From a cave to the Great Hall: The rise and rise of Xi Jinping

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His revolutionary father was apolitical and moderate, defending a socialist worldview with Chinese nationalism.
The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CCP) is underway, and its undisputed hero is Xi Jinping, who grew up in a cave after his father was removed from the party and his family was sent to the countryside in the 1960s.

Xi is poised to be allowed a third term as general secretary of the same party that exiled his father for failing to meet loyalty criteria.

Maoist partisans burned down his family house. When everyone was compelled to publicly condemn the demised father, one of his sisters committed suicide.

His father, ousted deputy prime minister and senior communist Xi Zhongxun, advised him to stay loyal to the CCP despite the family’s persecution.

In 2012, the son followed his father’s advice and became paramount leader, the most powerful man in China in charge of the CCP, government, and military forces. 2017 saw his reelection.

After this week’s CCP meeting, Xi is expected to enter Beijing’s Great Hall of the People alongside freshly elected or re-elected CCP officials, joining Mao Zedong, Xi’s father’s colleague.

Every five years, the CCP holds its National Congress in the Great Hall of the People near Tiananmen Square. By entering the Great Hall, newly elected CCP leaders declare their five-year leadership.

How Xi became China’s top leader

Xi succumbed during his father’s deportation to Liangjiahe, a prominent tourist site. Xi’s political experience and seven years as a villager influenced him greatly.

“Those on the periphery of power or who have never experienced it are curious. In 2000, he said, “Power, flowers, glory, and praise aren’t all I see.

Ex: “I’ve seen bullpens and how tempers flare and cool down. I understand politics better.” He continued: Politics and alliances are unpredictable. His father may have been executed in “bullpens” administered by Maoist Red Guards.

Xi’s rise to power was aided by his political savvy, luck, and his father’s reputation. Every step was laborious and time-consuming.

Due to his father’s political prominence, he was denied membership in the Communist Youth League of China in the 1970s. He succeeded on the seventh try. His CCP application was denied. Nine times before 1974, he sought to join the CCP.

After his father returned to Chinese politics in the late ’70s, things improved. From 1979 to 1982, he was Geng Biao’s secretary, one of his father’s old subordinates and a CCP leader at the time. Geng was vice premier and CMC secretary-general.

Starting in 1982, he served as a local party official in several Chinese regions, acquiring a reputation as an anti-corruption fighter. In 2002, he was elected to the CCP Central Committee.

Since then, he’s rapidly ascended in the CCP, becoming its leading presidential candidate in 2007. In 2015, he became CCP general secretary and China’s most powerful politician.


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