A look at China's President Xi Jinping before his first meeting with Trump

Xi will meet with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

ByABC News
April 6, 2017, 9:18 AM

— -- Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in the United States today for a summit with President Trump at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago — the first time the two leaders will meet.

Xi, 63, became the Chinese Communist Party’s new general secretary in November 2012 before being appointed to the presidency in March 2013. His earlier positions in the party included vice president, a member of the CCP's Political Bureau standing committee and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission.

He is nearing the end of his five-year term as president but is eligible to be elected to one additional term in 2018.

Some of the first public indications of his ruling style came in a November 2012 speech he gave as China’s new leader. There, Xi railed against corruption in the country’s ruling party, promised economic reform and spoke of the “China dream,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

But under Xi’s leadership, the Chinese government has maintained its strict media censorship and has even increased restrictions on the internet.

“In a rule of law also applies to the internet, with the need to safeguard a country’s sovereignty, security and development interests as relevant as in the real world,” Xi said in a 2015 written interview with The Wall Street Journal.

“We need to fully respect netizens’ rights to express themselves, while at the same time, ensure a sound cyberspace order to better protect the lawful rights and interests of all netizens.”

Born June 15, 1953, Xi is the son of Xi Zhongxun, one of the Communist Party’s founding fathers and who served as deputy prime minister under Chairman Mao Zedong.

In his youth, after his father was cast aside by the Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution, Xi worked for seven years on a farm in Shaanxi, a mostly rural interior province. In a speech in Seattle in 2015, he described those years as a formative time in which he was inspired by the villagers with whom he lived to help those in need.

"At that time, the villagers and I lived in earth caves and slept on earth beds. Life was very hard. There was no meat in our diet for months," Xi said . "I understood their needs. One thing I wished most at the time was to make it possible for such a wish to come true in those years.”

After marrying and divorcing his first wife in the early 1980s, Xi married popular folk singer Peng Liyuan in 1987. At the time, Xi worked as a Communist Party secretary in several provinces throughout the country. They have a daughter who has reportedly studied at Harvard.

Since Xi's ascension to the presidency, China’s already complicated relationship with the United States has turned to new fronts. The United States has repeatedly criticized Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea, its close relationship with Russia and the country's perceived inaction on curbing the North Korean nuclear threat.

In 2015, the Chinese government arrested a number of hackers it claimed were responsible for hacking the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and stealing personal information.

Trump repeatedly described China as having manipulated its currency during his presidential campaign and vowed to keep the nation in check with regard to its trade practices. After his inauguration, Trump ruffled feathers in Beijing when he took a call from the president of Taiwan. The United States has previously abided by a "One China" policy that recognizes Taiwan as a part of China for diplomatic purposes.

At Mar-a-Lago, the leaders are expected to focus on the threat from North Korea, ongoing trade between the two countries and China's actions in the South China Sea.

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