No-one really knows much about the man who will take the world's most populous nation through the next decade, or indeed what his plans for China will be.
He is slightly more colourful than the parade of grey suits who've made up the all-powerful Communist Party elite over the last 10 years - probably the best known thing about him is that he's married to a glamorous Chinese singer.
We travelled to rural Shaanxi Province to try to piece together the background of the man who wants to take China to "super-power" status.
Like thousands of others he was sent to the countryside by Chairman Mao during the Cultural Revolution to "learn from the peasants".
We were warned by our driver that we risked being arrested for trying to reach the cave dwelling where Xi Jinping spent seven formative years as a teenager.
Normally foreigners are stopped from getting anywhere near by village officials.
Our driver was so fearful of going to Liangjiahe village where Xi had lived he wanted to drop us on the outskirts believing he would have his car confiscated by the authorities as a punishment.
We turned off the main road and down an un-made track looking out for plain-clothed village officials who might turn us back.
Looking at our watches we were hoping to find them cat-napping after their lunch. It was a tactic which paid off.
Before we knew it we were suddenly outside the house where Xi Jinping had lived.
Looking out of the back window of our car for a second we thought we were being followed.
But as the vehicle behind overtook us we knew the coast was clear. But we also knew we wouldn't have long before the village officials really did arrive.
I walked through a big red entrance and straight into the courtyard of what was Xi's home four decades ago. But a house it was not.
It was quite literally a cave which had been dug into the hillside and nothing had changed.
A sheet hangs up where you might expect a door into the middle of three separate living areas.
There's still no running water and the people live off the land.
A woman who didn't want to be named came out of the end "cave" and told us how she met Xi Jinping when she was a little girl and he came back for a visit.
She told us she didn't remember much about the man who will be China's next President.
Standing in her slippers she was almost oblivious to his importance. That tells you a lot about the country Xi Jinping is taking over.
As we filmed we become aware of a group of men gathering outside.
Our already nervous driver pulled the car up in front of the entrance - a clear indication to us he thought it was time we left.
As we prepared to go we could hear a moped coming up the road. It stopped and a man in a leather jacket got off - asking us who we were and what we wanted.
It was the much anticipated village official.
He started dialling into his mobile phone - no doubt calling the police. We told him we were leaving.
We had found out all we needed to know.
We had a sense of the rural community which may have influenced Xi Jinping as he takes power of the world's most populous nation for the next 10 years.
Into the bargain we have been reminded about the workings of the Communist Party - its iron grip and the fear it instils in the people it rules.