Chinese President Xi Jinping saw his ranking drop two places in the annual Forbes list of “The World’s Most Powerful People,” from his customary spot at number 3 all the way down to number 5 on this year’s list.
Somehow, Forbes was not impressed with Xi in a year in which he became a viral video star and bestselling author, got a raise, got an app and even got a plate of fish and chips, while still holding firm control over 20% of the world’s population.
Instead, Forbes elected to promote some fresh faces with attention-stealing Pope Francis taking over 4th place and hard-drinking Angela Merkel rising all the way up to number 2.
Russian President Vladimir Putin was chosen as the world’s most powerful person for the third year straight with U.S. President Barack Obama coming in third. Very rich man Bill Gates, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Google co-founder Larry Page round out the top ten.
While Xi may have dropped his fellow compatriots seem to be picking up the slack. Often overshadowed Chinese Premier Li Keqiang comes in at number 12, while Alibaba founder and painter Jack Ma is number 22. Also on the list are Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, Chairman & CEO of China Investment Corporation Ding Xuedong, Tencent founder Ma Huateng, Baidu founder Robin Li, newly-recrowned China’s richest man Wang Jianlin and Director-General of WHO Margaret Chan.
On Saturday, Xi will have a historic opportunity to impress Forbes for next year’s list when he meets with Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou and reminds the leader that he was not even included in the literal power rankings.