Date of Birth: 01/06/1953
Place of Birth: Beijing
Born in 1953 to a prominent Communist revolutionary, Xi Zhongxun, China’s presumed president-in-waiting, is a ‘princeling’ groomed to the elite class. Xi Jinping grew up in privilege in Beijing until the Cultural Revolution when Mao Zedong’s Red Guards turned on the bureaucracy. His father was imprisoned and Xi was ‘sent down’ to countryside labour in Shaanxi Province. When he was able to return to Beijing in 1975, Xi joined the Communist Party and enrolled in Tsinghua University, where he studied chemical engineering.
The blank expressions on the faces of the Chinese Politburo leadership allow China-watchers to project their own hopes and fears. Hu Jintao was thought to be a reform-minded sort, but those hopes were quickly dashed. In November, Xi travelled to South Africa, Angola and Botswana, further cementing relations and tying down energy and mineral agreements.
Xi’s rise in the party ranks was largely outside of Beijing, circumventing central intrigues and giving him wide-ranging experience. He was Deputy Secretary of the Fujian Province Committee from 1997 to 2002, then promoted to Chairman of the Zhejiang Province Committee, where he remained until 2007. That year, Xi moved to Shanghai to become the city’s party chief, after a swathe of its leaders were embroiled in a corruption scandal.
He joined the party’s Standing Committee in October 2007 and was made Vice-President in 2008. For some time, it was thought fellow Vice-President Li Keqiang had the edge in the succession – Li was Hu Jintao’s preferred candidate – but Xi’s position seemed secure when he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission in October.
Xi took over the leadership of the Party on 15 November 2012 and of the government on 14 March 2013.
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AFRICA | UNITED NATIONS
The leaders of Asia's two biggest economies – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping – didn't attend the summit...
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AFRICA | CHINA
Li’s trip built on President Xi Jinping’s tour in March last year, which took him to Congo-Brazzaville, South Africa and Tanzania...
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AFRICA | ASIA
Both China's President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama visited Africa in 2013, seeking to strengthen political ties...
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Some see this trip as Washington’s response to the new Chinese President Xi Jinping’s first Africa visit: his first stop was in Dar es Salaam on 23 March...
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Zuma had indeed pulled his Vice-President off all the BRICS-related activities, although it was Motlanthe who in 2011 had signed a crucial memorandum of understanding with the Chinese then Vice-President, Xi Jinping, confirming crucial aspects of economic cooperation...