Man of the Peo­ple

Xi­jin­ping’sjour­ney­tothecore­ofchina’sto­plead­er­ship

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Con­cept by China Pic­to­rial

On Novem­ber 15, 2012, Xi Jin­ping was elected gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) Cen­tral Com­mit­tee at the first ple­nary ses­sion of the 18th CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, be­com­ing China’s top po­lit­i­cal leader. Mean­while, as the top leader of the world’s sec­ond-largest econ­omy, Xi stands at the fore­front of the global stage.

From the Loess Plateau in north­ern Shaanxi to the south­east­ern coast, from lo­cal­i­ties to cen­tral lead­er­ship, Xi’s ca­reer can be char­ac­ter­ized by well-rounded po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence and de­vel­op­ment of a deep un­der­stand­ing of the con­di­tions of his coun­try and peo­ple as well as the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges China faces. Over the past five years, guided by Xi’s the­o­ries on state gov­er­nance, the Chi­nese peo­ple have made ma­jor strides on the road to re­al­iz­ing the Chi­nese Dream of the great re­ju­ve­na­tion of the Chi­nese na­tion, and China has never be­fore been so close to front and cen­ter on the world stage.

Xi’s po­lit­i­cal ca­reer be­gan in the hum­blest of cir­cum­stances, and he worked his fin­gers to the bone in farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties for years, which played a ma­jor role in the for­ma­tion of his thoughts on state gov­er­nance and ev­i­denced how Chi­nese lead­ers in­te­grate their per­sonal ideals with the fate of the na­tion.

Un­like many West­ern coun­tries, the path to the top lead­er­ship in China is a many-step pro­gres­sive process. Chi­nese lead­ers must scale two ma­jor po­lit­i­cal “steps” be­fore join­ing the Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Po­lit­i­cal Bu­reau of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, China’s top lead­er­ship group. One is serv­ing as sec­re­tary of a pro­vin­cial Party com­mit­tee, which helps one ac­cu­mu­late ex­pe­ri­ence in ad­min­is­trat­ing a lo­cal gov­ern­ment. The other is serv­ing as a key as­sis­tant to any mem­ber of China’s top lead­er­ship, be­cause such ex­pe­ri­ence is in­tended to help one un­der­stand how the cen­tral lead­er­ship makes de­ci­sions.

Xi’s po­lit­i­cal path is just one ex­am­ple. In 1974, he be­gan his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer as sec­re­tary of the Party branch of a ru­ral vil­lage. Even­tu­ally, he be­came ad­min­is­tra­tor of a county and then a city. Then, Xi con­sec­u­tively served as act­ing gover­nor of Fu­jian Prov­ince, Party chief of Zhe­jiang Prov­ince, and Party chief of Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. He also acted as vice pres­i­dent of China be­fore he be­came gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, chair­man of the Cen­tral Mil­i­tary Com­mis­sion, and pres­i­dent of China. The en­tire process took more than 40 years.

Although such a “step-by-step” pro­gres­sive path can take a long time to walk, ev­ery rung on the lad­der is like a brick in the foun­da­tion for fu­ture ad­min­is­tra­tive work.

Xi once summed up the mis­sion of the new cen­tral col­lec­tive lead­er­ship across three re­spon­si­bil­i­ties: to the na­tion, the peo­ple and the Party. Xi’s solemn com­mit­ment fore­shad­ows his his­tor­i­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity to the Chi­nese na­tion and his faith in the con­tin­ued im­prove­ment of Chi­nese gov­er­nance.

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