Who Is Xi Jinping?


Quick Answer

Xi Jinping succeeded Hu Jintao in November 2012 as China's leading politician. As of 2015, he holds the dual roles as head of the state (i.e., President of China) and head of the Chinese Communist Party (Chairman of the CCP), and he is an advocate of the "renaissance" of the Chinese nation.

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Xi Jinping came from a life of privilege; he is a member of a group of political elites known as the "princelings," who are so named because it is believed that they received their status and prestige at least in part due to their familial ties. Whatever the reason for Xi's rise, it is clear that he is the darling of some of the more hard-line forces within the Chinese Communist Party.

Xi was born in 1953 in Beijing. He was educated at Qinghua University, where he received his undergraduate degree in Marxist theory and ideological education. He also studied chemical engineering and has earned his post-graduate law degree. Xi is married to Peng Liyuan, a famous Chinese folk singer. The pair's daughter attends Harvard University in the United States under a pseudonym, as is typical for the children of Chinese leaders.

Xi Jinping differs from his predecessors - Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao - in many ways. In terms of his policies and beliefs, many Western academics believe that Xi more closely resembles Mao Zedong than the other three. Similarly, whereas Deng and company were known for being more subdued, Xi has a big personality and is much more charismatic.

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