In October 2022, Xi Jinping secured his status as general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). With this achievement, he continues as the Republic of China’s president for an unprecedented third term. Western media is often negative about Xi Jinping and portray him as an authoritarian dictator on a quest to take over the world. But how objective is this view? Does Xi Jinping genuinely just want the best for his country?

Xi Jinping was born in 1953 in Fuping county, Shaanxi province, China. His father, Xi Zhongxun, was a Chinese Communist veteran and an early comrade of Mao Zedong, but he was purged and went out of favor by his party and government during the Cultural Revolution. Xi Jinping has had a long political career in the Communist Party. After completing his studies in chemical engineering at Tsinghua University, Xi Jinping served for three years as secretary to Geng Biao, who was the vice premier of the central Chinese government at the time. From 1999 to 2002, he served as the governor of Fujian. In 2002, he became the party secretary and governor of Zhejiang. Then, in 2007, he became the first secretary of the Central Secretariat and, in 2008, was assigned as Hu Jintao’s (the then-president’s) presumed successor. Subsequently, he was designated the vice president of China and vice chairman of the CMC (Central Military Commission).

When Xi Jinping came into Power 10 years ago, in 2012, when both China and the Communist party were in a massive crisis. Corruption was rampant, and there were hundreds of thousands of protests from citizens. There was also infighting at the top of the Communist party. As the country’s premier, Xi Jinping, responded to this crisis by launching an anti-corruption campaign that completely changed how government officials at every level conducted business. He also ramped up ideological discipline within the party. Overall, Xi Jinping re-energize China’s social development, sustainable development, international relations, economic development, and revival of Chinese culture.

But this Chinese leader has also faced numerous challenges in making the Chinese society a prosperous one. The COVID-19 pandemic was a major challenge that China faced in recent years. As of this writing, China has a strict zero-COVID policy to ensure the prevention of the spread of the disease. This is why China’s borders were closed to international visitors for a period. Recently Xi Jinping was elected as president of China for the third time. He outlined the plans to gradually end China’s zero COVID policy. But he has stated there will be no change from the policy pursuing zero COVID, which will no doubt save lives, but it will also come with an opportunity cost and be felt in the contracting Chinese economy.

Apart from Covid and the real estate crisis that has spilled over to Chinese stock market the major challenge the Chinese society is facing is its aging population. By 2035, China will have over 400 million citizens above the age of 60 and be defined as a severely aging country. Fewer workers will be available, and there will be huge challenges in providing enough public health facilities. In addition, China has one of the fastest-declining birth rates in the world. Chinese married couples dropped to a record low in 2021, with only 7.6 million marriages, the lowest since 1986. In addition, China’s fertility rate of 1.16 in 2021 is far below the average of 2.1 needed for a stable population. At its core, a country’s population is its national strength and economic strength. Combined with the aging population, these declining fertility rates are completely going to be a major risk for the future of the Chinese nation.

As controversial as Xi Jinping is in the west, he has changed China tremendously in the past 10 years. Xi’s main objective is to resurrect China from its ‘100 years of national humiliation’ as resurgent superpower. Let’s now look at major accomplishments China has achieved since Xi Jinping has come into power.

Use Up/Down vote buttons and comment section under each list item to tell us your opinion and rank these based on your preference.

  1. 1 China's GDP Has Doubled

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    The GDP (gross domestic product) of a country is an indicator of the size and performance of its economy. It represents the total market value of finished goods and services produced within the country.

    In 2012, when Xi Jinping became the president, China's GDP was 8.53 trillion. By 2021, it has grown to a staggering 17.7 trillion, representing an increase of 107% over the last decade. In fact, when considering its GDP, China is the second richest country in the world, second only to the US. While US is a service based economy that rely heavily on its dollar reserve currency status, China has a manufacturing based economy that is known as the the world's factory.

    A growing Chinese economy has helped hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens enter the middle class (the middle class population in China is bigger than the entire population in the US), and it remains one of the major priorities of Xi Jinping to further decrease number of low income households in China.

    Image source: YouTube

  2. 2 China Has Solidified Itself As The Manufacturing Hub Of The World

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    So much of what we consume in our everyday lives comes directly from factories in China. Its fair to say that the Chinese economic growth has helped lifted living standards of low middle income earners globally. China used to be known for making cheap toys, clothes, and cheap electronics, but with the 'Made in China 2025' Vision, China has shifted to becoming the world leader in developing some of the most advanced technologies in the world. Made in China 2025 is a strategic plan and policy to develop the manufacturing sector of the country and to move away from its reputation for producing cheap goods with low production costs.

    Smartphones, computers, high-tech gear - most of it is now made in China. In 2011, China officially overtook the United States as the largest global manufacturer, and it has been steadily increasing every year, even with the pandemic and continuous lockdowns. China's market share continued to accelerate, and it now holds a 30% market share of global manufacturing.

    Image source: YouTube

  3. 3 China Has an Incredible High-Tech Industry

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    In 2012, China had very little presence in the high-tech industry involving smartphones, solar panels, electric cars, and state-of-the-art telecommunication. But fast forward to modern times, China is dominating most of these industries. Chinese Brands like Alibaba, WeChat, Huawei, and DJI have all become successful brands with massive appeal in major countries over the world.

    Let's not forget that China has created the world's fastest-growing social media app TikTok. TikTok has become so successful that Facebook, Instagram, and even YouTube have had to shift their business models to catch up with TikTok's success. Did you know that these popular social media apps added their short video segments to compete with the popularity of short TikTok videos?

    “TikTok” by Cottonbro studio (CC0) via Pexels

  4. 4 China's Successful Efforts in Poverty Alleviation

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    At the start of 2012, nearly 100 million Chinese citizens lived in absolute poverty. Here, we define absolute poverty as those who earn less than 4000 RMB per year. In the last decade, absolute poverty has been completely eliminated in China, and more and more Chinese citizens have reached the middle class. However, the work against poverty in China isn't over. Even China's Premier Li Keqiang said in May 2020 that 40% of Chinese people earn an average of 1000 Renminbi per month.

    Image source: YouTube

  5. 5 China is Leading The World In Pollution Reduction

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    By the early 2,000s, the skies in China were full of smog, and pollution was a real challenge for everyone living in major cities. But in the past decade, China has become the world's largest investor, producer, and consumer of renewable energy worldwide by manufacturing state-of-the-art solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric energy facilities, as well as becoming the world's largest producer of electric cars and buses. Xi Jinping has also pledged that China will be carbon neutral by 2060.

    Image source: YouTube

  6. 6 China Has Built The World's Largest Trade Network

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    When the 19th party congress met in 2017, China's government stated their main goal for the next five years was to expand the Belt and Road initiative and make it the most valuable Trade Network in the world. Belt and Road Initiative or BRI is a global infrastructure development strategy to create a trans-continental passage linking China with South Asia, South East Asia, Central Asia, Russia, and Europe and a maritime route connecting coastal regions of China with South Asia, South East Asia, the South Pacific, Middle East, East Africa, and Europe. The five major aims of this project are policy coordination, unimpeded trade, infrastructure connectivity, financial integration, and connecting people.

    The BRI is the centerpiece of XI Jinping's foreign policy, and as of August 2022, 149 countries have signed up to participate in the project. Today, the Belt and Road Project affects more than 60% of the world's population and 35% of the world's economy.

    Image source: YouTube

  7. 7 China Has Become A Military Superpower

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    Many westerners worry about China becoming a strong Military. But are these worries justified? Well, according to General Milley, the highest-ranking U.S military official, it's not. According to the American General, China is a superpower, and this is what all superpowers do - build a strong military. When we look at this from the Chinese perspective, it's easy to understand why China's strong military is a source of national pride. With the world's largest navy and one of the most powerful militaries in the world, China has guaranteed that no country will ever invade its land again. In terms of their military power, there is a remarkable similarity between the U.S. and China. Both countries' citizens are extremely proud of their nation's armed forces, which is a major source of strength, and believe they are in a position where no country in the world would want to engage directly in direct conflict with them. This is true for both China and the United States.

    Image source: YouTube

  8. 8 China Has Built The World's Best Transportation Network

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    When China hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, the country had a handful of high-speed rail lines. But in the past decade, China has covered every province and connected one of the biggest countries in the world via high-speed Rail. China has also invested heavily in urban transportation. Of the world's 200 Metro systems, over half of them are in China. Finally, China is testing the world's fastest commercial train, the CRRC 600, which will travel over 600 kilometers an hour and make its debut in 2025.

    Image source: YouTube

  9. 9 China Will Dominate The Future Of Space

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    China is the third country in the world to send astronauts to space and build a space station (after Russia and the US). Tiangong (meaning ‘Heavenly Palace’ in Chinese) is China’s new space station. America has always been the key player in space exploration but with the International Space Station planning to be decommissioned in 2031, China has seized an incredible opportunity and is building its own space station in less than a decade. By then, the only functioning space station in the universe will be Chinese, giving China an incredible edge to be the most dominant nation in space exploration. By 2030, China also hopes to reach the Moon and Mars, which would make them a superpower in space exploration.

    Image source: YouTube

  10. 10 China is Producing More Educated Citizens

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    In the past decade, China's general enrollment ratio in universities doubled from 29% to 58%. In addition, China is currently producing the largest amount of STEM graduates in the world and leading the world in A.I. research, publishing 27% of all A.I. Journal articles worldwide.

    The higher education system in China, as well as Chinese colleges and universities, are internationally recognized. In fact, more and more international students show an interest in completing their higher education in China. As of 2018, China is the main destination for Asian students pursuing their tertiary education.

    Image source: YouTube