A Bloomberg Businessweek profile of China’s next president starts with a little history.

During the Cultural Revolution, the future paramount leader of China spent seven years in Shaanxi Province, then a remote, poverty-stricken area in the northwest. Xi Jinping’s father, a top revolutionary leader, fell from grace in one of Mao’s periodic purges. In 1969, 15-year-old Xi was sent to the countryside to learn from the peasants, hauling manure and coal. At one point, families in his village subsisted on bark and herbs, and women and children had to beg.

One might expect that experience to sour a man on the joys of communist totalitarianism. Not Xi. We learn a bit later in the article:

In Xi, a consummate insider and scion of the Maoist revolution, the Communist Party appears to have tapped a leader who will strive for political continuity above all, safeguarding the power and prerogatives of China’s ruling elite.

If one of the victims of Chinese communism is unwilling to accept the system’s utter moral bankruptcy, that’s yet another reason to be cautious about China’s future.