NPR logo Hu Tops Obama For No. 1 Spot On Forbes' 'Most Powerful' List


Hu Tops Obama For No. 1 Spot On Forbes' 'Most Powerful' List

In a state visit to France, Chinese President Hu Jintao announced his country would double its annual trade with France to $80 billion over the next five years. In a new Forbes list, Hu is listed as the most powerful person on earth -- 18 spots ahead of French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left). Thibault Camus/AP hide caption

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Thibault Camus/AP

The new Forbes list of the world's most powerful people is out — and Chinese President Hu Jintao is in the top spot, just ahead of President Obama. The move reflects China's growing influence on world events.

To make that more intriguing, a Forbes blogger in Beijing runs down the similarities, and differences, between positions of power in China and the U.S.

The rest of the top 10 comprises people who run, in order: Saudi Arabia; Russia; the Roman Catholic Church; Germany; the United Kingdom; the U.S. Federal Reserve; the Indian National Congress; and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

There aren't many people under 50 on the Forbes list — I guess it takes a while to amass power that can register on the global scale.

And since this is all subjective, Forbes asked some influential people to name their top seven picks for the world's most influential people. Gotta say, that's a pretty interesting list.

From the main list, here are some other entries that stick out:

Double-deuce: Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both 37, tied for No. 22.

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Name qua title: The Dalai Lama came in at No. 39. His occupation was listed as Dalai Lama.

No. 40: Mark Zuckerberg, 26. The Facebook founder clocks in one spot ahead of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and two ahead of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.

Three baddies around 60: Osama bin Laden is No. 57; Joaquin Guzman Loera, head of Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel, slipped to No. 60 from No. 41; and India's Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, head of the violent crime syndicate D-Company, is No. 63.

No. 64: Oprah Winfrey. At the risk of sounding like Andy Rooney, you can't have a list about powerful or wealthy people without putting Oprah Winfrey on it.

No. 65: Joseph "Sepp" Blatter. Perhaps this summer's successful World Cup boosted the FIFA president two spots ahead of IOC President Jacques Rogge.

No. 68: Julian Assange of WikiLeaks.

Bragging rights: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi came in at No. 14, while French President Nicolas Sarkozy is at No. 19 — three slots behind Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's newly anointed president.