How Xi Jinping Changed China

When Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, he unveiled a grand vision for the country’s “great rejuvenation” — a “dream” of making China strong and prosperous.

Ten years later, Xi Jinping has changed China. He cemented the country as a force on the world stage, with a vast economic footprint, a modern military and growing technological prowess.

But China has also become a place of increasing strictness on its citizens, with rapid suppression of dissent, pervasive surveillance and growing social control, made more apparent under Xi Jinping’s costly and isolating zero-coronavirus policy.

As the Chinese Communist Party undergoes a five-year leadership reshuffle, CNN looks back at a decade of dramatic changes in China, setting the stage for a new chapter in China as Xi Jinping, its most powerful leader in decades People – Stepping into an expected third term that breaks the rules.

that power party

Xi Jinping has overseen a massive anti-corruption campaign within the Communist Party to consolidate his grip on power. Critics have called it a political purge, but the push appears to have won public support to crack down on a culture of excess and corruption between “tigers” — senior officials — and “flies” — lower-level cadres.


Officials have conducted investigations since Xi Jinping came to power in late 2012 and the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Or they are senior officials.

Source: CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (2022)

Credits (from top right): Ng Han Guan/AP, Kevin Frayer/Getty Images, Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images, Ng Han Guan/AP, Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images.

Credits (clockwise from top left): Ng Han Guan/AP, Kevin Frayer/Getty Images, Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images, Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images, Ng Han Guan/AP.

Xi Jinping also built a cult of personality around himself as the “core” of the party, reinforcing the party’s role in all aspects of life.

Factors such as Beijing’s human rights record, assertive foreign policy, handling of Covid-19 and close ties with Moscow have damaged Western perceptions of China — and its relationship with the government there.

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“Common Prosperity”

Turning China into a “moderately prosperous society” has been the cornerstone of Xi Jinping’s decade in power. Early on, he set his sights on eliminating “absolute poverty” in the countryside.

In the first few years, as China transitioned from an industrial hub to a services and high-tech economy, private companies by and large flourished and the consumer tech revolution flourished—improving everyday convenience for a growing middle class.

A performer holds a red balloon while filming a Chinese Communist Party propaganda video in Beijing’s Sanlitun upscale shopping district in 2021. Credit: Thomas Peter/Reuters

In recent years, Xi Jinping has tightened regulations to curb debt, real estate speculation and financial risks, while also tightening the Communist Party’s grip on the economy. His vision of “shared prosperity” to narrow the gap between rich and poor and a broad campaign to control powerful corporations appear to mark the end of an era of freewheeling private enterprise.

Some of those moves, along with a zero-virus policy, have led to higher unemployment and a drag on China’s already slowing growth.



Since 2012, rural residents no longer live under China’s “absolute poverty” standard.


As of June 2022, the number of Internet users in China is up from 564 million in 2012.

Since the end of 2012, China’s high-speed rail network has added kilometers (about 20,000 miles).

$ trillion

It is estimated that at the peak of China’s crackdown on private companies in 2021, Chinese companies lost their market value globally.

Source: China State Council Information Office, China Internet Network Information Center, Xinhua News Agency, Goldman Sachs

Finish one-child policy

The plummeting birth rate — and economic risks from an aging society and a shrinking workforce — prompted China to overhaul decades of restrictive birth control, ending its one-child policy in 2015. The population crisis continues, with China further relaxing rules in 2021, allowing families to have three children.

But for many young people facing unattainable house prices, long workdays and a challenging job market, the government’s push for marriage and children remains unattractive — especially for women, due to entrenched gender norm, they still bear the brunt of the responsibility for raising children.

“We are the last generation.”

A viral slogan embraced by China’s disaffected youth

2010 2012 2014 2016 2018 2020 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 2015 a child Policy relaxation 2021 three children policy introduced 2021 three children policy introduced

asphyxia objection

Xi has overseen a massive crackdown on civil society, stifling an already limited sector by targeting or jailing human rights lawyers, academics, journalists, feminists and activists. The Xi era also includes suppressing all forms of dissent and tightening control over information, including through increased surveillance and online censorship.

During the so-called “709” crackdown in 2015, some 300 human rights lawyers and activists were rounded up for questioning, some of whom were later jailed, according to the monitoring group — a sweeping, state-backed campaign for Chinese civil rights. blow.

I will continue to defend Wang Quanzhang’s rights. I will take good care of our children and wait for Wang Quanzhang to come home. “

Li Wenzu, wife of prominent human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang imprisoned during the 709 crackdown, said in 2019. Wang Quanzhang, who was formally sentenced by a Chinese court that year, was released in 2020.

In December 2018, Li Wenzu, whose husband was imprisoned during the 709 crackdown, shaved her head to protest in Beijing. Credit: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

technology powerhouse and digital surveillance

Xi has called innovation “the soul that drives the nation’s progress” and has increased funding for research while overseeing the push for China to become a leader in high-tech fields ranging from space to quantum computing, artificial intelligence to green energy.

China’s high-tech capabilities also have another focus: tracking the public through the installation of mass video surveillance systems and biometric data collection—strengthening these efforts in the name of fighting Covid-19.

In April 2021, a rocket carrying the module of China’s Tiangong Space Station lifted off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan Province. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images

From today onwards, the central task of the Communist Party of China is to lead the people of all ethnic groups in the country to make concerted efforts…to comprehensively promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on the road of China’s modernization. “

Xi Jinping On October 16, 2022, the General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 20th Party Congress.

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