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

Chinese President Xi Jinping makes a toast during the welcoming banquet for the Belt and Road Forum at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 14, 2017.
Reuters/Damir Sagolj
The man for the job.
  • Zheping Huang
By Zheping Huang


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

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)  

  • Chinese internet from the rest of the world

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

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