Hu Jintao, Barack Obama's Chinese Counterpart, Named World's Most Powerful Person

Chinese President Hu Jintao has unseated President Barack Obama as the most powerful person in the world, according to Forbes' annual list.

The news comes as Obama, who many blamed for the Democrats' loss of the House of Representatives, faces low approval ratings in the U.S. Forbes credited this as a major reason for the loss of the top spot, which he occupied last year, saying:

Obama's Democrats suffered a mighty blow in U.S. midterm elections, with the president decisively losing support of the House of Representatives, and barely holding onto the Senate. It's quite a come-down for last year's most powerful person...

Hu Jintao, on the other hand? Forbes had this to say:

Paramount political leader of more people than anyone else on the planet; exercises near dictatorial control over 1.3 billion people, one-fifth of world's population. Unlike Western counterparts, Hu can divert rivers, build cities, jail dissidents and censor Internet without meddling from pesky bureaucrats, courts.

China has recently been flexing some of it's world influence, scuffling with Japan, says the Economist, and causing concern over its near monopoly on the extraction of rare earth.

After Obama came King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud of Saudi Arabia, whose kingdom "contains the world's largest crude oil reserves, two holiest sites in Islam," notes Forbes. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ranked fourth, ahead of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (12). Putin was recently photographed rigorously exploring the SIberian wilderness in what some perceived as a PR move before Russia's 2012 elections.

The Pope came in at number five. He was recently the target of the first protest by victims of Catholic priest abuse to take place close to the Vatican. He is also scheduled to be greeted in Spain by a gay and lesbian "kissing flashmob" as a protest against the Church's stance on homosexuality.

You can find the entire list here.