Dec 25, 2012 12:01 PM

Xi Jinping: Man of the People, Statesman of Vision


File photo taken in December 2012 shows Xi Jinping has a lunch with soldiers during his inspection to the Guangzhou Military Region in south China. (Xinhua)

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(Xinhua) -- It was a pleasant early December morning in a verdant park in Shenzhen, in south China's Guangdong Province. Early risers, carrying on their usual morning exercise, did not expect to see a big name.

The park was not cordoned. There was no red carpet nor were there people waving welcoming banners.

A middle-aged man in a dark suit, and a tieless white shirt, laid a wreath at the park's statue of the late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping. Then he walked into the surrounding crowd and began a casual chat.

The visitor was Xi Jinping, the newly elected general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

During his visit to Guangdong, Xi called on the entire Party and people from all ethnic groups to unswervingly adhere to the path of reform and opening up and put greater focus on pursuing reform in a more systematic, integrated and coordinated way. Xi vowed no stop in reform, and no stop in opening up.

In his first visit outside Beijing as the top CPC leader, Xi went to Guangdong, the forefront of China's reform and opening up, following the route Deng had toured 20 years ago when the country was at a crossroad.

Media reports remarked that Xi is a leader who brings a fresh breeze to the country's political life, unswervingly pushes forward reform and opening up, and is beginning to lead the Chinese nation in realizing the China Dream.

Xi, 59, who was elected to his new role at the first plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee on Nov. 15, is the first top Party leader born after 1949, the year the People's Republic of China (PRC) was founded.

He now leads the 91-year-old CPC, the world largest political party with more than 82 million members, as it rules China, the world's second largest economy.

The whole country and the world are putting their eyes on Xi:

-- What will he do to lead the CPC to better serve the people?

-- What will he do to lead China's 1.3 billion people to build a moderately prosperous society in all respects by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC in 2021? Furthermore, what will he do to lead the people to achieve the goal of building an affluent, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious modern socialist country by the time the PRC marks its centennial in 2049?

-- What will he do to lead the country to make its due contribution to world peace and development?

As he met the press on the November day the new leadership was formed, Xi summed up the CPC's mission as comprising three responsibilities -- to the nation, the people and the Party.

Advocate of China Dream

"The people's longing for a good life is what we are fighting for," Xi said in his first public speech as general secretary on Nov. 15.

Shortly after taking office, Xi and the other six members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee visited the exhibition "The Road Toward Renewal" at the National Museum of China. The comprehensive display illustrates the huge challenges China has surmounted on the road to national revival since 1840.

"Nowadays, everyone is talking about the China Dream," he said. "In my view, realizing the great renewal of the Chinese nation is the Chinese nation's greatest dream in modern history."

To achieve this sacred goal, Xi has clarified his positions on various aspects of the country's development:

On the country's economic development, Xi opposes a blind focus on growth and upholds the principle of scientific development, which seeks sustainability in terms of both resources and the environment.

On political development, he stresses the idea that all power belongs to the people, and calls for active and steady political reform while adhering to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. He also stresses the rule of law and exercising state power according to the Constitution.

On cultural development, he highlights developing human talent and fostering a Chinese national spirit, especially as typified by the words of the national anthem: "We will use our flesh and blood to build our new Great Wall."

On social development, he proposes continuous efforts to safeguard and improve people's lives through economic development. He also supports building a harmonious society and realizing a good life for the people based on hard work, while taking into consideration the country's practical circumstances.

On ecological progress, he emphasizes a national strategy of resource conservation and environmental protection and a sustainable pattern of development.

From the Loess Plateau to the southeast coast, from localities to the central leadership, Xi has had a well-rounded political career and has developed a deep understanding of the conditions of his country and people.

In 2007, he was promoted to the nine-member Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee, after working for decades in various locations, including Shanghai Municipality, the provinces of Shaanxi, Hebei, Fujian and Zhejiang, as well as serving the army.

He served concurrently as a member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and as president of the Party School of the CPC Central Committee. In 2008, he was elected the country's vice president.

Over the past five years, he has participated in the creation of major policies for the Party and the country, and has gained rich leadership experience in all respects.

During that time, Xi was in charge of Party affairs and attached great importance to Party building. He reiterated that the Party must police itself with strict standards as well as listen to the call of ordinary people.

Beginning in 2008, he worked intensively on the campaign to study and implement the Scientific Outlook on Development. The year-and-a-half campaign further made the Scientific Outlook on Development a consensus of the whole Party and country, and a driving force for economic and social development.

He also led a group of officials in drafting the 17th CPC Central Committee's report to the 18th CPC National Congress and the amendment to the CPC Constitution, which were adopted at the congress and have become important guidelines for China's future.

Xi has had a connection with the armed forces since his early days. After graduating from university, he worked at the General Office of the Central Military Commission (CMC) for three years, a job that deepened his affection for the army.

In the following years, he served concurrently as Party chief for military subareas in addition to holding his Party and government titles. He was familiarized with grassroots military affairs.

He became CMC vice chairman in 2010 and was named CMC chairman at the first plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee in November 2012.

Xi is also familiar with work related to Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. His 17 years in Fujian gave him a deep understanding of Taiwan and enterprises from Taiwan. The first Taiwan chamber of commerce on the mainland was established in Xiamen when he worked in Fujian. He solved many problems for Taiwan compatriots, and has been seen as a good friend by many of them.

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