Skip to Content
Presidnet Xi Jinping Meets Visiting Armenian President Serzh SargsyanPresidnet Xi Jinping Meets Visiting Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan
Chinese President Xi Jinping inside the Great Hall of the People on March 25, 2015 in Beijing. Photograph by Feng Li — Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping inside the Great Hall of the People on March 25, 2015 in Beijing. , Photograph by Feng Li — Getty Images
  • Title
    President
  • Affiliation
    People's Republic of China

There hasn’t been a stronger leader in China since the reformer Deng Xiaoping—or maybe the revolutionary Mao Zedong. Xi shares traits with both. He has consolidated power; fired, fined, or jailed a quarter of a million cadres in his massive corruption purge; and cracked down on dissidents. He’s also behind China’s robust nationalistic message directed at world powers. At the same time he has preached meaningful reforms—including, importantly, strengthening the rule of law. Much now depends on his ability to advance those reforms while managing the economy’s inevitably slowing growth and its transition from being investment-based to consumption-based. That’s a monumental job, of course. A stumble could spark insurrection and disaster, but so far Xi is holding things together. Veteran China watchers in the West consider him a true leader, albeit one whose record remains incomplete. That’s why many are calling this the most interesting time in China in decades.

Fortune Data StoreLooking for leads, investment insights, or competitive intelligence?Get Premium Access