Do Chinese leaders ever kiss their wives or hug their children? Surely they do, but you would never know it from the state media, which portray them all as somber look-alikes in dark suits who talk only of weighty national affairs before lining up for group photos that are as stiff and colorless as most of their rhetoric.
That deliberate dullness – no doubt a response to the cult of personality developed by Mao Zedong and, to a lesser extent, his successor, Deng Xiaoping – may soon change.
…… The congress has been followed by a flood of stories on former Shanghai party chief Xi Jinping, 54, widely regarded as Hu’s successor, and his celebrity wife, the popular and beautiful soprano, Peng Liyuan. In one recent article – posted on the China Central Television (CCTV) website and headlined “Peng on Happy Family Life” – the folk superstar, now a youthful-looking 45, explains the secret to her success. [Full Text]