Xi Jinping

CCTV series tells the story of Xi Zhongxun

Programme interviews more than 300 people in telling story of Xi Zhongxun, revolutionary leader and father of the current president

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 12:51pm

Relatives of President Xi Jinping have recalled their memories of the family patriarch, the revolutionary hero Xi Zhongxun , in a documentary series airing on state television.

The programme, which has been in the works for a decade, features interviews with more than 300 people and video and audio recordings by the senior Xi.

In one of the most compelling segments aired so far, his widow, Qi Xin, spoke of their early relationship: "It took just one year for us to get married after we met. But our marriage had a firm political and emotional grounding. He, at age 29, was then a young and capable revolutionary leader," she said. "His sincerity moved me. I was then a 19-year-old simple girl, also a determined revolutionist. My situation touched him."

Video: China state-run TV releases documentary about Xi Jinping's father, Xi Zhongxun

The series consists of six one-hour episodes, with CCTV airing them two at a time, from Monday to today.

CCTV started its research 10 years ago and began production three year ago after it became public that Xi had been selected as successor to Hu Jintao .

The series illustrates how the senior Xi took part in the Communist Party revolution, helping to found the guerilla bases in the northwestern provinces of Shaanxi and Gansu, and played an important role in establishing the mainland's special economic zones.

As with many revolutionary leaders, he fell in and out of favour with the party, depending on which faction was in the ascendency. In 1962, internal party struggles saw him purged from all positions and he was not rehabilitated until 1978.

He died in 2002 at the age of 89.

CPC Party History Press yesterday published three books on Xi Zhongxun, featuring some of his writings, recollections about him from his comrades-in-arms, along with hundreds of photographs. They complement an official biography, the first part of which was published in 2008 and the second this past August.

Jia Juchuan, one of its main authors, told the South China Morning Post that the senior Xi had lived a frugal lifestyle and maintained a pragmatic attitude about life and work. "This will certainly have influenced his children," Jia said.

"Xi senior's political mindset in the late 1980s was largely in line with the reformist Hu Yaobang, though we couldn't get access to documents recording the self-criticism meeting in 1987," Jia said. Hu was general party secretary until he was sacked that year.

"In commemorating the late leaders, we should stress how to learn from history in order to serve the current society," Jia said.