Xi named again in Time's top 100 list
Updated: 2014-04-28 14:35
By Xu Wei (China Daily USA)
President Xi Jinping has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world for the fourth consecutive year.
Jon Huntsman, former US ambassador to China, said in the endorsement that Xi, named in the leaders' category, "has emerged as the most transformational Chinese leader since Deng Xiaoping. His steady style exudes confidence while revealing little, capturing the attention of thought leaders worldwide" .
Other Chinese nationals named in this year's list, which was announced on Thursday, are Pony Ma, co-founder and chairman of Tencent Holdings, and Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, the world's largest e-commerce firm. Both are named in the titans category.
Actress Yao Chen is named in the most influential artists category for being "a Chinese superstar with an activist streak".
Since Xi took the helm in November 2012, he has launched an intensive anti-graft campaign, which has led to dozens of ministerial-level officials stepping down.
Huntsman said, "His existential crusade to promote the country's success in a hypercompetitive global marketplace is born of his formative experiences with a China in shambles."
He said that Xi, during his decade in office, will become the first truly global leader to represent a country that for centuries has struggled with cohesion and unity.
"There is no middle path going forward - it will either be a failed effort, which would be catastrophic for the region, or a reformed Middle Kingdom that will become America's greatest challenge and opportunity of the 21st century," he said.
Xi first made the Time 100 list in 2009 in the most influential leaders category.
Former president Hu Jintao made the list in 2004, when it was launched by the magazine, and appeared on it again in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
Gao Zugui, director of the Institute of World Political Studies under the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the quick pace of China's economic development and the growth of its national strength are behind the world media's spotlight on Chinese leaders.
Gao said the country's reform agenda set during a key Party meeting in November could be another important reason.
The first cartoon image of the country's first couple was unveiled by news portal qianlong.com on Thursday as the website sought to use an innovative way to mark President Xi's trip to Europe from March 22 to April 1.
A webpage featuring graphics and cartoons from the news portal highlighted Xi's schedule as he visited four European countries, accompanied by first lady Peng Liyuan.
The use of cartoon images during coverage of the top leaders has been hailed by Internet users.
Huang Tingman, editor-in-chief at the news portal, told The Mirror in Beijing that the website chose to use cartoon images because they better matched online methods of presentation and communication. "Long lists and text on activities for the president cannot satisfy netizens and readers," he said.
(China Daily USA 04/28/2014 page3)