Xi Jinping today completes his first year as China’s leader with the greatest individual sway over his nation since Deng Xiaoping, a feat that raises the stakes on delivering on pledges for economic and social change.
The Chinese entrepreneur and the Peruvian shopkeeper have never met. Yet Li Shiping’s dream of riches and success in China is uprooting Victor Raul Ancieta’s village 18,000 kilometers (11,000 miles) away in the Andes.
China’s silence on Vice President Xi Jinping’s 12-day absence from public view contrasts with past rebuttals of speculation about top officials and is escalating concern over the nation’s leadership succession.
Zong Qinghou, China’s richest man, traveled to Beijing in March to represent his home province at the annual meeting of the country’s legislature. He won’t be going to next month’s Communist Party congress that will unveil China’s new generation of leaders.
In 2009, the Chinese government pledged $125 billion toward a three-year health-care reform effort to strengthen primary care services, broaden insurance coverage, and advance affordable drugs. With its aging population and increase in lifestyle-related diseases, China’s demand for pharmaceutical drugs will increase sales 25 percent next year, to more than $50 billion, locking in its status as the third- largest pharmaceutical market in the world, according to IMS Health, an international marketing research company. IMS forecasts that China will become the No. 2 pharmaceutical market by 2015.