Hard truths from a hard man

China’s Leninists certainly never forgot hard truths about power.

“People who have little experience with power, those who have been far away from it, tend to regard these things as mysterious and novel,” a younger Xi Jinping once told an interviewer, reflecting on the ruthless purging of his father by Mao and his experience during China’s Cultural Revolution. “But I look past the superficial things,” he said. “The flowers and the glory and the applause. I see the detention houses, the fickleness of human relationships. I understand politics on a deeper level.”


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