Government & Military

Liu He

He listens to the West; and whispers in the ear of China’s most powerful man.

Senior Advisor to Chinese President Xi Jinping

When it comes to the hierarchy of power in Zhongnanhai, the central government compound in Beijing, there’s President Xi Jinping, “chairman of everything,” and then there’s everybody else. But Liu He, Xi’s senior advisor and chair of an influential leading group for financial and economic matters, has as good a claim to being No. 2 as anyone. It so happens that the Harvard-educated Liu, a known reformer, has increasingly become the prime interlocutor for Western officials trying to reach within Xi’s tight inner circle.

If Liu plays his cards right, he will rise even further after China’s nineteenth Party Congress in late 2017, a conclave held every five years during which elite politicians form a new government. The Trump administration will likely be seeing much more of him.

(Photo credit: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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