President Hu Jintao is aiming to preserve his influence and legacy by securing a spot for a close ally in China’s new leadership lineup, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources. Hu Chunhua, unrelated to the president, is party boss in a region of Inner Mongolia. Dubbed “Little Hu,” he is highly regarded by the president, according to an unnamed source. In the ongoing transition talks, President Hu is said to be maneuvering to have his ally appointed to the Politburo Standing Committee or as party chief in Shanghai. At 49, Hu Chunhua would become the youngest member of the standing committee. Such a prominent position would quickly elevate Hu’s profile and single him out as a candidate for party leadership in the future. The appointment of a staunch ally would also benefit the outgoing president, who has a stake in seeing his legacy carried on and in protecting himself from possible political retribution.