Xi has taken all key positions in Congress, including presidency, Chairman of central military commission and General Secretary of central commission.
He has been positioned since the last Party Congress in 2007 to take on the position of Communist Party Secretary, the top job in China. After being elected to this post by the Central Committee at the Congress opening on November 8, he will become State President and, in due course, assume the third top job as Chair of the Military Commission, though the outgoing leader, Hu Jintao, may seek to retain that last post for a couple of years.
Xi is the leading "princeling" — the children of first generation Communist chiefs. His father was a Vice Premier under Mao Zedong, was purged in the Cultural Revolution when Xi was 'sent down' to the countryside as a boy, living in a cave and looking after pigs. His early attempts to join the Party were rejected. He says that period taught him a lot.
His father was then re-instated under Deng Xiaoping and put in charge of economic reform in Guangdong province which spearheaded China's transformation. Xi worked his way up through a series of provincial posts mainly in the coastal provinces that led the country's economic expansion. (A full account of his career and personality are contained in my new book, "Tiger Head, Snake Tails; China Today").
Sources who have spent time with him concur that he is a consensus figure who will avoid rocking the boat. The main reason why he has been promoted ahead of the other main Fifth Generation figure—Li Keqiang, who was Hu Jintao's preferred candidate—is that the Central Committee and other decision-makers feel comfortable with him.
He has amassed a strong set of jobs. He was in charge of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and is responsible for policy on Hong Kong. As Secretary of the Communist Party Secretariat, he holds a key administrative position from which he can track the flow of information and commands at the top of the power structure. As head of the Party School, he presides over the training of the cadres whose role is to run the country. He has travelled to the United States, Europe, Australia and Latin America, and received foreign visitors including U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.
He was groomed for the top by members of the Shanghai Faction, which ran China in the 1990s under former leader Jiang Zemin. He recently weighed in against corruption and stressed the need for "Marxist morality." He tells officials that they must "boost the resoluteness of their political beliefs, the principled nature of their political stance'. He has good contacts in the army and with leading business figures and knows the need to maintain growth. He is married to a famous singer who used to perform with the military entertainment troupe. Their daughter is at Harvard and some of his relatives have built up significant positions for themselves in business despite Xi's warning that the families of leaders should not profit from their connections.
Li Keqiang — Incoming Premier