Vice President Xi Jinping -- the man expected to become China's next president -- is seen by analysts as a campaigner against the corruption that has fueled public resentment in the country.
The 59-year-old Xi is the son of revolutionary leader Xi Zhongxun, one of the founders of the communist guerrilla movement in northern China during the 1940s.
But unlike most of China's so-called "princelings" -- the elite offspring of senior Communist Party officials -- Xi was exposed to the hardships faced by ordinary Chinese citizens when he grew up.
That's because his father fell from grace during the Cultural Revolution and was ousted as deputy prime minister in 1962 by Chairman Mao Tse-tung. Xi's father was sent to work in a provincial factory and then jailed in 1968 before returning to power as a pioneer of economic reforms.
According to a biography released by China's state-run media, Xi went to work in 1969 as part of Mao's "Down To The Countryside Movement." He joined the Communist Youth League in 1971 and then the Communist Party in 1974.
After studying chemical engineering at Beijing's Tsinghua University during the late 1970s, Xi gained a military background by working as an aide for Geng Biao, the secretary-general of China's Central Military Commission. By that time, Xi's father had been released from prison and took a post as governor of Guangdong Province.
Xi's career as a public official began in 1982 at the local level. He held party posts in four different provinces during the 1980s and '90s before breaking into national politics in 2002 as a member of the Communist Party's Central Committee.
Xi became a member of the party's ruling Politburo Standing Committee in 2007. He was named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission in 2010.