59-year old Xi Jinping has been China’s vice president since 2008, albeit with a much lower profile than other Chinese leaders.
His father was a revolutionary hero under Mao Zedong who became the country’s vice premier more than five decades earlier.
It was the elder Xi’s connections that would help the young Jinping rise through the ranks so quickly.
He would go on to hold positions in five of China’s provinces before becoming party chief in Zhejiang in 2002 and then Shanghai in 2007.
Xi then moved to the national stage, appointed to the nine-man Politburo Standing Committee and then to the post of deputy president.
His personal life has been carefully honed by Chinese government.
He has a daughter from his first of two marriages.
Xi is said to love Hollywood films and has been described as pragmatic, serious, hard-working and low-key by the Washington Post.
Others have described him as relaxed and at ease to talk with people, unlike other Chinese leaders who tend to take a more cautious approach.
Xi is said to want to maintain good relations with Washington and called for a deepening of “mutual understanding” in a meeting with US President Barack Obama earlier this year.