The heir apparent to the Chinese presidency is a free-market, libertarian intellectual — relatively speaking.
Xi Jinping’s ascendency was established on Monday when he was promoted to chairman of the Central Military Commission.
On the surface he seems similar to Hu Jintao and has plotted an identical career path in recent years. But a few details stand out in his profile:
- Xi’s father was jailed by Mao Zedong for 16 years for disobedience. Does Xi have a rebellious streak?
- Xi started college at the late age of 22. Then he continued his education longer than Hu, staying to attend law school. Is he a free-thinking itellectual?
- Xi’s wife is a famous folk singer, while Hu’s wife remains mostly invisible. Does he support women’s rights?
- Xi made a name for himself in the nineties by promoting entrepreneurship and market economics. This is pretty self explanatory.
In other words he’s a man who seems likely to promote modernization and market reform. Anyway that’s what the Communist Party wants to you to think.
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