Melissa Chan at Al Jazeera is putting together a four-part series on what 2012 holds for China, and the first part has just gone live here. She reports on Xi Jinping’s background- the short video is well worth a watch. Beneath it she writes about her goals for the series, and notes that:
We thought it most appropriate to start by looking at who will be at the very top of the 80-million member political party: Xi Jinping. We visited Sha’anxi province, where he lived for seven years during the Cultural Revolution. I was personally impressed with his story from this part of his life: it is a compelling story of a city boy sent to the countryside. We know that he was an avid reader and would study at night long after he finished all his farm work. He was eventually selected as the village’s leader – and left there having won the people over.
You may notice that we didn’t manage to collect that much video material. Government officials often accuse foreign media groups of bias – that we paint China in a negative light. Here was what I considered a very positive story, but after an hour in the village, we were hounded out by officials. It seems that China can’t help but suppress information, even at its own loss!