Xi Jinping was re-elected as China’s president for a third term. He had lived in a cave house for years when he was a teenager. Photo/REUTERS
BEIJING – When Xi Jinping taking power in 2012, some observers predict he will become the most liberal Communist Party leader in history China . That prediction was based on his humble profile, family background, and perhaps misguided level of expectations.
More than 10 years later, that prophecy has shattered, proving how little is understood about the man who is now China’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong after taking office as president for a third term on Friday (10/3/2023).
Xi has shown himself to be ruthless in his ambition, intolerant of dissent, with a desire for control that has infiltrated nearly every aspect of life in modern China.
He has gone from being primarily known as the husband of a celebrity singer to something charismatic and his flair for political storytelling has created a cult of personality not seen since Mao’s time.
The colorful details of his early life have been rinsed out and repackaged in official party lore, but the man himself—and what prompted him—remains an enigma.
“I refute the conventional view that Xi Jinping is fighting for power,” Alfred L Chan, author of a book on Xi’s life, told AFP.
“I would suggest he fights for power as an instrument…to fulfill his vision.”
Another biographer, Adrian Geiges, told AFP he didn’t think Xi was motivated by a desire to enrich himself, despite international media scrutiny revealing his family’s amassed wealth.
“That’s not in his interest,” Geiges said.
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