Profile: Xi Jinping

A file photo taken on 17 August, 2012 of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Mr Xi has called for "the great renaissance of the Chinese nation"

Xi Jinping, president of China and Communist Party chief, is expected to lead China for the next decade.

Since being confirmed as leader of the world's second-largest economy, Mr Xi has vowed to crack down on corruption.

He has also urged the country to achieve the "China Dream", something he has linked to a Chinese renaissance, where the country can take its rightful place in the world.

He now heads to the US for a high profile summit with President Barack Obama.

Path to the top

The 59-year-old is seen as a "princeling" - a term applied to senior officials who are thought to owe at least some of their success to family connections.

Born in Beijing in 1953, Xi Jinping is the son of revolutionary veteran Xi Zhongxun, one of the Communist Party's founding fathers.

Xi Zhongxun was purged from the post of vice-premier in 1962 prior to the Cultural Revolution and eventually imprisoned.

The younger Xi was then sent, aged 15, to work in the remote village of Liangjiahe for seven years, like most other "intellectual youth" of the time.

A local village official who knew Mr Xi at that time described him as "very sincere and honest", adding that he was just like one of them "so everybody liked him very much".

Mr Xi has acknowledged that this time spent working alongside villagers was a key experience for him.

He went on to study chemical engineering at Tsinghua University in Beijing, which has produced many of China's current top leaders, including Hu Jintao.

The Associated Press reports he tried to join the Communist Party at least nine times but was rejected because of his father's issues.

Accepted into the party in 1974, Mr Xi served as a local party secretary in Hebei province and then went on to ever more senior roles in Fujian and then Zhejiang provinces.

Peng Liyuan - the celebrity wife

Peng Liyuan sings an army song at the Great Hall of the People in 2007 in Beijing, China
  • A well-known Chinese folk singer and actress, Peng Liyuan regularly appears on Chinese state TV's New Year Gala - the most watched TV programme of the year
  • She was one of 23 people to receive the first Chinese Arts awards and a one million yuan ($159,800, £100,000) prize in December 2011
  • Appointed World Health Organisation Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/Aids and tuberculosis in June 2011
  • She is a major-general in the People's Liberation Army

He married folk singer Peng Liyuan, who also holds the rank of army general, in 1987. To many in China, Ms Peng was the better-known half of the couple before Xi Jinping became leader of the Communist Party.

The couple have a daughter named Xi Mingze, who is reportedly studying at Harvard University in the US.

Mr Xi was named party chief of Shanghai in 2007 when its former chief, Chen Liangyu, was sacked over corruption charges. Shortly after, he was promoted to the party's Standing Committee and became vice-president in 2008.

Xi Jinping is seen as pro-business, after working hard to attract foreign investment to Fujian and Zhejiang.

In 2005, when he was the Communist Party secretary in Zhejiang, he told media that "government should be a limited government".

He said that whenever there were issues that the government was incapable of handling, the public should be given back the power to tackle them.

Seen as having a zero-tolerance attitude towards corrupt officials, Mr Xi has twice been drafted in to trouble-shoot corruption scandals in the past.

But a Bloomberg investigative report in June 2012 that examined the finances of his relatives saw the company's website blocked in China - even though the report said there was no indication of wrongdoing by him or his family.

'Critical juncture'

In his first speech after assuming leadership of the Communist Party in November 2012, Mr Xi appeared relaxed - smiling and even apologising for starting late, in a marked change from the formal style of past leaders.

He warned party members that the problems of "corruption, taking bribes, being out of touch with the people, undue emphasis on formalities and bureaucracy must be addressed with great efforts".

Find out more

BBC Radio 4's Profile charts the life of Xi Jinping

He has since made corruption a major focus, vowing to tackle it from the powerful "tigers" at the top to the "flies" at the bottom, as well as cracking down on extravagance, warning of civil unrest if perceived privilege within the party is not tackled.

In his first speech as head of state in March, Mr Xi said he would fight for "the great renaissance of the Chinese nation".

He introduced a new term - the "Chinese Dream" - to lay out his vision of a stronger nation based on "the Chinese path", "the Chinese spirit" and "Chinese strength".

The tone of his speech led some analysts to the view that he could pursue a more assertive foreign policy during his decade in power.

He made his first overseas tour as head of state to Russia, Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of Congo, hailing Africa as "a continent of hope and promise".

Now, he heads to the US, where he had briefly stayed as a young man, at what he describes as a "critical juncture" in China-US relations.

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