Other eight were appointed this year reflecting the

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other eight were appointed this year, reflecting the ongoing strong trend of promotion of Xi’s protégés. It is worthwhile to trace how Xi and these protégés have developed personal and political ties through the local and provincial leadership during various phases of Xi’s career. Table 2 Xi Jinping’s Close Associates from His Tenure as a Local/Provincial Leader Period/ age Life & career experiences Personal & political associations Main associates & protégés 1982–85/ 29–32 County leader in Zhengding county, Hebei Hebei connection Li Zhanshu ( ᅞ书 ), Yang Zhenwu ( ဗᆒ武 ) 1985–2002/ 32–49 Leader in Xiamen, Ningde, Fuzhou, Fujian Fujian connection Zhao Keshi ( ᅵ克石 ), Cai Yingting ( 蔡ႇ挺 ), He Lifeng ( 何立峰 ), Cai Qi ( 蔡奇 ), Huang Kunming ( 黄坤明 ) 2002–07/ 49–54 Governor and party secretary of Zhejiang Zhejiang connection Chen Min’er ( 陈敏尔 ), Li Qiang ( 李强 ), Xia Baolong ( 夏宝龙 ), Bayanqolu ( 巴ၻ朝鲁 ), Zhong Shan ( ᇒ山 ), Ying Yong ( ႋႧ ), Lou Yangsheng ( 楼ဝ生 ) 2007/54 Party secretary of Shanghai Shanghai Gang Ding Xuexiang ( 丁薛祥 ), Yang Xiaodu ( ဗ晓渡 ), Fang Xinghai ( 方星海 ) SOURCE : Some of the data are based on Wu Ming [ 吴鸣 ], ᇏ国新领袖:习近平传 ( China’s New Leader: Biography of Xi Jinping , Hong Kong: Wenhua yishu chubanshe, 2010), pp. 572–573. Tabulated and expanded by Cheng Li. The Hebei Connection In March 1982, at the age of 29, Xi Jinping left the position of mishu (personal assistant) to Minister of Defense Geng Biao and arrived in Zhengding county, Shijiazhuang prefecture in Hebei Province, where he served as deputy party secretary of the county. This career move was unusual for princelings like Xi at that time, because most were more interested in working in the offices of the national leadership in Beijing or were employed by major SOEs. Today, however, serving as a county-head has become a more popular choice for the new generation of princelings. For example, Deng Xiaoping’s grandson Deng Zhuodi, who was born in the United States and is a graduate of Duke University’s law school, was made deputy head of Pingguo county in Guangxi’s Baise prefecture in 2013, at the age of 28. 14 Another example is Hu Jintao’s son Hu Haifeng, a Tsinghua University graduate and former general manager of the Nuctech Co., who became deputy mayor of the prefecture-level city Jiaxing in Zhejiang Province in 2013. 15 Both Deng Zhuodi and Hu Haifeng may have been inspired by Xi’s career move three decades earlier.
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Li, China Leadership Monitor , no. 45 8 Table 3 Xi Jinping’s Protégés During His Tenure as a Local/Provincial Leader Province/ City Name Birth year Birthplace Previous position under Xi Jinping in province Current position Tenure since CC status Li Zhanshu 1950 Hebei Colleague of Xi in Hebei (party secretary of Wuji county) Director of the General Office, CC. 2012 Politburo Member Hebei Yang Zhenwu 1955 Hebei People’s Daily reporter in Hebei who wrote feature stories about Xi President, People’s Daily 2014 None Zhao Keshi 1947 Hebei Stationed in Fujian when Xi was a municipal and provincial leader CMC member, director of General Logistics Dept. 2012 Full Member Cai Yingting 1954 Fujian Stationed in Fujian when Xi was a municipal and provincial leader Commander of Nanjing Military Region 2012 Full Member He Lifeng 1955 Guangdong
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