He is unassuming, affable, an able administrator - and a man to watch in China's Communist Party hierarchy.
Hu Qili, relatively young at 53, has been named to the Central Committee and to its powerful nine-man Secretariat. Some say he has a good chance eventually to succeed Hu Yaobang as general secretary.
Hu Qili's links with Hu Yaobang go back to the '50s. The younger Hu was a student leader and the older a Communist Youth League official.
Later, during the Cultural Revolution, when Hu Yaobang was under attack, Hu Qili, then a Youth League official, was offered a promotion if he would denounce his friend. Hu refused and was exiled to a remote province. But since Hu Yaobang's arrival in power, Hu Qili's rise has been rapid.