Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping

Infobox President
name = Xi Jinping

imagesize = 180px
caption = Official portrait of Xi.
order = Vice President of the People's Republic of China
term_start = March 15, 2008
term_end =
predecessor = Zeng Qinghong
successor =
president = Hu Jintao
order2 = 15th CPC Shanghai Committee Secretary
term_start2 = March 15, 2007
term_end2 = October 27, 2007
predecessor2 = Han Zheng (acting)
successor2 = Yu Zhengsheng
deputy2 = Han Zheng
birth_date = birth date and age|1953|6|1
birth_place = flagicon|China Beijing, People's Republic of China
death_date =
death_place =
party = Communist Party of China
spouse = Peng Liyuan
relations = Xi Zhongxun (father)
alma_mater = Tsinghua University
religion =

Xi Jinping (zh-stp|s=习近平|t=習近平|p=Xí Jìnpíng; POJ: Sip Kin-ping, born 1953) is a senior leader of the People's Republic of China. He currently serves as the country's Vice-President, the top-ranking member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China, Principal of the Central Party School, and the 6th ranked member of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's "de facto" top power organ.

Xi served mostly in Fujian province in his early career, and was later appointed party chief of the neighbor Zhejiang province, and then was appointed as Shanghai's party chief following the dismissal of Chen Liangyu. Known for his liberal policies, tough stance on corruption, and a frank openness about political and market economy reforms [ [http://www.newsweek.com/id/81558/page/2 Newsweek:Xi Jinping: China’s New Boss And The ‘L’ Word] ] , his combination of positions makes Xi the heir presumptive to current Chinese paramount leader Hu Jintao and the emerging leader of the People's Republic of China's "fifth generation of leadership".

Early life

Xi Jinping was born in June 1953 in Beijing, and is by Chinese convention, a native of Fuping County, Shaanxi, his ancestral home. He is the youngest son of Xi Zhongxun, one of the founders of the Communist guerrilla movement in Shaanxi Province in northern China and former Vice-Premier. At the time his father served as the head of the Communist Party's propaganda department, and later Vice-Chairman of the National People's Congress. At age 10, during the Cultural Revolution, Xi's father was purged and was sent to work in a factory in Luoyang, and jailed in 1968. Without the protection of his father, Xi went to work in Yanchuan County, Shaanxi, in 1969 in Mao Zedong's Socialist Re-education movement. He later became the Party branch Secretary of the production team. When he left in 1975, he was only 22 years old. When asked about this experience later by state television, Xi recalled it saying, "...it was emotional. It was a mood. And when the ideals of the Cultural Revolution could not be realised, it proved an illusion...". [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/oct/26/china.uknews4 Most corrupt officials are from poor families but Chinese royals have a spirit that is not dominated by money: The Guardian. Retrieved June 11 2008] ]

From 1975 to 1979 during Cultural Revolution, Xi studied Chemical Engineering at Beijing's prestigious Tsinghua University. From 1979 to 1982 he worked for his father's former subordinate Geng Biao in the General Office of the Central Military Commission (as an officer in active service) gained some military background.

Rising Through the Ranks

Xi joined the Communist Youth League in 1971 and the Communist Party of China in 1974. In 1982 he was sent to Zhengding County in Hebei as its party secretary. Xi subsequently served in four provinces during his political career: Shaanxi, Hebei, Fujian and Zhejiang. The younger Xi has won his spurs as the governor of Fujian, since 2000, where he made efforts to attract investment from Taiwan and to boost free market economy. His career in Zhejiang was marked by tough and straightforward stance against corrupt officials, which earned him a name on the national media and drew attention from China's top leaders.

Xi held Party positions in the CPC Fuzhou Municipal Committee, and became the president of the Party School in Fuzhou in 1990. In 1999 he was promoted to the Deputy Governor of Fujian province, then Governor a year later. In 2002 he took up senior government and Party positions in Zhejiang Province, as the party chief. Xi was in turn made an alternate member of the 15th CPC Central Committee and holds the membership of the 16th CPC Central Committee, signaling his involvement nationally. While in Zhejiang, one of China's most affluent provinces, a center for the success of China's economic development, Xi provided the economic environment which secured growth rates averaging 14% per year. After the dismissal of Chen Liangyu in September 2006 due to a social security fund scandal, Xi was "airlifted" into the city as the next Party Chief of Shanghai in March 2007. During his regional tenures Xi was never implicated in any serious scandals, nor did he face serious political opposition. While in Shanghai he was careful not to touch any controversial issues while largely echoing the line of the central leadership.

Elevation and Potential

Xi's appointment to the Party Secretary post in Shanghai, which is arguably the most important regional leadership position in China, was seen as a sign of confidence and affirmation from President Hu Jintao. It was seen as a stepping stone for Xi to become an emerging member of the fifth generation of Chinese leadership, a result that was solidified by his appointment as a member of the Politburo Standing Committee at the 17th Party Congress in October 2007. Interestingly, Xi was ranked above Li Keqiang, which made him the most likely candidate for China's next core figure - the paramount leader. This assessment was further supported at the 11th National People's Congress, Xi was elected as Vice-President on March 15 2008. [ [http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008npc/2008-03/15/content_6539302.htm "Hu Jintao reelected Chinese president"] , Xinhua ("China Daily"), March 15, 2008.] Some suggest this was because Xi had kept friendly relations with both Hu Jintao and the other power figure in the central leadership, Zeng Qinghong.

He was put in charge of the preparations for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. In the wake of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake, Xi went and visited disaster areas in Shaanxi and Gansu.

Xi is considered to be the most successful of "princelings" of Chinese revolutionaries. Senior leaders consider Xi to be an emerging figure, open to serious dialogue about deep-seated market economic reforms and even political reform.Fact|date=August 2007 He is generally popular with foreign dignitaries, who are intrigued by his openness and pragmatism. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson regards Xi as a rising political star,Fact|date=July 2008 calling Xi "the kind of guy who knows how to get things over the goal line." [ [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aDpLoVnlKn6E&refer=home Bloomberg:China Appoints Xi Vice President, Heir Apparent to Hu. Retrieved June 11, 2008] ]


Xi married famous Chinese folk singer Peng Liyuan (彭丽媛) in 1987. Peng Liyuan, a household name in China, was a lot more known to the public than Xi until his political elevation. The couple frequently live apart due to their largely separate lives. They are sometimes considered China's emerging star political couple. They have a daughter named Xi Mingze, nicknamed Xiao Muzi.


External links

* [http://www.chinavitae.com/biography_display.php?id=303 Biography at www.chinavitae.com]
* [http://a-louie.com/content/view/46/2/ A Louie & Associates Articles - President Hu's Top 4 Aides (2007)]

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