Xi Jinping spent his youth in the rural areas of northwest China. In early 1969, when he was just 16 years old, Xi Jinping took the initiative to apply to relocate from Beijing to the countryside. He lived a rural life for seven years, ploughing land, pulling coal, building dams, and collecting manure. Xi Jinping would do whatever work needed to be done. The local people said he “endured hardships and worked hard."
Xi Jinping likes to read Chinese and foreign masterpieces. When he was young in the countryside, Xi Jinping once walked 30 li (15 kilometers) to borrow Faust; after he finished reading What is to Be Done? he learned to sleep on a Kang bed-stove through perseverance; and he visited the breakwater where Ernest Hemingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea and dropped by the bar that Hemingway visited frequently in Cuba, which gave him a deep impression.
He loved playing soccer when he was a teenager. He once took a “selfie” with Manchester City star Sergio Aguero. He also enjoys mountain climbing, walking, and volleyball. Xi Jinping once said that as long as there was time, he would swim 1,000 meters and walk every day.
“Lucid water and lush mountains are invaluable assets.” “We should protect the environment like protecting our eyes.” Xi Jinping attaches great importance to environmental protection, and every spring he personally participates in tree planting activities. In March 2013, when he visited Finland, he proposed strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the areas of environmental protection and forestry.
In 2022, Beijing will host the Winter Olympics. Xi Jinping has pointed out that holding the Winter Olympics in Beijing has exposed more than 300 million people in China to winter sports. Xi Jinping said he likes to watch the ice hockey, speed skating, figure skating, and skiing competitions.
Because the birthday of the spouse of Finnish President Sauli Niinisto coincided with the day of the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia in 2013, they received a gift from Xi Jinping and his spouse Peng Liyuan: a birthday cake. Niinisto said, “We will never forget that moment, such courtesy and surprise was the best gift for us.”
After taking leadership of the Party at the end of 2012, Xi Jinping declared that he would “fight every corrupt phenomenon,” and since then, a large number of corrupt officials have been disciplined in accordance with the law, including more than 100 officials at or above the ministerial level.