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Xi Jinping

Political Leader / President of China

Born: 15 June 1953
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Best known as: President of China, 2013-present

Xi Jinping became China's Communist Party leader in November of 2012 and President of China in March of 2013, taking over from President Hu Jintao. Xi has a Communist Party pedigree: his father was Xi Zhongxun, an original revolutionary and contemporary of Mao Zedong. The elder Xi served at the top of China's government until he was purged in 1962 and imprisoned. When the younger Xi was 15 years old, he was banished and "re-educated" for seven years before studying Marxist ideology, chemical engineering and law at Tsinghua University in Beijing. By the early 1980s, his father had been rehabilitated into the communist party and Xi had risen in the ranks, earning a reputation as a problem solver in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. He became the party chief in Shanghai in 2007, and Vice President in 2008. Tough on crime and corruption, Xi is also considered liberal for his willingness to find pragmatic solutions. He married Peng Liyuan, a popular folk singer and Major General in the army, in 1987.

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