During his time in office, Hu tried to rehabilitate the people who were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. Many Chinese people think that this was his most important achievement. He was also in favor of a pragmatic policy in Tibet after realising the mistakes of previous policies. He ordered the withdrawal of thousands of Chinese Han cadres from the Tibet Autonomous Region following a May 1980 visit to the region, believing that Tibetans should be empowered to administer their own affairs. Han Chinese who remained were required to learn Tibetan. He set out six requirements to improve 'existing conditions', including the increase of state funds to the Autonomous Region, improvements in education, and "efforts to revive Tibetan culture". At the same time, Hu stated that "anything that is not suited to Tibet's conditions should be rejected or modified". Hu made a point of explicitly apologizing to Tibetans for China's misrule of the region during this trip.
Hu traveled widely throughout his time as general secretary, visiting 1500 individual districts and villages in order to inspect the work of local officials and to keep in touch with the common people. When he was sixty-five, Hu retraced the route of the Long March, and took the opportunity to visit and inspect remote military bases located in Tibet, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Qinghai, and Inner Mongolia.
Party affiliation: Communist Party of China