Xi Jinping is currently the President of China and General Secretary of the Communist Party. He is the predecessor of Hu Jintao, who ruled the country for 10 years from 2002 to 2010. Jinping assumed his office as the President of the People’s Republic of China on 14 March 2013.
Early Life and Education
Born on 15 June 1953 in Beijing, Xi Jinping is the second son to father Xi Zhongxun and mother Qi Xin. He grew up with four brothers and two sisters: Qi Qiaoqiao (sister), Qi An’an (sister), Xi Heping (brother), Xi Qianping (brother), Xi Zhengning (brother) and Xi Yuanping (brother). The siblings suffered a tragedy after their father was sent to jail during Cultural revolution. Moreover, they couldn’t even go to school as it was locked down. And, Xi was sent to work at a tender age of 15.
Since the schools were halted, Xi had a lot of breaks during his early education. So, he was relatively late in attending a university. He went to the Tsinghua University to study chemical engineering. At the University, Xi had to learn about Marxism, Leninism, and Mao Zedong’s ideologies. Later, he also did Doctor of Law (LLD) degree from the same university.
Xi Jinping initially had a marital relationship with then British ambassador’s daughter, Ke Hua. They remained together for three years – from 1979 to 1982 – and parted their ways. He then married folk singer Peng Liyuan in 1987. The couple has been together ever since. They have a daughter: Xi Mingze. She went to Harvard University Class of 2014 and had a pseudonym while in the US.
Xi Jinping started off in Chinese politics by joining Communist Youth League as a member in 1971. Then, he joined Communist Party of China three years later. Within the next 8 years in the party, Jinping had already risen to the post of deputy party secretary in Zhengding County. He was later promoted to Secretary. Subsequently, he was listed as an alternate member of the 15th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in 1997.
Xi Jinping became the Vice Governor of Fuijan in 1999 and a Governor in 2000. This raised Jinping’s political status onto a higher level. So, he went to Zhejiang and served the province as a Party Chief. Quickly, in 2006, Jinping moved to Shanghai to work as its Party Chief. By this time, his prominence in the political world had been highly influential. Hence, he was given a seat the Politburo Standing Committee in 2007. To follow up, he also handled the membership of Central Secretariat.
Unbelievably, Jinping was elected to the office of Vice President of China in 2008 at National People’s Congress. This meant that the next step for Xi Jinping would be serving as the President of world’s second largest economy. While Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping led the government, China successfully organized 2008 Summer Olympics and accomplished numerous other works. Xi went to construct diplomatic ties with North Korea and a few rich Middle East nations. Likewise, Jinping chaired the committee responsible for organizing the 60th Anniversary of the founding of new China.
Starting in February 2009, Jinping visited several western nations, including Mexico, Jamaica, and Brazil. Later, in October, he attended meetings in Hungary and Romania. Similarly, Jinping also stopped by Japan and South Korea in December. In 2012, he visited the United States and his counterpart Joe Biden and US President Barack Obama.
As imagined earlier, in November 2012, Jinping got elected as the new General secretary of the Communist Party as Hu Jintao was about to step down alongside an end to his presidency. Following his election to the second most important political posts in China, Xi Jinping made numerous public vows to attain ‘Chinese Dream’. He significantly stressed on abolishing corruption which was a number one Chinese problem at that time. Subsequently, like other party leaders, he took the office of the President of People’s Republic of China on 14 March 2013. His appointment was rejected by only one person out of 2955 voters in National People’s Congress. With the retirement of Hu Jintao, there began the era of Xi Jinping.
While at the office, President Jinping launched Anti-corruption campaign which has already implicated more than a hundred political leaders in China. Likewise, Jinping installed a legacy in Chinese economy by reforming the communist China towards entering state capitalism. He restructured state ownership and attracted huge foreign investments. On 1 January 2016, one-child policy was also replaced with two-child policy.
Recognized as the most powerful Chinese leader since Deng Xiaoping, Jinping decentralized power by forming super-ministerial steering committees in order to address the sentiments of people from the local level. Similarly, he started ‘Chinese socialistic rule of law’ as the most prominent legal reform. In addition, Jinping left no stone unturned in maintaining diplomacy with other nations as well.
Under President’s capacity, Jinping met Vladimir Putin and also visited the US. Moreover, his trips to the European nations such as the Netherlands and France were also much appreciated. Jinping introduced himself as a diplomatic globalisation-oriented leader when he met Asian counterpart Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Trump and Jinping
After all these years of tension-full relationship between China and the US, President Trump has done the work of aggravating rather than strengthening it. He has been accusing China of dumping its products, stealing American companies and jobs and, most importantly, manipulating currencies to take an unfair advantage in global trade. Despite these accusations, Jinping has stayed calm. He said on the congratulatory call, “I place great importance on the China-U.S. relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.”
After his entry into the White House, Trump signed orders to pull out of Trans-Pacific Partnership which is in one way of agitating China. Similarly, Trump’s radical policies on China, including his stand on the relationship between China and Vietnam and a promise to impose huge tariffs on Chinese imports, are also quite troubling. So, it’s going to be hard for the two world leaders to match on their stands.