Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China arrives for his first state visit to the United States this week. Here are a few highlights of the life of China’s 62-year-old leader.
China’s Xi Jinping was born in 1953 and spent his formative years in Beijing. His parents are from a rural county of China’s northwest Shaanxi Province not far from the famous Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an. He is the son of the early revolutionary Xi Zhongxun who joined Mao Zedong on the legendary Long March in the 1930’s.
In the late 1960’s, just as many urban youth of the time, Xi Jinping was ‘sent down’ to the countryside. He served seven years working with local farmers working of dams, dikes, and irrigation systems.
After his work in rural areas, Xi completed his education at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, becoming a Communist Party member in 1974. Xi began his career in local government in the 1980’s serving for two years as a county level official in Zhengding, Hebei province 260 km or 160 miles south of Beijing.
In 1985, Xi broadened his career during an assignment to Xiamen, a coastal city in China’s southeastern Fujian Province. As China pushed forward its early economic reforms under Deng Xiaoping, Xi became known as a strong advocate for foreign investment in China’s coastal provinces.
Just before his appointment to Vice Mayor of Fujian’s Xiamen City, Xi Jingping made his first trip to America. He joined a work-study program for Chinese officials leading a delegation representing the corn industry to the agricultural state of Iowa.
In 1987, Xi Jinping married a popular folk singer, Peng Liyuan.
In 2002, Xi Jinping was transferred to Zhejiang Province, near Shanghai where he was appointed Provincial Party Chief. Xi was known to advocate strong industrial development policies. It was here that his reputation as a leader taking on corruption in government began.
In 2006, Shanghai’s Communist Party Secretary was dismissed after a corruption scandal. Xi Jinping was assigned to replace him in 2007 with the task of cleaning up city government and growing Shanghai’s position as a major financial center.
In October 2007, Xi was chosen one of the nine members of the standing committee of China ruling Politburo (The political bureau of the Communist Party) . He was elected General Secretary of the Party in 2012 and became President of the People’s Republic of China in March 2013.
Photos: Xi jinping through the years
Images of Chinese President Xi Jinping through the years.
Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan in 1989. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_this-is-when-he-was-vice-mayor-of-xiamen-city-fujian-province-xi-jinping-to-study-abroad.jpg]1170
Pic: Xinhua[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1972.jpg]1080
Xi Jinping in 1972. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1973.jpg]1020
Xi Jinping (left) in Shaanxi Yanchuan county in 1973. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1977.jpg]1020
Xi Jinping in 1977. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1979.jpg]970
Xi Jinping in 1979. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1983-2.jpg]970
Xi Jinping in 1983. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1983.jpg]950
Xi Jinping in 1983. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1985.jpg]940
Xi Jinping in the US city of San Francisco in the year1985, when he was Zhengding county party secretary. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1988.jpg]910
Xi Jinping in 1988. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-1995.jpg]880
Xi Jinping in 1995. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-2007.jpg]800
Xi Jinping in 2007. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-2008.jpg]760
Xi Jinping in 2008. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-2012-2.jpg]810
Xi Jinping in 2012. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-2012-3.jpg]750
Xi Jinping in 2012. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-2012.jpg]740
Xi Jinping in 2012. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-and-mother.jpg]780
Xi Jinping with his mother, ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-family.jpg]760
Xi Jinping with his wife, daughter and father. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-with-daughter.jpg]720
Xi Jinping with his daughter. ( Xinhua)[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-with-wife-1987.jpg]700
Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan in the year 1987, during a visit to Dongshan Island in Fujian.[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-2.png]680
Photo: Iowa Sister State Friendship Committee[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi3.png]630
Photo: Iowa Sister State Friendship Committee[img src=https://america.cgtn.com/wp-content/flagallery/photos-xi-jinping-through-the-years/thumbs/thumbs_xi-3.png]570
Photo: Iowa Sister State Friendship Committee