Fighting corruption, maintaining harmony, and Davos: A resume for China’s president Xi Jinping

The man for the job.
The man for the job.
Image: Reuters/Damir Sagolj
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The most important event of China’s political calendar is finally here. The 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, held every five years, begins today (Oct. 18) at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. The week-long session will mostly focus on the reshuffling of the party’s senior leadership.

China’s president and party chief, Xi Jinping, is expected to extend his hold on power for five more years, if not longer. Already China’s most authoritative leader in decades, Xi will likely emerge from the party conclave an even more powerful leader of the world’s second-largest economy.

Here’s what the “resume” of a seemingly omnipotent Xi involves: a steady ascent through the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party, ruthless crackdowns on human rights and civil society, and at least a few signature projects bearing his own name.

Xi Jinping

Zhongnanhai, No. 174 West Chang’an Avenue, Beijing

Nov. 2012–present: General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and President* of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)  

2008–2013: Vice President of the PRC

  • Took charge of the preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics

2007–2007: CCP Secretary of Shanghai

2002–2007: CCP Secretary of Zhejiang

  • Initiated a $60 billion infrastructure spending spree to build railways, highways, sea bridges, and other projects

1995–2002 Deputy CCP Secretary and Governor of Fujian province

  • Turned poverty-striken Jinjiang County into one of the fastest-growing regions in Fujian

Tsinghua University, Beijing

1998–2002: Obtained a PhD in law through a part-time program focused on Marxist theory

1975–1979: Studied chemical engineering as a “worker-peasant-soldier” student

August 1st School, Beijing

1960—1968: Terminated studies in seventh grade (age 15) after the Cultural Revolution broke out

2014:  Xi Jinping: The Governance of China

  • A collection of 79 speeches that has sold more than 6 million copies in 21 languages

2007:  New Thoughts of Zhejiang

  • A collection of 232 columns for the Zhejiang Daily

2006:  Do the Real Work, Walk at the Forefront

  • A collection of speeches given in Zhejiang

1992: Up and Out of Poverty

  • A collection of 29 speeches given while head of Fujian’s Ningde prefecture during the 1980s and 1990s

*Assumed presidency in March 2013