8 May 2018: President Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, seizes the top spot in this year’s annual ranking of The World’s Most Powerful People by American magazine, Forbes.
This is for the first time ever that Xi clinched this spot, as Chinese Congress removed term limits broadening his influence. Xi enjoys a cult of personality not seen since Chairman Mao, says Forbes.
Xi’s elevation to the world’s most powerful person unseats Russian President Vladimir Putin (#2), who held the top spot for an unprecedented four consecutive years. Putin has ruled Russia since May of 2000.
One year into his term, US President Donald Trump falls to the No. 3 spot. Trump has seen limited success. Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, is at No. 4.
3 July 2017: In a new Pew global survey, Chinese President Xi Jinping gets higher rating than the US President Trump and the Russian President Putin. In a piece titled, Merkel, Trump, Xi and the contest for global leadership, UK’s Financial Times writes this for Xi Jinping and China:
China has money — lots of it, and is prepared to spend it to gain influence. The recent ‘One Belt, One Road’ summit in Beijing was a powerful example of China’s economic diplomacy. Asian leaders thinking about the future balance of power on their continent might see some advantage in edging closer to Beijing and away from Washington. And in Europe, Mr Xi’s positions on climate and trade have gained him kudos as a potential counterweight to the US.
14 April 2017: Pakistan PM launches the Urdu version of President Xi’s book in Islamabad.
27 Oct 2016: Chinese President Xi Jinping, in addition to his many other impressive titles, is now officially referred to as “the core of the Chinese Communist Party.” The title grants Xi greater power and authority over the country.
It sounds like just another title but it is highly symbolic in China.
It was originally granted to Chairman Mao Zedong and since then to two of his successors as leader – Deng Xiaoping, the man who remodeled China’s economy, and President Jiang Zemin. – CNN
The coalescing of power around Xi Jinping is something we haven’t seen for over 30 years. https://t.co/Kg8cK0GnHp pic.twitter.com/NxoEDpBrhP
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) November 1, 2016
18 Oct 2015: Chinese President Xi Jinping starts a five-day visit to UK from Tuesday. The state visit is the first from China in 10 years – since 2005.
25 Sept: Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting USA to meet businesses in Seattle and President Obama in Washington DC (top).
Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Pakistan on a two-day visit. A fleet of eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets receives him. Xi signs energy and infrastructure projects worth $46 billion including China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar projects.
So, who’s Xi Jinping?
In Forbes magazine’s 2014 list of The World’s Most Powerful People, Xi is at #3, after Russia’s Putin (#1) and USA’s Obama (#2).
Forbes writes: Xi Jinping holds all three offices required to be China’s paramount leader, and after two years in office has become what some have called the most powerful Chinese ruler since Mao Zedong.
In October, he took the additional title as chief of the world’s largest economy, valued at $17.6 trillion. Xi was quick to see the benefits of privatisation-friendly reforms and further signs of fresh thinking are everywhere.
He has a surprisingly assertive public profile, even allowing the state media to publish a day-in-the-life account of his workday.
Xi has fought harder than his predecessors against corruption and in favor of greater economic and security alliances.
More on China’s economic & military rise & Xi Jinping:
CPEC fact sheet: 2013-2018
How China beats US economy by a trillion dollar every year
With a parade, China announces itself as the next superpower: TIME
The World Bank, meet your challenger: China-led AIIB
BRICS New Development Bank to increase lending to $2.5B next year
Xi: Party’s absolute leadership over army
How China is viewed by Pakistan & the world
Africa: Nigeria largest economy, China largest single trading partner
BBC calls Xi Jinpinga a princeling who ‘owns’ China.
According to BBC:
Before President Xi Jinping came to power, some questioned whether he would be able to rule effectively. At the time, the Communist Party appeared to be paralysed by infighting.
But that did not hinder Xi Jinping. He seized his position at the top of China’s ruling Communist Party with gusto.
In a year, the confident Mr Xi has made remarkable strides. He is sitting at the forefront of the country’s most ambitious economic and social reform plan in decades.
China also has a new vision in the form of Mr Xi’s “China dream“, the idea that Chinese citizens can attain national glory if they work as a collective. A campaign to eliminate government waste and bureaucracy makes daily headlines.
So far, 40,000 government officials have been disciplined for graft violations. A further 10,000 have been fired from their jobs, allowing the government to recoup $65 billion in illicit funds.
Many of those officials are “flies”, low-ranking officials with little power. But several “tigers”, high-ranking party chiefs, have also fallen under the campaign.
More on China’s internal cleaning:
How China punishes its powerful generals & officials for corruption
China’s Communist Party bans adultery for members
10 trucks of corruption money, loot of a Chinese general
China bans actors for using drugs, prostitutes
Life in prison for corruption for China’s most powerful security chief
Also: When Chinese Leadership style meets Pakistani: Wali’s Talk PPt for China Mobile/ Zong strategy team
The speed at which Xi Jinping accumulated power and the ease at which he uses it can be traced to his political pedigree, Cheng Li explains. The president is a “princeling”, the son of one of the Communist Party’s founding members.
“A princeling has a sense of ownership of the country,” Mr Cheng says of Mr Xi and his closest allies. “Both Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, the leaders who led China for the past 10 years, came from humble family backgrounds.”
They were seen as managers, but the “owners” of the system find it easier to fix some of the country’s problems, Mr Cheng believes. For example, they have close ties with the people who run China’s all-powerful state-owned corporations.
“So they can force their own people to surrender some of the power and therefore open China’s economic system and thus promote China’s economic reform.”
Have you seen CPEC & OBOR stories on this blog?
CPEC fact sheet: 2013-2017
16 CPEC projects in Balochistan, 8 in KPK: Chinese Embassy
Chinese Embassy shares progress on CPEC projects
3 false reports about CPEC in one day far too many?
40 CPEC projects in 4 photos & 60 seconds
CPEC gets 4-layer security as Gwadar to be weapon-free
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi enters Pakistan
Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Wali Zahid
Xi Jinping: Highlights
- Born in Beijing in 1953, father was Xi Zhongxun, a founding member of the Communist Party
- Sent to work at a remote village for seven years when he was 15
- Studied chemical engineering at Tsinghua University and spent time at a US farm in 1985
- Was Shanghai party chief in 2007 and became vice-president in 2008
- Seen as having a zero-tolerance attitude towards corrupt officials
- Married to well-known Chinese folk singer and actress Peng Liyuan with whom he has a daughter
- VIDEO: Xi Jinping: From Iowa visitor in 1985 to White House guest
Foreign Policy magazine headlined: Xi Jinping Forever
Brookings called him One of China’s Top Future Leaders to Watch.
The Economist headlined: The rise and rise of Xi Jinping
CNN called Xi Jinping From ‘sent-down youth’ to China’s top.
Xi Jinping’s brief CV can be seen here.
Chinese welcome President Xi Jinping as the core.
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