After being recently named the top leader in the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping’s ancestry has generated a great deal of interest online.
Xi’s father Xi Zhongxun, who was born in Fuping, Shanxi Province and who later passed away in 2002, once said, “My ancestral home was Deng County (renamed to Dengzhou City in 1988), Henan Province. My grandfather (Xi Yongsheng) owned two acres of land at the time and life was very difficult; coupled with natural disaster and constant banditry, my family fled to Fuping, Shanxi Province,” according to a report from Sohu.
Towards the end of Yuan Dynasty and the beginning of Ming Dynasty, the Chinese population diminished–especially in the Central Plain region due to war, the abandonment of irrigation projects, overtaxing, and massive floods from the Yellow River.
At that time, Nanyang had only more than 20,000 people, leaving Dengzhou with between 400 and 500 residents, causing large tracts of land to become barren. To remedy the situation, the government of the Ming dynasty adopted a carrot and stick approach to move residents out of parts of Shanxi, Jiangxi and Taihu to the Central Plain, which is a large area in northeastern China that covers others parts of Shanxi Province as well as Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, and Anhui provinces.
Among those who moved, there was a man named Xi Sijing who came from Xingan County in Jiangxi Province and moved to Yanzili in Henan Province to farm the barren land. He is one of Xi Jinping’s ancestors.
According to the report, after around 600 years of propagation, the Xis have grown to a prominent family with several thousand members.
Counting the descendants of Xi Sijing that occupy the townships of Shilin and Zhang, the number reaches to more than 2,600. Around 1,300 lives in the town of Shilin.
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