PROFILE - China's President Xi Jinping

Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:25pm IST

China's President Xi Jinping speaks during a media briefing at the presidential guest house in Pretoria March 26, 2013. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

China's President Xi Jinping speaks during a media briefing at the presidential guest house in Pretoria March 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Related Topics

Position: President of the People's Republic of China

Incumbent: Xi Jinping

Date of birth: June 1953

Term: March 2013 to March 2023.

Key Facts:

-- As leader of the most populous country on earth, Xi took up his post as president in 2013 in the second planned, orderly transition since the Communist revolution in 1949. As the chosen heir to his predecessor Hu Jintao, Xi assumed the title of Communist Party chief - where real power lies - in November 2012.

-- In contrast to the stiff and formal Hu, Xi has crafted a more relaxed, sometimes bluff political style. He has complained of officials' speeches and writings being clogged with party jargon and demanded more plain speaking.

-- Xi is the son of reformist former vice premier and parliament vice-chairman Xi Zhongxun, making him a "princeling" - one of the privileged sons and daughters of China's incumbent, retired or late leaders. He grew up among the party elite and then watched his father purged from power before the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when Xi himself spent years in the poverty-stricken countryside before going to university. He studied chemical engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing, an elite school where Hu also studied. Xi later gained a degree in Marxist theory from Tsinghua and a doctorate in law.

-- Xi shot to fame in the early 1980s as party boss of a rural county in Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing. He had rare access to then national party chief Hu Yaobang in the leadership compound, Zhongnanhai, west of the Forbidden City. A native of the remote, inland province of Shaanxi, home of the terracotta warriors, Xi was promoted to governor of the southeastern province of Fujian in August 1999 after a string of provincial officials were caught up in a graft dragnet. In March 2007, the tall and portly Xi secured the top job in China's commercial capital, Shanghai, when his predecessor, Chen Liangyu, was caught up in another huge corruption case. Seven months later, Xi was promoted to the party's Standing Committee - the ruling inner-circle.

-- Married to famous singer Peng Liyuan, Xi has waged a campaign against corruption and excess since assuming office, responding to widespread public anger that party members are both above the law and wasteful. He has warned the party's very existence is under threat from pervasive graft.

(For more information, see Reuters' Connected China site,

connectedchina.reuters.com) (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

FILED UNDER:

Reuters Showcase

India Crush UAE

India Crush UAE

India cruise to easy win over UAE in Perth.  Read 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Full coverage of 2015/16 budget.  Full Coverage 

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Nimoy Dies

Nimoy Dies

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's 'Mr. Spock,' dies at 83.  Full Article 

Gown Returned

Gown Returned

Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscar gown returned by thief via TMZ.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage