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Xi's Ascension From Princeling To 'President For Life'

The leader remains an enigma on the world stage.

A decorative plate featuring an image of Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen behind a statue of late communist leader Mao Zedong at a souvenir store next to Tiananmen Square in Beijing on February 27, 2018. Photo credit: GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

The man was expected to be the most liberal Communist Party leader in China's history; he has turned out to be anything but.

Personality

Xi Jinping, the son of Xi Zhongxun, a Chinese revolutionary hero and vice premier, is considered by many to be a "princeling." But, his childhood is not a tale of constant privilege. Mao targeted his father during the Cultural Revolution and deposed him from office. Xi, a teenager then, was exiled to the countryside, where he hauled grains and slept in cave houses as part of Mao's down to the countryside movement. The experience toughened up the young boy from an elite political family.

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