From Laura Rozen, who writes a Blog for Yahoo News called The Envoy, we learn that Xi Jinping is 58 years old and is no stranger to the United States.
Rozen says, “His daughter and only child attends Harvard University (under a pseudonym). He himself famously visited Muscatine, Iowa (his current trip will be a repeat visit) in the 1980s when he was a provincial Chinese official trying to promote U.S.-Chinese agriculture ties.
“The son of a Chinese Communist revolutionary general and war hero who was jailed for a time after a falling-out with Chairman Mao, Xi is described as a workaholic pragmatist with a reputation for clean living and (rare among Chinese party bosses) for his anti-corruption practices.”
On February 15, 2012, a staff reporter for Want China Times.com said, “China’s vice president, Xi Jinping, was interviewed by the Washington Post… he answered six questions but declined to talk about his father, Xi Zhongxun, saying the subject was simply too sensitive, according to the Hong Kong-based Ming Pao… Xi Zhongxun was persecuted by Mao Zedong’s right-hand man, Kang Sheng. He was investigated and put in prison for almost 16 years. After Xi was rehabilitated under Deng Xiaoping, he played an important role in China’s economic reforms.”
In addition, Xi Jinping is married to one of China’s most famous singers, patriotic folk singer Peng Liyuan.
The Daily Beast says, “Xi began pursuing Peng in the ’80s, after his previous marriage ended in divorce. Reportedly, Peng’s parents initially weren’t crazy about the match because of Xi’s label as a ‘princeling’… Undaunted, Xi continued his courtship, eventually winning over both Peng and her family.”
In 2011, his wife, Peng Liyuan was appointed as a goodwill ambassador for the World Health Organization.
Rozen says, “Xi reportedly lived in a cave for almost seven years and did hard labor as a young man after his father’s political troubles, and had to apply eight times before being accepted into the Chinese Communist Party.”
China’s vice president since 2008, Xi is expected to become general secretary of China’s Communist Party this fall, and to formally succeed Hu Jintao as China’s president next year. But the succession plan is not absolutely certain, officials caution.
“In fairness, Xi is not yet the number 1 official in China, …. and there’s still a long runway before take-off ahead of him…’
Chinese Leaders.org says, “an unnamed professor who was a childhood friend of Xi reportedly said Xi was drawn to Buddhism during his early career, and had a ‘seeming belief in supernatural forces’. The professor added that Xi was incorruptible by money, did not drink or take drugs and women felt he was ‘boring’.”
Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore was quoted in Time magazine saying, “I would put him in the Nelson Mandela class of persons. A person with enormous emotional stability who does not allow his personal misfortunes or sufferings to affect his judgment. In other words, he is impressive.”
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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