Xi Jinping (born June 15, 1953) is the current President of the People's Republic of China, and the General Secretary of its sole governing Communist Party, serving since 2012, and one of the most controversial figures of the early 21st century.
Xi was born in Beijing to Mao's Propaganda Minister, Xi Zhongxun. Unfortunately for Xi Jinping, his privileged upbringing was cut short when his father was purged during the Cultural Revolution and one of his sisters was killed by student militants. Xi Zhongxun was thrown into prison, and the would-be-President of China was exiled to a rural village, where he lived in a cave for several months, before attempting an escape back to Beijing. He was arrested following a crackdown on escapees and forced to dig ditches in a labour camp. By befriending a local official, however, Xi managed to join the Youth League before attempting to apply for the Communist Party (he would finally be accepted on his tenth attempt). After this, he studied chemical engineering and politics at Tsinghua University.
Starting as the deputy party secretary of a small county, Xi served in four different provinces throughout his career, serving as Governor of Fujian and Party Secretary of Zhejiang, where he came to prominence for his purges and anti-corruption campaigns. In 2007, he was transferred to Shanghai following a scandal that resulted in removal of its previous Party secretary. In 2008, he was selected by the Vice President for Hu Jintao, an infamously bland leader with the charisma of a brick (and later establishment Butt-Monkey). Throughout his tenure, Hu presided over increasing corruption in the government before stepping down in 2013. In the same year, Xi was appointed president by the Party, mostly on the belief that he would sit down and file paperwork. It didn't go so well. Upon entering the office, Xi began to purge political rivals for supposed corruption. Among the purged was Bo Xilainote , whose wife was well-known in the West for killing a British businessman, and Zhou Yongkang, who oversaw China's law enforcement. These actions endeared him to a section of the Chinese populace who grew tired of rising corruption during the term of his predecessor. In 2018, Xi amended the constitution, removing term limits and was effectively turned into China's President for Life.
While the PRC was by no means considered a free country by any measure, it is thought that it has become more repressive under Xi's tenure than ever since it opened up and readjusted its system to the rest of the world. The censorship campaign became infamous when memes of Winnie the Pooh were blocked on Chinese social media after comparisons with Xinote . His "Xi Jinping Thought" became enshrined in the Chinese constitution and universities have implemented it in their curriculum, something not seen since Mao Zedong.note This implementation has brought a perceived Cult of Personality surrounding Xi that is not only widespread across Mainland China but enforced by authorities and followers as well. Under his administration China seems to have shifted from its previous stance to become more involved in the international community as well as its exerting influences, most notably in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia. Xi's term has also pushed for the reintegration of Taiwan and Hong Kong to the mainland as well, with both being referred to under independent pretenses being a major Berserk Button for Chinese nationalists to the point of harassment and demands of apology from those who acknowledge Taiwan. note
Xi Jinping has been featured/referenced in the following media:
- Xi Jinping's name was mentioned in an placeholder image in Taiwanese horror game Devotion, being compared to Winnie the Pooh. The placeholder image also contains the Chinese words "呢嘛叭唭", which are similar to Hokkien "你嘛八七" (Nǐ ma bāqī), (translated in Chinese as "你妈白癡") which means, "your mother is an idiot". Needless to say, this caused the game to lose its publishing license in China, and it was quickly pulled from Steam after it was review-bombed by many nationalistic Chinese gamers in early 2019.
- South Park: Xi Jinping appears in the episode "Tweek X Craig" being called by Randy Marsh to know what the Yaoi Genre is to which Xi Jinping corrects Randy by yelling him it is a Japanese things before rattling off several war crimes that Imperial Japan committed in World War II against China (only for Randy to misinterpret his sayings as the reasons why Japan made yaoi). He appears again as the Greater-Scope Villain in the episode "Band in China" which tackles the subject of Western corporations appeasing to the Chinese government in an effort to tap into their market, as well as referencing the Winnie the Pooh incident. Needless to say, the episode got the entire series banned in the country. The South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone had their response be expected sarcastic gloating over this fact."Like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn't look just like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the great Communist Party of China. May the autumn's sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?"