President Xi Jinping is China’s most powerful leader in decades. Not since the days of Mao Zedong has one figure so dominated Chinese life. Mr. Xi, who welcomed President Trump to China on Wednesday, cannot yet match Mao’s grandeur. But he has inspired a devout following that some critics describe as the early stages of a personality cult.
Here’s how Mr. Xi has used the tried-and-true strategies of autocrats to present himself as a transformative figure.
Perhaps the most telling sign of Mr. Xi’s dominance came last month, when he was awarded a second five-year term as China’s leader.