Xi Yao-tong

Xī Yáo-táng
夕瑶棠
Xi Yao-tong profile.png
Premier of Xiaodong
Assumed office
19th November 2016
PresidentYuan Xiannian
DeputyJiang Shaohong
Yuan Qinqin
Preceded byYuan Xiannian
Minister of International Relations
In office
30thAugust 2005 – 19th November 2016
Prime MinisterYuan Xiannian
Preceded byQin Baoming
Succeeded byXu Bangguo
Personal details
Born (1955-04-23) April 23, 1955 (age 65)
Flag of Xiaodong.png Baiqiao, Xiaodong
Spouse(s)Deng Fulan
Children3
Alma materUniversity of Baiqiao
This is a Xiaodongese name; the family name is Xi (夕).

Xi Yao-tong (Xiaodongese: 夕瑶棠; born 23rd April 1955) is a Xiaodongese politician who has been the Premier of Xiaodong since 2016. He was previously Vice-Premier of Xiaodong from 2005-2016 and Governor of the Nanqing province from 2000 to 2005.

Born in 1950 Xi grew up in a working class family. Xi served as a career bureaucrat within the Xiaodongese Broadcasting Network until 1990 when he was promoted to the Chief of Staff to the office of Han Guanzheng. Xi was able to ascend through the ranks of the government during the 1990's where he was connected to prominent reformists such as Jiang Zhongyu, Xu Yunshan and Han Guanzheng, being appointed Governor of Nanqing in 2000.

In 2005 he became Minster of International Relations in the government of Jiang Zhongyu and Yuan Xiannian. As International Relations Minister he became closely allied with Premier Yuan Xiannian and played a core role in promoting shifts in Xiaodongese foreign policy to a more assertive role in south Coius and relying on the International Forum for Developing States to project Xiaodongese influence.

In 2016 following the resignation of Yuan Xiannian as premier after replacing Jiang Zhongyu as State Chairman Xi became Premier over vice-premier Jiang Shaohong. He has largely focused on international relations during his tenure.

Xi has been identified with the relatively hardline Yuan Xiannian throughout his career, combing economic modernisation with nationalism. Xi has consistently been associated with advocacy for focusing on a balanced approach to economic growth and social welfare and creating a modern, mixed-market economy focused on technology and fostering innovation. He has also been a strong advocate for south–south cooperation and has placed more emphasis on ties with developing countries through the International Forum for Developing States. Xi has been described as "one of Xiaodong's foremost political operators" despite his career as a technocrat due to his "ruthless pragmatism, and has been identified as the Xiaodongese regime's chief foreign policy operator.

Early life and career

Xi Yao-tong was born in 1955 in the city of Baiqiao in a working class family of dock workers’, the first of four children. He grew up in the dock workers’ district in Baiqiao which was notable at the time for extreme poverty and disease. Xi was able to get an adequate primary education before at the age of 12 being sent to be a runner at the docks, but nevertheless continued to attend school. He was able to pass selective exams at the age of 17 to enter higher education which enabled him to attend university albeit on a loan from the government.

Xi attended the University of Baiqiao where he studied chemistry. Whilst at the University of Baiqiao Xi met his future wife Deng Fulan. Xi graduated from the University of Baiqiao in 1977 and subsequently went to work for the Xiaodongese Broadcasting Network.

Career

During his time in the Xiaodongese Broadcasting Network Xi cultivated strong links with reformists connected to QIan Xingwen, becoming one of the XMC's "state representatives" (a term used to describe people who coordinated activities between the government and the XBN). Xi became connected to prominent members of the government based in Baiqiao such as Xu Hunyuan and Qian Xingwen. In 1985 he left the Broadcasting Network and started to work for the privately owned Xiaodongese Bank of Commerce, but left the job in 1988 when he became an media adviser to Han Guanzheng. In 1990 Xi became Chief of Staff for Han Guanzheng, and headed his office until he was appointed to oversee fiscal affairs in the province of Gaoming. Xi by this point was recognised as being close to the governing clique of Premier Han which was concentrated outside of the traditional bureaucratic clique in Rongzhuo and more populist in its approach.

In 2001, Xi was appointed by Han to serve as Minister of Communication and Media Strategy, where Xi formulated the idea of authoritarian democracy. As Minister of Communication and Media Strategy Xi promoted a conflicting view of the Xiaodongese government, emphasising both its democratic and dictatorial characteristics.
Xi Yao-tong with a representative from the Esquarian Community.
Within the Council of Ministers, Xi was known as an ally to Han who nevertheless was also closely connected to Yuan Xiannian's hard line faction especially on the issues of foreign affairs. Although Xi was seen as a potential successor to Han alongside Second Minister Yuan Xiannian and State Presidium Presiding Officer Jiang Zhongyu, he lacked the strong family ties of both Yuan and Jiang (both of whom were princelings) and was sidelined by Han’s moderate faction, which saw Xi as to close to Yuan Xiannian with Han seeing Jiang as his natural successor. Xi was influential in persuading Han Guanzheng to resign alongside Presiding Officer Jiang Zhongyu in 2005 following poor polling results. Following Han’s resignation Yuan Xiannian became First Minister, with Xi becoming Minister of International Relations and Jiang both Second Minister and Finance Minister.

Initially, it was expected that Yuan would be sidelined by Jiang and Xi who between 2005-2006 were the de facto leaders of Xiaodong. However, a personality clash between Jiang and Xi led to Xi to wholeheartedly support the government of Yuan whilst Jiang attempted to exert influence through his moderate faction.

As International Relations Minister, Xi became notably for advocating for a more muscular foreign policy whilst remaining committed to maintaining cooperation with other states through dialogue. He was influential in cultivating close ties with countries such as Ankoren, Qaradalai and Razaria emphasising south-south cooperation. Relations also improved under Xi's tenure with Ambrose, whilst there was a cooling of relations with Tuthina.

In 2006, Xi made a speech in which he said "imagine a world where the developing countries support each other, exchange ideas, exchange successful policies and plans, while warning against failed ones, where they exchange technologies and expertise, rather than seeking this from the developed world which only leads to the introduction of malignant multi-national corporations who treat workers poorly and have little respect for political institutions - corruption happens. By working together can you get the protection of sovereignty among the developing nations". Xi publicly pushed for the creation of a forum in which developing countries could protect their sovereignty from multi-national corporations and foreign governments.

In 2010, Xi was able to manoeuvre himself to at the party plenum that year be confirmed as the Vice-Chairman of the Regeneration Society and thus be promoted to the post of Second Minister. The confirmation of Xi as Second Minister bookmarked him as the most likely successor to Yuan - Xi had able to court the support of former allies to Han Guanzheng who switched their support from Jiang Zhongyu to Xi who was seen as a compromise candidate between the pro-Yuan faction candidate Xu Bangguo and the anti-Yuan candidate Jiang.

In 2016 following low poll ratings and huge student protests the year before First Minister Yuan Xiannian came under enormous pressure to resign from his posts as party chairman and First Minister. In a series of backroom talks with party grandees and faction leaders Yuan agreed to resign from the posts of First Minister but retain the party chairmanship, as well as becoming Chairperson of the State Presidium of Xiaodong once then-incumbent Jiang Zhongyu's term expired later that year. In July 2016 Yuan stepped down from the role. As Xi was his deputy he was picked for the position of First Minister, whilst giving Yuan ally Xu Bangguo the position of Second Minister. Xi was the first First Minister not to co-currently be party chairman.

Premier

File:Xi campaigning.jpg
Xi Yao-tong meeting constituents in his Jixian electoral district
Shortly after Xi's assumption of power he began to campaign for the Regeneration Society to secure another term in government in the 2016 general election. The combination of the stock market crash, large cuts in rural subsidies for farmers in 2014 and a corruption scandal and subsequent protests in 2015 led to the Regeneration Society's popularity to decline ahead of the election, often being behind in the polls to the opposition United Democratic Appeal for Xiaodong which emphasised anti-corruption, a national living wage and a reform to a semi-presidential system of government. The Alliance for Democracy in Xiaodong, a populist, alter-globalization party formed after the 2015 student protests also was gaining popularity.

Xi, thanks to his modest background, was put at the forefront of the Regeneration Society's campaign being seen as more popular than Regeneration Society Chairman Yuan Xiannian, who was seen as less trustworthy. Xi's campaign claimed it would "clear up corruption" and that a UDA-ADX coalition would result in "massive instability" for Xiaodong.

The results of the election saw the Regeneration Society lose its majority, getting only 100 of the 215 State Presidium seats and losing the popular vote both in single member and multi-member electoral districts to the UDA - Xi was one of the few Regeneration Society members to retain his seat in the Huayuan prefecture. The composition of the State Presidium gave neither the UDA/ADX coalition nor the Regeneration Society a majority, with State Chairman Jiang Zhongyu appointing Xi to form a minority caretaker government until a more permanent coalition could be inaugurated. As Liu's term was expected to expire on the 19th October it was decided that the Xi caretaker government would remain in place until a new State Chairperson was elected.

The Regeneration Society proposed Yuan Xiannian for the State Chairpersonship whilst the UDA and ADX proposed People's Party member Li Zheng. The vote which required 141 votes in a first round saw neither Li or Yuan gain the necessary votes for the position, necessitating a second round. The second round which required a simple majority to see the State Chairman elected also saw neither candidate elected which meant that the State Presidium was dissolved and new elections called.

The 2017 election saw the Xiaodong Regeneration Society gain 22 seats giving them a comfortable majority, whilst all other parties lost seats. However, these results were challenged by other parties on the grounds that the Regeneration Society prior to the election had consistently been behind in the polls and there had been irregularities during the election such as " 100% turnout in some electoral districts, ballot stuffing caught on camera, electronic voting machines automatically registering all votes for the ZSH, opposition voting areas facing ballot shortages and powercuts limiting electronic voting and ballots in support of opposition candidates destroyed.". As a result several protests were hosted across Xiaodong with 2 million protesting in Rongzhuo alone demanding the government publish the real results of the election.

On the third day of the protests an emergency session was hosted in the State Presidium which voted to bypass the constitution and elect Yuan Xiannian as State Chairman whilst also entrusting him with emergency powers. Yuan declared a state of emergency and after consulting with the Council of Ministers approved the use of military force against the protesters. Xi stated the protesters were foreign-backed terrorists and as such condoned the use of military force against them.

Following the crackdown on protesters, Xi approved of a policy of "Normalisation". Normalisation under Xi has aimed to "heal divisions" in Xiaodongese society which Xi blamed on "anarchistic freedoms that have been tolerated for to long". Xi warned Xiaodongese youth were in danger of turning into a "western-esque "me generation, similar to the process that has occurred in Namor". Xi also emphasised Normalisation would see a return to centralised control and a a more authoritarian government. Xi allowed emergency powers to be given to State Chairman Yuan Xiannian, as well as allowing the police, army and Shujichu to arrest anyone suspected of anti-government or anti-Xiaodongese activity.

In January 2017 41 members of the opposition including leader of the opposition Hu Wenjuan were arrested, and a month later Xi stated that the Righteous Harmony Movement (Yundong) had infiltrated the government and so began to purge officials connected to the movement including former State Chairman Jiang Zhongyu. By March 2017, 1,500 people had been executed by the regime, 30,000 arrested and 80,000 either suspended or removed from their jobs as part of Normalisation.

The Xi government upon coming to power make several moves to stabilise the economic situation, courting investment from Tuthina and approving of several stimulus packages to retain confidence in the economy.

Following the dissolution of the Esquarian Union Xiaodong continued to be a member of the Greenwich Area, and gained preferential access to the Esquarian Community's common market when they were merged. However following the start of Normalisation Xi announced that the government would withdraw from this agreement after coming under intense scrutiny from the EC. As a result, the Xiaodongese economy which was already in a recession contracted even more and inflation rose to 450%.

Xi holding an economic summit of Xiaodongese business leaders in October 2016
In January 2017 Xi and Yuan Xiannian announced an economic stabilisation plan with the following components that aimed to reduce inflation and restore growth -
  • A short-term period of fiscal stimulus (of over 金4.7 trillion) followed by significant cuts in government expenditure (estimated between 金500 billion - 金1.5 trillion) over a five year period.
  • Privatisation of state assets.
  • Liberalising wage controls and working conditions.
  • Emergency price controls to be placed on basic goods and services.
  • A sharp devaluation of the Renjin.
  • New regulations on the Xiaodongese Reserve Bank which will curb the ability to print money to cover deficits.
  • Halve the corporation tax from 13.44% to 5.68%.
  • Expand the Central Economic Directive and consolidate government cooperation in the economy.
  • Liberalise foreign trade and draft new free-trade agreements with economic partners.

In April 2017 Xi claimed Xiaodong's economic troubles were "exaggerated" and that "the government has maintained consistent fiscal discipline despite hiccups in the economy, and we will continue to pursue economic reform and maintain a stable economy".

The 2017-2018 budget saw the government commit to structural reforms including liberalisation of the labour market making it easier to hire and fire workers', restrict the ability to strike and allow companies to set a more liberalised wage policy. Reforms also included an abolition of the temporary price controls imposed in February and the withdrawal of state subsidies in food and fuel (with the government creating a 金85,000 million Relief Fund to help those affected by subsequent price increases) and removing much of the red tape to allow foreign companies to find it easier to launch takeovers of Xiaodongese business. In August 2017 Xi stated "We predict these fundamental structural reforms will improve the economic direction of the country and will serve to reduce inflation".

Xi has stated that Xiaodongese foreign policy should be "anti-imperialist" but that Xiaodong should have "a thousand friendships". Under Xi there has been a push for deeper relations with the other nations of the International Forum of Developing States where he serves as its Secretary-General, especially Namor and Ankoren. Xi attended the 2016 Esquarian Summit, the first Xiaodongese leader to be invited to such a summit.

In March 2017 as a result of several sanctions being placed on Xiaodong, Xi in a joint statement with Yuan Xiannian announced an end to dual citizenship and forcibly seized the assets of countries that placed sanctions on Xiaodong such as Luziyca, Senria and Ainin. In the same speech, Yuan and Xi stated that "Countries like Ainin, and Senria alongside the Esquarian Community constitute an axis of evil that seeks to undermine national sovereignty and support terrorism".

After a statement from Everàrd Torsièl demanding Xiaodong adhere to a resolution passed by the Esquarian Parliament to respect human rights, the Xiaodongese government responded by sating the EC were attempting to undermine Xiaodong. State owned media stated "The EC would ideally want Xiaodong to be like Aucuria - a client state of the elite who has been an agent in supporting the globalist agenda" and that the EC was spreading anti-Xiaodongese propaganda to distract from their own failings.

In November 2016 Xi hosted the State President of Ankoren Evren Volkan in Rongzhuo, where the two agreed to strike down tariff barriers and give Xiaodong preferential access to Ankoreni oil in return for Ankoren getting discounted prices on Xiaodongese coal, bauxite and iron. Xi praised Ankoren and pledged Xiaodongese support for Ankoren in its military operations in Nautasia. In January 2017 Ankoren agreed to sell six Ty-H1 naval bombers and one Ty-H1S surveillance plane to Xiaodong alongside several anti-ship and anti-surface missiles in a deal estimated to cost Xiaodong $1.8 billion.

Xi has been a strong advocate for increased cooperation with Ankoren, and was considered crucial in advocating the creation of the International Forum for Developing States through his close links with Ankoren. Xi calls for an "Estanban-Rongzhuo Axis.

Senrian-Xiaodongese relations have deteriorated following the start of Normalisation, as Senrian Prime Minister Nisimura Hayato called Normalisation "utterly disgusting" and stated Senria would help "anyone else fleeing this horrific repression in Xiaodong". Xi criticised Nisimura as housing terrorists, and accused those targeted as part of Normalisation as being part of a Senrian-backed plot to destabilise Xiaodong.

Nisimura stated in March 2017 that "It is now hopefully clear to all of Esquarium the threat that the Xiaodongese dictatorship poses to peace and stability in Borea, Lahudica, and elsewhere" which worsened Xiaodongese-Senrian relations. Relations further deteriorated when Xi's government backed evidence put forward by controversial Xiaodongese historian Zhou Youyu that claimed that Xiaodongese forces only killed 100,000 Senrian civilians in the Senrian-Xiaodongese War and that Senrian forces killed 400,000.

Under Xi there has been worsened relations with Tuthina, mainly due to Xiaodongese actions in regards to Senrian-Xiaodongese relations. Xiaodongese comments of Senrian militarism and the buying of arms and weaponry from Teutonia and Ankoren has been said to lead to criticism from Tuthina. Xi's government has denied any rift with Tuthina, and has stated its commitment to cordial Tuthinian-Xiaodongese relations.

In February 2017 Xi made a deal with Tuthinian business leaders to host the Elysium program in Xiaodong.

Under Xi relations have worsened with countries such as Ainin and members of the Esquarian Community since the start of Normalisation, with many countries being critical of Xiaodongese policies.

Views

Xi has been identified as being a moderate, being less authoritarian and anti-Senrian than his predecessor Yuan Xiannian. Xi has called himself a pragmatist who is "only concerned with the welfare of Xiaodong and the Xiaodongese people".

However some political commentators have accused Xi of being a populist who has "shifted his views based on the situation". Xiaodongese political scientist Hu Guxiang has stated "Xi has few fixed principles. His ideological flexibility means he can convince nationalists, socialists and liberals that he is one their side. Hu stated however that his record generally points him as being in favour of centralising power within the regime whilst using propaganda as a tool for legitimisation rather then force.

Xi has been called as the Xiaodongese regime's chief ideologist and crucial in shaping Xiaodongese politics into managed democracy.

Historical revisionism

Xi has held contradictory positions in regards to historical revisionism. In 2002, Xi stated that "there is no proof Xiaodong conducted a genocide, or indeed any form of mass killing, in the 1930's in Senria." However in 2007 following several comments by Yuan Xiannian over the genocide that were widely seen as denying its existence, Xi stated "whilst not supporting the idea that there was a policy of genocide - there wasn't - there were some instances of mass killing by rogue units under the command of Qiu Hanjie. We recognise these mass killings as a tragedy and will continue to recognise that fact".

In 2013, Xi called the Senrian-Xiaodongese War "an issue of history...historical acts of aggression by Senria will not impact current Xiaodongese policy".

Social welfare

Xi has been a prominent proponent to a more balanced model of Xiaodongese development, believing that Xiaodong as a nation must be "as concerned for the social welfare of the Xiaodongese people as economic growth", stating social welfare entails "a sense of nationhood and that Xiaodongese people are an undivided people". Xi says however that social welfare must not disrupt entrepreneurship and the aspirational potential of the Xiaodongese people.

Personal life

Family

Xi has been married three times. He married his first wife, Xie Shaogong, in 1976 at the age of 20. Xie had been a childhood friend and together they had one child, a boy called Xi Wancang who was born in 1978. However, the relationship did not last with Xie divorcing Xi in 1984. In 1985 Xi married Jiang Liewen, a colleague of his at the Xiaodongese Mining Confederation. The two had two children together, a boy named Xi Chusheng and a girl named Xi Mei, born in 1989 and 1992 respectively. Personal differences however meant in 1994 the relationship broke down with the two divorcing that year.

In 1994 shortly after his divorce he married Deng Fulan, who had been his principal private secretary for a little over three years. Since marrying Deng Xi has had three more children, two girls named Xi Chen and Xi Xun, and a boy named Xi Junzhuo, who were born in 1996, 1998 and 2003 respectively. Xi is said to pay a "substantial amount" of money to his former wives and other children.

Wealth

Xi has since his days in the Xiaodongese Broadcasting Network has close links with the Xiaodong business community, and has within government been seen as a representative for the coal lobby. This has been criticised as being corrupt, as Xi has been recorded to have a large amount of wealth that outstrips his ministerial salary. Xi refuses to disclose his tax returns and has never commented on his wealth. In 2012 when asked about the question he said he had received "personal gifts" from business leaders but that these were due to "myself being personal friends with such leaders...I have spent my entire life battling corruption". Template:First Ministers of Xiaodong Template:Xiaodong Regeneration Society