It is not an easy climb to top: Xi

It is not an easy climb to top: Xi

It is not an easy climb to top: Xi

Dispelling the image of his "princeling" heritage, China's new President Xi Jinping says it is not an easy climb to the top.

"Your heritage does not give you an easy licence to be promoted to the higher echelons unless you have done your basic work at the grassroots," he says.

"As an ancient Chinese proverb goes, 'Prime Ministers used to be lowly officials; great generals rise from the ranks'. The system for selecting officials in China requires local work experience," he said, rebutting the allegation that the new generation of leaders of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) who took over power this month were all children of influential families of the Party.

"Princeling" is a term applied to senior officials who are thought to owe at least some of their success to family connections.

Xi, 59, is the son of Xi Zhongxun, a Communist revolutionary and former Vice Premier who was persecuted by CPC founder Mao Zedong for his liberal views.

Xi began his career as Party official in a remote village.

"I have worked in the rural areas as the Party branch secretary of a production team. I have also served in county, municipal, provincial and central governments," Xi said.

"Extensive experience gained from working at the community-level enables an official to develop a people's perspective and know what the country is truly like and what the people need," the President said.

"To accumulate experience and professional knowledge and enhance skills and capabilities in the course of practice is essential to doing one's job well," he said.

Much work needs to be done to meet people's daily necessities, ensure smooth running of the society and normal functioning of state organs, and build and manage the governing party, Xi said.

"As the people have put me in this position, I must always put the people first and keep in mind the deep trust they have placed in me and my heavy responsibilities," Xi said.

"Indeed, it is not easy to govern a country with 1.3 billion people. To get to know the situation is already a difficult task. It takes much effort to know China and it is not enough to just visit one or two places," he told a group of select BRICS Editors in his first interaction with the foreign media after taking over.

China has 9.6 million square kilometers of land and 56 ethnic groups adding up to 1.3 billion people. Thus, to get to know China, one needs to avoid the mistake of drawing conclusions based on partial information, he said.

The coveted post of being the head of the Communist Party, state and the military chief is also like wearing a crown of thorns, Xi says.

"To govern such a big country with so many people and so complex national conditions, we, the leaders of China need to be fully aware of China's reality and aspirations of the people, and treat our responsibilities with utmost care as if we are walking on thin ice or standing on the edge of an abyss," he said quoting an adage, "Governing a big country is as delicate as frying a small fish".

"As long as we stand with the people through thick and thin and work with them with one heart and one mind, there is nothing we can't conquer or accomplish," he said.

Elaborating on China's collective leadership system, Xi said "within the central leadership, we have an effective set of work mechanisms. We each have our own responsibilities and at the same time, we work together in concert to ensure that the job gets done and done well."

About his private life, Xi said he hardly finds time for himself.

"There are so many things that I need to address. Naturally, I prioritise my tasks. Many hands make light work.

"Although I am very busy, I try to find some leisure time. Whenever there is time, I would get together with my family," Xi who is married to China's famous folk singer Peng Liyuan said.

They have a daughter who is reportedly studying abroad.

About his hobbies, he said, he loves reading most.

"Reading has become a way of life for me. I am also a sports fan. I like swimming and mountain climbing. I liked football and volleyball when I was young," he said.

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