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Life of Xi Jinping, China president waging trade war, crushing Uighurs

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  • Xi Jinping is the current president of the People’s Republic of China and has been in power since 2013.
  • During the early years of his leadership, Xi became known for launching a nationwide anti-corruption campaign in the Chinese Communist Party, and became the first leader since Mao Zedong to have his name written into the Chinese constitution while alive. 
  • In recent years, Xi’s oppression of Uighur people in western China, and the harsh response to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have earned him a reputation for brutality. 
  • Despite being the son of a Chinese Civil War veteran who later served under Chairman Mao, Xi’s childhood was far from the stereotype of the privileged son of a high flying politician. 
  • Here is a breakdown of the life and rise of China’s most powerful leader in decades.
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While his origins are not exactly humble, Chinese President Xi Jinping learned to survive and thrive in China’s brutal political landscape the hard way.

Xi’s father was a Chinese Civil War veteran who eventually served as vice chairman under Chairman Mao. The elder Xi would later be purged from the party as part of Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

He was ripped away from his privileged upbringing and sent to the countryside as a “sent-down youth.”

From there, Xi rose through the ranks of China’s Communist Party, becoming its overall leader in 2013. Since then he has seen China grow ever more central to world politics — and earned a harsh reputation in the process.

Take a look at the life and rise of Xi Jinping here:

Ben Brimelow contributed to a previous version of this article.

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