Beijing – When Xi Jinping took power in 2012, it was not clear what kind of leader he would be.
His low-key personality as he steadily rose through the ranks of the long-running Communist Party did nothing to suggest he would evolve into a modern-day China. most dominant leaderor he would put economically and militarily dominant nations on a collision course with the US-led international order.
Xi Jinping is almost certain to be given a third five-year term as party leader. major party convention It begins on Sunday — a break with the unofficial two-term limit followed by other recent leaders. What is unclear is how long he will stay in power and what that means for China and the world.
“For the most part, I think Xi is on his way at the 20th Congress. It’s a matter of what,” he said.
He had already amassed and centralized power over the past decade in ways that far outstripped his predecessors Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, and overtook the other two members of the Communist Party who led the country until his death in 1976. It can even rival the reigning leader, Mao Zedong. , and Deng Xiaoping, who in 1978 raised China out of poverty and made it the second largest economy in the world.
One of Xi’s signature policies is his anti-corruption campaign, which has been popular with the public and has conveniently eliminated potential rivals.a Former Minister of Justice and ex Deputy Minister of Public Security He was given a suspended death sentence last month.
According to Tsang, the ongoing anti-corruption campaign shows that “anyone who stands in his way will be beaten down.”
At 69, Xi had the right pedigree to reach the top. He enjoyed a privileged youth in Beijing as the son of Xi Zhongxun, a former deputy prime minister and guerrilla commander in the civil war that brought Mao Zedong’s communists to power in 1949.
However, his family was caught up in the whims of Mao Zedong’s rule during the anarchy of the Cultural Revolution of 1966-1976. During the Cultural Revolution, intellectuals were exiled to the countryside, and many suffered public humiliation and brutal beatings in the name of class struggle.
His father was imprisoned and Xi was sent to a poor rural village in Shaanxi province in 1969 as part of Mao’s campaign to get educated urban youths to learn from the peasants. Like the villagers, he lived in huts dug into the cliffs of the area.
This experience is said to have strengthened Mr. Xi and helped him understand the struggles of rural people. In this village he stayed for six years and received a coveted scholarship to Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University.
“Knives are sharpened on stone,” Xi told a Chinese magazine in 2001.
After graduating from university, Xi spent three years in the Ministry of Defense and began working his way up the ranks of the bureaucracy. After that, he became the party leader of a county in southern Beijing before spending 17 years in Fujian Province, where he held a series of positions until becoming the vice mayor of Xiamen City in 1985 and the governor of Fujian Province in 2000. successive posts.
His first marriage fell apart after three years, and in 1987 he married his current wife, Peng Liyuan, a famous singer and PLA song and dance troupe officer. She has one daughter named Xi Mingze, who studied at Harvard University and plays no public role in Chinese politics.
Alfred Wu, who interviewed Xi Jinping for Chinese state media in Fujian Province, remembers him as quiet and unremarkable.
“Xi Jinping today is very different from Xi Jinping as governor,” said Wu, now an associate professor of public policy at the National University of Singapore.
In 2002, Mr. Xi was transferred to neighboring Zhejiang province, where he served as party leader for more than four years, a position above the governor. He briefly became party secretary in nearby Shanghai in 2007 after his predecessor was embroiled in a corruption scandal.
During his time in Fujian, Zhejiang, and Shanghai, Xi was largely seen as a pragmatist, making no bold proposals, but supporting the economic reforms initiated by Deng Xiaoping and advocating for specific jurisdictions such as those three. Benefited in coastal areas.
He also spoke out against corruption as governor of Fujian Province after a major smuggling scandal.
In 2007, Mr. Xi was promoted to national leadership. At that time, he joined the all-powerful Standing Committee of the Communist Party’s Politburo. This is a harbinger of being nominated for the highest position at the next party convention in 2012.
Xi took control economical By adding a reference to his ideology, Xi Jinping Thought, he put his name in the party constitution alongside Mao Zedong.
Although the ideology is vague, it revives the party’s mission as China’s political, economic, social and cultural leader and emphasizes its central role in achieving the goal of “national renewal”. .
His government has imposed antitrust and data security restrictions on fast-growing private companies such as e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Tencent Holding, owner of popular messaging service WeChat. While cracking down, it is strengthening the role of state-owned industries.
President Xi Jinping has also revived the 1950s propaganda slogan “co-prosperity” to signal a growing gap between rich and poor, but whether the government is planning major initiatives to address it. I don’t know.
With an economy sluggish from pandemic-era restrictions and a government crackdown on soaring real estate debt, Xi isn’t plotting a shift away from Deng’s ‘reform and opening up’ strategy that brought 40 years of growth. There is growing concern that
Wu sees Xi as a disciple of Mao Zedong, who rebelled against Deng, who allowed the private sector to prosper and sought a positive relationship with the West. “He’s really anti-American and anti-Western,” Wu said.
Xi’s more confrontational approach stems from a belief that it’s time for a stronger China to play a bigger role in international affairs and confront external pressures.
President Xi Jinping has antagonized Japan, India and other Asian neighbors by claiming sovereignty over disputed islands in the South and East China Seas and highlands in the Himalayas. He has also increased military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan, an island democracy that the Communist Party claims belongs to China.
Relations with the United States have plunged to their lowest level since diplomatic relations were established in 1979, with the Biden administration maintaining tariffs imposed by former President Donald Trump, Block Chinese access To critical American technology.
But given China’s opaque political system and media controls, it’s hard to decipher if anyone in the party leadership thinks Mr. Xi is leading the country in the wrong direction.
“I don’t know if top officials think Xi Jinping is doing poorly,” said Joseph Trijian, an expert on Chinese politics at American University in Washington.
Inside China, Mr. Xi’s Communist Party has stepped up surveillance, tightened its already tight controls on speech and the media, cracked down on dissent even more, censored even mildly critical views, and imprisoned those deemed excessive. ing.
Authorities have detained an estimated more than one million members of a mostly Muslim ethnic group in China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in a harsh anti-extremist campaign labeled genocide by the United States. It eliminated political opposition and changed the once bohemian nature of the city.
President Xi is facing a challenge to the government’s stringent ‘COVID Zero’ policy, with economic and human suffering.small group of residents staged protest During a two-month lockdown in Shanghai earlier this year.
In a rare political protest, someone raised a banner Workers’ and students’ strikes sought to oust Xi from Beijing’s elevated highway this week, calling for freedom, not blockade. They were quickly removed, the police deployed, and any mention of the incident swiftly erased from the Internet.
Governments are clinging to policies previously seen as successes as COVID-19 ravages the rest of the world. It’s hard, but most people don’t dare to raise their voices.
Associated Press journalists Dake Kang and Joe McDonald contributed to this article.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
https://www.ksat.com/news/world/2022/10/14/xis-power-in-china-grows-after-unforeseen-rise-to-dominance/ Xi’s power in China expands following unexpected rise to power