Childhood. Xi Jinping was born in 1953 in Beijing. His father, Xi Zhongxun, was one of the founders of the guerrilla communist movement. Xi Zhongxun fell out of party favor when he was accused of disloyalty to Mao Zedong. Despite this, Xi Zhongxun was a major contributor to the growth of China as he was the man responsible for proposing and implementing China's first economic zone in Shenzhen. Xi Jinping studied Chemical Engineering at Tsinghua University. Following this he gained military experience by serving as the personal secretary to Geng Biao, the then Secretary General of the Central Military Commission. Geng Biao was a close friend of Mr. Xi's father.
Experience. Xi Jinping has served in several diverse roles throughout his political career. In 2000 he served as governor of Fujian province. In 2002, Xi served in senior government and party positions in Zhejiang Province. While in Zhejiang, Xi provided the economic environment which secured growth rates averaging 14% per year. His career in Zhejiang was marked by tough and straightforward stance against corrupt officials, which earned him a name on the national media and drew the attention of China's top leaders. Xi Jinping currently serves as Vice President of the People's Republic of China. In 2008 Xi was put in charge of preparations for the Summer Olympics. Xi visited the United States in 1985. He was leading an animal-feed delegation through a tour of farms in America's heartland. This experience is said to have sparked a great connection between Xi and America.
Xi Jinping is "a thoughtful man who has gone through many trials and tribulations. I would put him in the Nelson Mandela class of persons. A person with enormous emotional stability who does not allow his personal misfortunes or sufferings affect his judgment. In other words, he is impressive".
--Lee Kuan Yew, Former Prime Minister of Singapore
"He's more assertive than Hu Jintao. When he enters the room, you know there is a significant presence here."
--Henry Kissinger, Former Secretary of State, United States of America
Heartland Return for Chinese Leader [WSJ]
Xi Jinping Wikipedia Page
2011 Time 100 Profile
Chinese Leaders Profile: Xi Jinping [BBC]
Special Economic Zones of the PRC