as the third most powerful person in the world by Forbes magazine this year jumping up from the last year’s ninth position.
Russian President Vladimir Putin bagged the first slot for his tough policy towards Ukraine followed his US counterpart Barack Obama.
Xi’s third rank this year is a big jump from last year’s ninth position though his predecessor Hu Jintao got the first slot in 2010 Forbes list.
Chinese analysts believe Xi’s ranking on the list reflects the expanding influence of China over the Western world.
“For a US magazine which evaluates the world’s power players according to Western values, Xi’s high ranking reflects Xi’s prestige. China’s rapid development also makes his listing inevitable,” Cai Zhiqiang, a professor of Party building with the Party School of the CPC Central Committee, told state-run Global Times.
Considered the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao, the Forbes’ report said Xi is the country’s leader, the head of its Communist Party and its military since taking office two years ago.
It also said that Xi is currently leading an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign in China, as well as reforms in Chinese market economy and judicial system.
Into the second year of his office, Xi has already acquired the image of a tough leader virtually overshadowing all other top party officials in the collective leadership.
Cai said that China has reached a critical stage in its development, facing challenges of unsolved problems accumulated over the past 30 years of China’s reform and opening-up policies.
“What Xi is doing is of great importance,” he added.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang joins Xi on the list in 13th spot.