Feb. 20th, 2011

mistersandman: (watchmen)
[personal profile] mistersandman

What does the United States make of Xi Jinping, the man widely expected to take over from Hu Jintao late next year and lead China for the next five or 10 years?

An unpublished WikiLeaks batch of U.S. diplomatic cables portrays the 57-year-old Xi as untainted by corruption -- he is referred to as "Mr Clean" -- and disdainful of China's nouveau riche and consumer culture.

He is also depicted as an elitist who believes that the offspring of Maoist revolutionaries are the rightful rulers of China. His father was a major Communist leader who fought alongside Mao Zedong and helped implement Deng Xiaoping's economic reforms.

On human rights, the cables leave the question open. They note that Xi's father was critical of the military crackdown against Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989 and that the Dalai Lama had "great affection" for the elder Xi.

The cables, which Reuters obtained through a third party, trace Xi's rapid rise from provincial official to national leader, covering a period from October 2006 to February 2010. They are based on conversations with numerous Chinese sources -- scholars, senior journalists, businessmen, relatives or friends of senior officials and the occasional government official.

There are very few fly-on-the-wall accounts of meetings with Xi or other top leaders, and none since he rose to national-level power in October 2007. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this cache of roughly 1,000 pages of cables is the window they provide into official U.S. efforts to size up Xi, the likely next leader of the world's most populous country, second largest economy and America's most important -- and complicated -- bilateral relationship.

What emerges is not a coherent biography. Rather, the documents contain granular details -- Xi likes Hollywood World War II movies for their "grand and truthful" tales of good versus evil, and wishes Chinese films would promote such values -- that the diplomats offer as potential insights into his character.

Aside from basic biographical information and background included to provide necessary context, this report relies solely on the content of the cables.

Read more... )


I don't know about any of you, but none of that inspires confidence. 



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