原文标题：Meet the new Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan
BEIJING: Glamorous new first lady Peng Liyuan has emerged as a Chinese diplomatic star, charming audiences and cutting a distinct profile from her all-but-invisible predecessors on her debut official trip abroad.
Peng was featured prominently in Sunday’s Chinese media coverage of her husband President Xi Jinping in Russia on his first state visit since he assumed the presidency earlier this month.
A celebrated performer on state television, Peng watched song-and-dance routines at a performing arts school on Saturday, but did not join in as some media reports had suggested she might. The couple arrived in Tanzania later Sunday, and their trip also includes stops in South Africa and Congo.
An internationally popular first lady could help soften China’s sometimes abrasive international image and mark a victory in its so-far unsuccessful struggle to win over global public opinion.
At the same time, she could boost the popularity of the country’s new leadership at a time when citizens are feeling increasingly alienated and are fed up with the ruling class’s corruption and regal airs.
In recent years, the wives of China’s top officials have traditionally gone almost unseen at home and attracted little attention while accompanying their husbands on state visits.
That was in part a negative reaction to Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing, who was widely despised and later imprisoned for her role as leader of the radical Gang of Four, which mercilessly persecuted political opponents during the chaotic 1966-76 Cultural Revolution.
Women in general wield relatively little power at the top of the Chinese power structure, with just two sitting on the ruling Communist Party’s 25-member decision-making Politburo.
Peng’s emerging high profile appears to be an extension of Xi’s own confidence as he consolidates his control on power and presses a more assertive role for China in global affairs, said Steve Tsang, director of the China Policy Institute at Britain’s University of Nottingham. Her training as a singer and stage performer offers the perfect preparation for such a role, he said.
“Peng is projecting a certain poise and confidence that Xi himself is carrying and he doesn’t need to worry about what other (politicians) might think of her,” Tsang said.
Peng’s image was splashed across Chinese newspapers over the weekend, shown descending arm-in-arm with Xi as they descended from their aircraft after arriving in Moscow on Friday. Her visit to the arts school was carried by state broadcaster CCTV on its main Sunday news broadcast and reported in national newspapers.
The popular Beijing News tabloid ran a full page of items on Peng’s appearances on Sunday, alongside a photo of her arriving at a speech Xi gave Saturday, dressed in an elegant Chinese-style silk tunic and skirt.
“In her role as first lady on this visit abroad, Peng Liyuan is exhibiting China’s soft power,” the paper quoted Wang Fan, head the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University, as saying. “As a singer and artist and a long-term advocate for poverty relief and other causes, Peng has an excellent public image.”
Much of the coverage focused on her personal style, with a report on the mass-market sina.com website noting with satisfaction that the black leather clutch she paired with the outfit was made to order by a Chinese firm in the southwestern city of Chengdu, a flattering contrast with prominent Chinese female politicians scorned publicly for appearing decked head to toe in foreign designer brands.
“In practical terms, this is an important show of support for China’s domestic industries, but in the larger sense, it should raise national self-respect and confidence,” read a posting on China’s popular Weibo microblogging service left by Lin Zhibo, Gansu provincial bureau chief of the Communist Party’s flagship newspaper, People’s Daily.
Chen Li, a real estate agent from the central city of Changsha, said Peng was well-known for her modest ways and calm, dignified manner.
“She’s known to be elegant and fashionable, but she’s also very low-key and doesn’t seem arrogant in the way that you usually associate with the wives of top leaders,” Chen said.
Peng, 50, largely retired from public life after Xi was made China’s leader-in-waiting in 2007, but in recent years has won new acclaim as an ambassador for the World Health Organization. Among the issues she has worked on are tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS _ diseases that still carry considerable social stigma in China.
She also made headlines last year by appearing alongside Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as part of a campaign to discourage smoking, a high-profile cause in a country where about two-thirds of men smoke.
While sometimes described as a folk singer, Peng holds the rank of PLA major general and is best known for her stirring renditions of patriotic odes, often while wearing full dress uniform.
Although her rank is largely honorary, her military status could lead to awkward questions, said University of Nottingham’s Tsang.
“Sooner or later, someone is going to ask whether that’s completely normal, even if she doesn’t have any real military or political ambitions,” Tsang said.
cuk china (usa)
Is this news from a democracy or is this bullsh*t that was published in Xinhua??
The reason that China cant “win global public opinion” as the article says is because they are f***ing commie dictatorship. If the Chinese people could read real news and not the bullsh*t from Govt controlled Xinhua, then they would hate China too.
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anti-fact (usaaaa) replies to fact
you are nothing but a joke. You think the bsht you read everyday is a fact?
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Grab his ear! (The World)
She is pretty. She needs to grab her husband by the ear and tell him not to ‘play Mao’. Mao has gone. He needs to be buried. What does Xi want to plan global military conquest for? Is he not satisfied to make money and live in peace? Maybe she should tell Xi to stay away from the old anglo-hating PLA generals?
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W (SF) replies to Grab his ear!
Don’t worry, Wilde. Xi is not Mao. In fact, starting with Deng Xiaoping in 1980, China has become a business focused country. If you look at photos of each leader since 1950 beginning with Mao and ending with Xi, you will notice they look friendlier and friendlier. This is because China is no longer Communist and is not interested in military conquest, even though it would seem to disappoint some easily excited Indians on this website (on the other hand, the US is both a democracy and is happy to use its military to achieve through violence what it cannot through diplomacy).
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Old man with pen replies to W
We know of a 200 million man army. It comes as ‘insight into the future’ from the Holy Bible (Revelation 9:16 and 16:12). The PLA is known to have 300 million fighting age men available to them. We observe unforgiveness (still even today, big unforgiveness) in China over the Opium Wars and the Japanese invasion of WW2. We see an unnecessary military buildup inside China and China competing furiously with the USA to become the world military leader. We remember from history something Mao said in the 1960s about (his) 200 million soldiers. We see materials diverted to build many more missiles that previously thought (see the article : washington post georgetown university students missiles). We know the “China way” of deception. We know of Chinas sweet talk. We hear and collect prophecies from the Christian churches about China. We believe them because they do come from God. We know through prophecy of Chinese agents inspecting the US grain harvest (a Chinese plan for a ‘harvest destruction’). We know about China! We know she has been planning and building a great hidden army since the end of the Opium Wars. We know she is storing weapons and maintaining them. For the 200 million soldiers. We know she builds for invasion once America is dealt with.
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我们了解一只2亿人的军队来自(启示录 9:16 and 16:12)“未来的启示”。众所周知，解放军拥有3亿适于战斗的人口。我们知晓中国人民直到今天对鸦片战争和二战时期日本侵略依然无法释怀，无法原谅。我们见证了中国不必要的军备扩张以及与美帝疯狂竞争世界军事领导权的行为。我们可以记起毛在1960年代说过的2亿士兵的事情。我们目睹了大量资源投入建造比预想更多的导弹（看文章：华盛顿发文乔治城大学学生导弹）。我们识破了中国梦说法的欺骗行为。了解中国的甜言蜜语，听说基督教会关于中国的预言。我们相信他们，因为这些预言是上帝的意志。预言中国机构检查美国粮食，我们知晓了中国的丰收破坏计划。我们知道中国的一切！自鸦片战争结束以来，她一直计划建造一支神秘部队。她不断储备军备，维持军备。一旦美国要面临中国的威胁时，这些军备就是为2亿人侵略而准备的。
The closing of the ‘great doors’ replies to W
Are you the world traveller? Do you go to China? You do? Well…you need to observe just how unstable China is in behind her open doors. Trouble brews young man and young woman. he builds for action in Asia. It is a long plan. It is older than your grandfather. It is so old most people have forgotten the plan. China hasnt though. Xi needs new recruits for his great army…the old Mao Zedong dream army. He needs to bring unity to his people. So what does he do? He plans to close the ‘great doors’ of China and recruit for his great army. Are you there on that terrible day young man and young woman when he shuts the ‘great doors’ of China? I hope not. You need to study China even if you go for a week of sightseeing. Look at the unrest. It is madness amongst the people of China. Perhaps you should stay at home and go tothe USA or maybe New Zealand. If you get caught it is because you were the goose and the donkey. Be sure you observe China before you go there. It is not good to travel to the Middle Kingdom with Xi at the wheel. He is not genuinely at the wheel though. The Generals with the post-Opium Wars animosity are.
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你是世界旅行家吗？你去过中国吗？ 你去过？ 好吧，你仅需要了解下她开放的背后多么不稳定。他要在亚洲有所行动。这是个长期计划。比你祖父还要久远。 久得让大部分人都忘记还有这么个计划。可是中国没有忘记。他需要重新招募强大军队。。。。即旧的毛泽东军事梦想。他需要维护国家统一。因此他做了什么呢？他计划闭关锁国，并扩充军队。年轻人，当锁国的时候，那糟糕的日子你会在那里吗?我希望你不在。你需要了解中国，即使只是一周的观光。看看中国的混乱。中国人极尽疯狂。也许你应该宅在家里，去美国或新西兰。假如你被抓了，原因就是你太傻了。在你去中国之前，你确定你了解中国吗？去习领导下的中原王国旅游可不太好。另外，中国高层在鸦片战争之后依然对此耿耿于怀。
Get a Badge
all this coverage is happening bcz Chinese Govt has not imposed a ban on this kind of coverage, Chinese govt is well known for stupid bans from fb, to twitter, to even covering lives of ppl….just wait…a ban is coming
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A K Gupta (Bangalore)
In Confucius China the status of womenfolk is very low. It is good to see that this is improving with the time.