In this year’s long-awaited listing of the World’s Most Powerful, Forbes’ Hu Jintao selection speaks volumes about the shifting balance of power in the world today. Get the full list, and see pictures and video below!

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Trading spots from last year’s listing, Obama’s drop to number two was explained to be partially due to his party’s loss of power in the recent election. But it was the description of China’s leader that said it all.

“Unlike Western counterparts, Hu can divert rivers, build cities, jail dissidents and censor Internet without meddling from pesky bureaucrats, courts,” says the article.

That combined with the fact that he is the dictator of 1/5 of the world’s population qualified China’s leader for the distinction as the magazine’s Most Powerful. Forbes’ Hu Jintao selection wasn’t the only newsworthy item in this year’s ranking though.

Lending credence to the power of social media, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg made the list at number 40. The young Facebook founder may have garnered attention after a movie about his beginnings was released this year. Another internet mogul, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, made the list at 68 for his influence in leaking top-secret documents to the public.

The ever-present Oprah Winfrey made the 68 person list at number 64, and Pope Benedict flexed his muscles at number 5. First initiating this power ranking just last year, the magazine made a few corrections to its 2009 methodology this year. Most notable in 2010 was the sudden interest in European leaders. The UK’s David Cameron came in at number 7, where as in 2009 Gordon Brown filled the 29th slot! The ECB’s Trichet, not even present in 2009, ranked number 15 this year.

Here’s a quick look at those deemed powerful enough to make the top 10.
1. Hu Jintao, president of China
2. Barack Obama, president of the United States.
3. Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, the king of Saudi Arabia
4. Vladimir Putin, the prime minister of Russia
5. Pope Benedict XVI
6. Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany
7. David Cameron, prime minister of the United Kingdom
8. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve
9. Sonia Gandhi, president of the Indian National Congress
10. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

What do you think of 2010’s most powerful? Forbes’ Hu Jintao selection ruffled a few feathers, but is it the right choice? Let me know in the comment section after you check out the pictures and video below!

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Photos: Daniel Deme, Carrie Devorah, Manuil Yamalyan