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Man to watch in China -- will Hu succeed Hu?

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.

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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.

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