Profile: Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping, named Communist Party chief in November 2012, is the man chosen to lead China for the next decade.
The 59-year-old, seen as a "princeling" - a term applied to senior officials who are thought to owe at least some of their success to family connections - is already the chairman of the party's Central Military Commission, which controls the army.
At the National People's Congress in March - China's parliament - he will take over from Hu Jintao as the president of China.Path to the top
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.
Peng Liyuan - the celebrity wife
- 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
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.
He 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 major problems.
In Fujian, he helped to clear up a corruption scandal in the late 1990s which involved the jailed smuggling kingpin Lai Changxing.
In 2004, he reportedly told officials: "Rein in your spouses, children, relatives, friends and staff, and vow not to use power for personal gain."
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.
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BBC Radio 4's Profile charts the life of Xi Jinping
In his first speech after assuming leadership of the party in 2012, Mr Xi exhibited some of the straight-talking for which he has become known.
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".
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.
Comments Mr Xi has made such as vowing to "smash" any attempts to destabilise Tibet have contributed to his image as a tough speaker.
This has also been seen in his foreign dealings, for example in Mexico in 2009 when he hit out at concern over China's growing might.
"Some foreigners with full bellies and nothing better to do engage in finger-pointing at us," he said.
"First, China does not export revolution; second, it does not export famine and poverty; and third, it does not mess around with you. So what else is there to say?"'Frugal husband'
Some analysts think that the world will see more of the tough talk after Mr Xi assumes the top job.
"With rising nationalistic sentiments in China, Xi Jinping will have to become more assertive," said Dr Bo Zhiyue, a senior research fellow at the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore.
But correspondents say that despite using some of the same Communist rhetoric, Mr Xi's relaxed appearance in his maiden speech as party leader - smiling and even apologising for starting late - was a marked change from the formal style of past leaders.
To many in China, Mr Xi is most famous for his celebrity wife, the singer Peng Liyuan, who also holds the rank of army general. The couple have a daughter named Xi Mingze, who is reportedly studying at Harvard University in the US.
Peng Liyuan has described her husband as frugal, hardworking and down-to-earth. "In my eyes, he's just my husband," she has been quoted as saying.
Little is known of his hobbies beyond his liking for basketball and - according to a leaked US diplomatic cable - Hollywood war movies.
This may have stemmed from his time in the US as a young man. Back in 1985, Mr Xi stayed briefly with a family in the small Iowa town of Muscatine, where he studied some advanced hog-raising techniques.
He visited the town again in February during a US trip seen as a move to raise his international profile.
The visit went down well with those who remembered him. "He was stately, but not at all reserved," resident Joni Axel told the Muscatine Journal. "He had a smile for everybody, and he remembered an event with each old friend."
During the same visit, he called for deeper "strategic trust" between China and the US through closer communication to reduce misunderstandings.
And he called Sino-US relations an "unstoppable river that keeps surging ahead", emphasising that a prosperous China was a positive force for global peace.