News / Asia

    Xi Jinping Profile

    Chinese Vice President Xi  (file photo)Chinese Vice President Xi (file photo)
    x
    Chinese Vice President Xi  (file photo)
    Chinese Vice President Xi (file photo)
    VOA News
    China's newly appointed leader Xi Jinping is one of the so-called "princelings," children of high-ranking Communist Party officials whose political success is widely resented among the Chinese public.

    But the 59-year-old Xi, who on Thursday was named as the Secretary General of the party, has also worked hard to cultivate a softer image that is more relatable than most of China's technocratic Communist leaders.

    Xi was born into wealth, but during his teenage years his family was banished to the countryside after his father, a former vice premier and revolutionary hero, had a falling out with Mao Zedong.

    Those who knew Xi during his time in Liangjiahe village in Shaanxi Province say he left a favorable impression, and many hope his time in the countryside will help shape his attitudes toward governing.

    But not much is known about how the largely private Xi will lead the world's second largest economy. Observers say he rose through the ranks of the Communist Party by being cautious and building consensus.

    In his speech Thursday, Xi did not hint at any groundbreaking changes. He instead vowed to continue China's policy of reforming and opening up, saying the improvement of peoples' lives is one of his main priorities.

    "Our people love life and yearn for better education, stable jobs, more satisfactory income, greater social security, improved medical and health care, more comfortable living conditions and a better environment," he said. "We want our children to grow up well and have better jobs and more fulfilling lives. The peoples' desire for a better life is what we should fight for."

    David Kelly, research director at the Beijing-based China Policy organization, echoed the thoughts of many observers, who said Xi's speech was refreshingly frank and relatively free of the jargon that usually fills Communist Party speeches.

    "He was quite relaxed and he showed a kind of affable nature that I think will do him a lot of good. There was no high drama," said Kelly. "I think he showed a little bit of the experience that he's had internationally. He has, after all, you know, been a resident of the United States."

    Xi's relationship with the United States will be crucial, as China enters a new period of increasing foreign policy assertiveness. His U.S. ties stretch back to 1985, when he traveled to a small midwestern town in Iowa with a Chinese delegation studying American agriculture. He is known to be a fan of the National Basketball Association and Hollywood-produced World War II movies.

    He is married to popular folk singer Peng Liyuan, who for many years was more famous than her husband. Their daughter studies at the prestigious Harvard University under a pseudonym, like the children of many of China's Communist leaders.

    Xi, who has served as vice president since 2007, took over as both secretary general of the party and head of the country's Central Military Commission on Thursday. He will not be named to the largely ceremonial post of president until March.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora