For some reason dictators’ childhood snaps fascinate me unreasonably (I loved this identification game beyond words). Surprising proportion of hotties in there, too. Seems as though it’s practically part of the job description. No wonder my own career never really took off.
Even Xi Jinping, who is hardly a world-renowned sex god today (and I apologise for that mental image), used to look somewhat like Kim Soo-hyun.
Anyhow, the new photos confirm that he was something of a looker in the cultural revolution days:
There are also a couple of pics of him as an adorably gawky child:
(Again, on the left. Clearly one for the admirable chroniclers at http://howhigharexijinpingspantstoday.tumblr.com/.)
The full photo set can be found here: http://en.people.cn/n/2014/1211/c98649-8821104.html (number 8 is, I presume, a gag by some bored subeditor, due to be fired forthwith). I also found out something else that I never knew before: Xi Jinping (‘near peace’) has a brother named Xi Yuanping (‘far peace’). How sweet.
In any case, this looks like a facet of Xi’s efforts to transform the Chinese system into more of an openly clientelist, personality-politics model, à la Modi or Putin. Just a small thing, but it seemed worth noticing.