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9 things you need to know about Chinese President Xi Jinping

On Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping increased his grip on China by breaking with tradition and being named head of the Communist Party for a record third term. The move consolidates Xi’s status as “ruler for life” and makes him the most powerful Chinese leader in modern history.

Here are nine things you need to know about the authoritarian leader of the world’s most populous nation.

1. He is the first Chinese president born after the country became communist.

Xi Jinping, 69, was born in Beijing in 1953, making him the first Chinese president born after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Xi’s father, Xi Zhongxun, was one of the founding fathers of the Communist Party and a vice primeminister. When Xi was 10, his father was accused of supporting a novel that Mao opposed and sent to work in a factory, while his mother, Qi Xin, was assigned to hard labor on a farm.

2. Xi once worked in a forced labor camp.

Xi was one of the millions of young Chinese forced by Mao Zedong to work in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. After a few months, Xi was unable to endure the fleas, poor food and farm work, so he left for Beijing. He was arrested during a crackdown on deserters from the village and sent to a labor camp to dig ditches. For nearly seven years, Xi Jinping lived in a cave near the camp. “A thin quilt spread over bricks was his bed, a bucket was his toilet,” write Barbara Demick and David Pierson. “Dinners were millet porridge and raw cereal.”

3. Xi spoke to the political party that persecuted him.

Despite the brutal way he and his family were treated by the Communist Party, Xi became an ardent party member. He applied to join the party’s youth league and was rejected eight times. Only after Xi invited the local party secretary for a fried egg and boiled bread in the cave and accepted his case did he finally become a party member in 1974.

4. Xi received the key to Muscatine, Iowa.

While Xi was attending Tsinghua University in Beijing (with the party’s blessing) and majoring in chemical engineering (which was chosen by the party), his father was “politically rehabilitated” and appointed party secretary for Guangdong province. Xi’s father used his new connections to get his son a job assisting an influential leader at the powerful Central Military Commission. Xi quickly rose through the ranks of the party and served in four provinces from 1982 to 2007. In 1985, he traveled to Muscatine, Iowa, to learn about crop and livestock practices in the small farming community. During his stay he was given a key to the city, an honor he would receive again when he returned for a visit in 2012.

5. Xi is the ‘Chairman of Everything’.

Xi was elected president of the People’s Republic of China in 2013. He also serves as chairman of the Central Military Commission (making him the commander-in-chief of China’s military forces) and as general secretary of the Communist Party of China. In addition to his role as president and party leader, Xi currently serves as head of a number of smaller decision-making bodies, including:

  • general secretary of the Central Committee of the Party,
  • head of the Central Committee of Financial and Economic Affairs,
  • head of the Central Steering Group on Taiwan Affairs,
  • head of the Central Committee of Foreign Affairs,
  • chairman of the Central National Security Commission and
  • the head of the Central Commission of In-depth Comprehensive Reforms.

Xi holds so many posts that he has been called the “Chairman of Everything”.

6. Xi’s name is synonymous with Chinese communist thought.

In 2017, the Communist Party voted unanimously to enshrine “Xi Jinping Thought” in the Chinese constitution, an honor previously reserved for Mao Zedong and his successor, Deng Xiaoping. As the BBC notes, by enshrining principles under his name in the party constitution, rivals cannot now challenge China’s strongman without threatening the Communist Party’s rule.

7. Xi changed China’s term limits—and then banned the paper N.

Xi was due to step down in 2023, but in 2018 the party made a change to allow him to stay in power indefinitely. That year, China’s state-run news agency announced: “The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China proposed removing the phrase that the President and Vice President of the People’s Republic of China ‘shall serve no more than two consecutive terms’ from the country’s Constitution.” ” Following the announcement, the Chinese government added to its already extensive internet censorship with some new restrictions. The ban included a ban on George Orwell’s anti-totalitarian novels Animal Farm AND 1984 and the phrase “Xi Zedong” (a combination of the names of Xi and Mao Zedong). Also, for reasons unknown, letters N it was also temporarily banned from being used online.

8. Xi despises Christianity and loves Marxism.

Xi has condemned Chinese officials who seek “God’s advice to solve their problems”. He prefers that they adopt the “party’s basic policy on religious work” which is “formulated by our party adhering to the Marxist view of religion” (ie, atheism). Xi fears that religion – especially Christianity – is an attempt by foreign influences to subvert his nation. “We must resolutely defend against overseas infiltration through religious means,” Xi said in a 2016 speech. Religious groups, he added, must adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party and support the socialist system and socialism with Chinese characteristics. . Human rights activist William Nee says, “Instead of expanding through vibrant evangelism, competing faiths like Christianity are being co-opted and slowly replaced by [Chinese Communist Party]its official creed, with Xi Jinping as the final arbiter of its values, morals, ethics and specific social goals.

9. Xi has tried to change the world concept of human rights.

International human rights have their roots in modern Christianity. It is not surprising then that Xi has tried to persuade the world to adopt his nationalist view of human rights. As Tanner Larkin explains, China “recognizes the universality of human rights—which usually means that people in all societies are entitled to the same rights—while in the same spirit adding the oxymoron qualification that states have the right to choose their human rights practices based on their political, economic and cultural conditions.Finally, instead of individual rights, [People’s Republic of China] emphasizes the collective rights granted to the state and the obligations that individuals owe to society.” China prioritizes the “rights” of economic prosperity and national security. As Shannon Tiezzi puts it, for Xi’s China they are “worth whatever cost it might incur in the Western sense of human rights – for example, freedom of speech, religion and association”.

Source : www.thegospelcoalition.org

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