Inside the Mind of Xi Jinping
On Valentine’s Day 2012, Vice President Joe Biden toasted Xi Jinping at a lunch in the ornate dining room of the US State Department. A galaxy of luminaries was on hand: former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, incumbent secretary of state Hillary Clinton and World Bank president Robert Zoellick. The mood was buoyant. Everyone expected Xi, the tubby vice president with the enigmatic smile, to be the new leader of China by the end of the year. Although not a lot was known about him, he was considered a liberal who understood that China’s economy needed to open up more to the West. There would be difficult issues to negotiate ahead, such as China’s theft of intellectual property rights and its restrictive trade policies, but the Obama administration was confident they could be handled.