While President Xi Jinping’s widespread popularity can be partly credited to a spirited image-crafting campaign, his ongoing crackdown on Party corruption—long a major public concern in China—has also done much in garnering public support. After citing a longtime China-based businessman’s estimate that 90 percent of China supports Xi, Didi Kirsten Tatlow offers an anecdote showing how the anti-corruption drive is directly gaining Xi fans, and explains that Xi’s image as anti-corruption crusader has been a long time in the making. From the New York Times:
Those people [in strong support of Xi] would include the 40- something worker I met last week in Zhuhai, a flourishing city across the border from Macau in China’s south.
Seven years ago, when his nephew joined the army as an ordinary soldier, ‘‘We had to pay 30,000 renminbi to buy him a place,’’ the worker said in Mandarin heavily accented with Cantonese, the local dialect.
[…] Selling posts in the government or military is illegal but has been common for decades. A “tiger” taken down by the campaign, Gen. Xu Caihou, a former vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, which Mr. Xi now heads, was said to be involved in such activities, among other misdeeds.
‘‘This summer, to get my other nephew in,’’ the worker continued, ‘‘guess what we paid? Nothing at all!
[…] It is part of the party iconography of Mr. Xi that, in 1988, after becoming party secretary in Ningde, a poor area in the southeastern province of Fujian, he went after local officials who had built for themselves villas that could not have been paid for from their salaries. Many officials were investigated, according to the party publication ‘‘Collected Writings on Party Building.’’ […] [Source]