Summary of Cultural Revolution Shaped Xi Jinping

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Cultural Revolution Shaped Xi Jinping summary
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In 2013, Xi Jinping became the president of China. In 2018, he did away with the presidential term limits so thoughtfully imposed by Deng Xiaoping in 1982 – a move that means that Xi will be one of the world’s most powerful men for the foreseeable future. He’s also the first of China’s leaders to have come of age under the terror of the Red Guard during the Cultural Revolution. How did the revolution shape Xi Jinping? Kirsten Tatlow and Chris Buckley explore Xi’s jagged beginnings in this well-researched New York Times article. 

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the Red Guard treated the children of party officials during the Cultural Revolution,
  • Why Xi Jinping was a special target of their animosity and
  • How these events may have influenced the current leader of China.
 

About the Authors

Chris Buckley has lived in China for more than 20 years and worked as a correspondent for Reuters before joining The New York Times. Kirsten Tatlow was born and raised in Hong Kong and reported on China for The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times.

 

Summary

When Mao Zedong first ordered China’s youth to pound down the doors of power and destroy existing hierarchies in 1966, Xi Jinping was too young to heed the call. Furthermore, his father's status in the former government made Xi a target of the Red Guard. His father – previously a vice premier – had fallen from Mao’s favor and was detained, beaten and sent to a factory in central China. His mother kept her position in the party. 


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