Why Do China’s Leaders Dye Their Hair?

CDT previously reported on the curiosity around the uniformity of dress at the 18th Party Congress. The BBC reports aside from Western business suits, top leaders also are dying their hair black in order to blend in with one another:

“The Communist Party is one of the most disciplined institutions ever devised by humankind. Not a lot at that level happens purely by accident,” explains Steve Tsang, professor at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham.

“Wearing a kind of uniform and looking pretty similar and maintaining a pretty high manifestation of party discipline gives you a fair bit of protection.”

China’s top leaders are also trying to play down their differences in order to emphasise the stability of the Communist Party, explains Jeremy Goldkorn, founder of Danwei.org, a Beijing-based media research firm.

“They’ve tried to show that the party is not dependent on any single personality, it’s an institution. They’ve tried to devalue the individual in favour of the party.”

See also Photo Series: Scenes from the Two Sessions, which includes photos from the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, via CDT.

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