Wen tops list of influential leaders
2010-01-21 23:55:18 GMT2010-01-22 07:55:18 (Beijing Time) China Daily
Premier Wen Jiabao is the most influential leader shaping global politics in 2010, a leading think tank said in a report released on Wednesday.
The New York-based Eurasia Group attributed Wen's ranking to his success in guiding China through the worst of the economic crisis last year.
Wen is followed on the "Leaders to Watch in 2010" list by US President Barack Obama; Ichiro Ozawa, former president of the Democratic Party of Japan; David Cameron, leader of Britain's opposition Conservative Party; Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva; former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani; Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin; Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates; and Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.
Eurasia noted that Wen now faces the challenges of shifting policy from stimulating the economy to containing inflation and preventing asset bubbles.
It said Wen, together with Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, will be instrumental in shaping the 12th Five-Year Plan, China's economic development blueprint through 2015.
Scholars said Eurasia's report, to some extent, reflects public opinion in Western countries, where people are most concerned about the economic crisis.
Fu Mengzi, a researcher on American studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said: "The rating shows the world's acknowledgment of China's strength and position as well as the expectation of the nation's further active engagement in pushing forward economic development."
He added that no matter what hope the outside world pins on Beijing, the country will follow its own economic development plan at its own pace.
The report also said this year may define the presidency of Obama as he faces diminished approval ratings, high unemployment, a massive deficit, and poor prospects for the Democratic Party in mid-term elections in November.
It pointed out that Washington's increasing tension with Beijing, a complicated withdrawal from Iraq, the challenge of securing Afghanistan, and renewed concern for domestic safety will keep Obama engaged on security and foreign policy issues.