[credit provider=”flickr: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/thejointstaff/5927677783/”]
Joe Biden is in China today talking trade, debt, and defence, but he’s not talking to Chinese President Hu Jintao, or Premier Wen Jiabao. He’s talking to Xi Jingping, China’s current Vice-President and next in line for the Presidency, Bloomberg reports.Via Bloomberg:
“There’s no more important relationship that we need to establish on the part of the United States than the close relationship with China,” Biden told Xi at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People today, adding that he hoped their “personal relationship will continue to grow as well.”
The 58 year old Li is expected to visit the White House by the end of this year or early next year. He’ll be getting to know Washington, so we should be getting to know him.
Here are some key points about Xi:
- Xi’s dad was the Governor of Guangdong province- think economic growth, factories and party power.
- Before he became VP, Xi was Communist Party Secretary for Shanghai and Zhejiang (Zhejiang is the 2nd wealthiest province in China per capita)- this time think economic growth, private companies and party power.
- Xi became Vice-President in 2008, and was appointed as a vice-chairman of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, which oversees the People’s Liberation Army last year (that’s the tip-off that you’re going to be president).
- Xi is perfectly towing the party line, i.e. he told Bident that he’s really concerned with making his economy more consumer driven.
- According to the NY Times, political observers also say that Xi may have broader support within the party than Mr. Hu, which could give him more leeway to experiment with new ideas.
- He’s been married twice. His current marriage is to a Chinese folk singer named Peng Liyuan.
- He studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
- He’s on his way to taking over leadership of the Communist Party by late next year.