Home / News / World /  Explained: How Xi Jinping became the most powerful man in China?

Explained: How Xi Jinping became the most powerful man in China?

FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping waves after his speech as the new Politburo Standing Committee members meet the media following the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo (REUTERS)Premium
FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping waves after his speech as the new Politburo Standing Committee members meet the media following the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo (REUTERS)

Few foresaw that Xi Jinping would become the most assertive Chinese leader in decades.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday created history, becoming the first leader of the ruling Communist Party after party founder Mao Zedong to get re-elected for an unprecedented third term in power with the prospect of ruling China for life.

Following the election, in a familiar pattern, all seven members of the Standing Committee, the most powerful body that governs the country, walked in a file with Xi leading the group at the ornate Great Hall before the media. Their appearance was telecast live on the national media.

Then at the event, Xi said “I was re-elected as the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee," and introduced the other six, two of them were from the previous committee.

However, few foresaw that Xi Jinping would become the most assertive Chinese leader in decades.

A decade ago little was known about Mr Xi - apart from the fact that he was a "princeling" because his father was one of the country's revolutionary leaders. His lineage helped him win the support of party elders, which was crucial to ascending power within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In fact, before his elevation, Xi Jinping was regarded as someone who could compromise with everyone, Joseph Fewsmith, an expert in Chinese elite politics at Boston University told BBC news adding, “But 10 years on, Mr Xi's authority appears to be unquestionable, and his power unrivalled."

Here's how he became a prominent leader in just one decade:

  • 2000-2002:Xi Jinping was elected the Governor of Fujian province.
  • 2002: Transferred to neighboring Zhejiang province, where he is appointed party chief, a post that outranks governor in the Chinese system.
  • March 2007: Appointed party chief of Shanghai but stays only a few months.
  • October 2007: Joins national leadership as one of nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the top leadership of the Communist Party.
  • March 2008: Named vice president of China.
  • August 2011: Xi hosts then-Vice President Joe Biden on the latter's visit to China, nearly a decade before Biden becomes U.S. president.
  • November 2012: Replaces Chinese President Hu Jintao as general secretary of the Communist Party, the top party position.
  • March 2013: Starts first five-year term as president of China.
  • 2013-2014: China begins reclaiming land in the South China Sea to build islands, some with runways and other infrastructure, pushing its territorial claims to disputed areas in the vital waterway.
  • 2017: China launches a harsh crackdown on the Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in the Xinjiang region after extremist attacks. Mass detentions and human rights abuses draw international condemnation and accusations of genocide.
  • October 2017: The party enshrines his ideology, known as “Xi Jinping Thought," in its constitution as he starts a second five-year term as leader. This symbolically elevates him to Mao's level as a leader whose ideology is identified by his name.
  • March 2018: China's legislature abolishes a two-term limit on the presidency, signaling Xi's desire to stay in power for more than 10 years.
  • July 2018: The United States, under President Donald Trump, imposes tariffs on Chinese imports, starting a trade war. China retaliates with tariffs on U.S. goods.
  • June-November 2019: Massive protests demanding greater democracy paralyze Hong Kong. Xi's government responds by imposing a national security law in mid-2020 that quashes dissent in the city.
  • January 2020: China locks down the city of Wuhan as a new virus sparks what will become the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • September 2020: Xi announces in a video speech to the U.N. General Assembly that China aims to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
  • December 2020: Authorities announce an anti-monopoly investigation into e-commerce giant Alibaba, the start of a crackdown on China's high-flying tech companies.
  • August 2022: China launches missiles and deploys warships and fighter jets in major military exercises around Taiwan following the visit of a senior U.S. lawmaker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to the self-governing island that China claims as its territory.
  • October 2022: Xi starts a third five-year term as Communist Party leader, breaking with recent precedent that limited leaders to two terms.

(With inputs from agencies)

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less

Recommended For You

Trending Stocks

×
Get alerts on WhatsApp
Set Preferences My ReadsWatchlistFeedbackRedeem a Gift CardLogout