Former president Hu Jintao visits ancestral hometown in Anhui

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 September, 2013, 4:53am

Former president Hu Jintao appeared to be enjoying his retirement life as he, for the first time, visited his ancestral home in Anhui province and toured scenic Huangshan in the past few days.

The famously stone-faced ex-president appeared unusually relaxed, wearing black trousers, a white short-sleeved shirt and a broad smile while visiting Jixi county last Friday, according to pictures published on the county's news portal.

Local residents appeared enthusiastic about Hu's visit. A shop owner hung what looked like a handmade banner saying, "Welcome home, Jintao", and hundreds gathered to see his arrival.

A villager was said to have thanked Hu for abolishing the 2,000-year-old levy of agricultural tax during his presidency.

The detailed description of Hu and his wife, Liu Yongqing , follows scores of internet users posting pictures and videos of Hu's trip over the past few days, including to Huangshan city - or Yellow Mountain in Putonghua - on Thursday and its scenic mountain area on Monday.

In those pictures, Hu was often seen waving to the onlooking crowds, and sometimes shaking hands with people.

In his homecoming trip to Jixi, Hu visited his family home, the Hu clan ancestral hall, as well as family graveyard. The report said the ancestral hall opened its main entrance to greet Hu and his wife. The hall usually opened its side doors for visitors.

During the visit to their family's old residence, Hu reportedly explained to Liu the background of the old pictures of his grandparents and father, including how he was brought up by his grandmother in Taizhou , Jiangsu province.

He talked about how his grandfather - who left Jixi for Jiangsu and went into the tea-trading business - later returned to his hometown and ran for the local council, the report said.

In a display of frugality, the couple usually had private meals throughout their trip, except for a meal with Jixi officials and some local residents - which consisted of six dishes and a soup, the report said.

After formally stepping down in March, Hu has been reportedly spotted in scenic resorts in Guilin and Yangshuo , Guangxi in April. He also visited Taizhou in January after he had handed over the leadership of the Communist Party to Xi Jinping .



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