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Peng Liyuan – China’s dutiful first lady

Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady, here in her role as Unesco ambassador for better education for women and girls

When Xi Jinping came to power in 2013, he was at first the “Man of Peng Liyuan” for many Chinese. After all, Peng was already a star in China when Xi was still climbing the provincial ladder. “Her singing is known in all the towns and villages of the motherland, her art deeply rooted in the masses,” the Xinhua news agency wrote in an ode to the 59-year-old female soprano. For many years, Peng’s specialty was so-called red folk songs – socialist lyrics with traditional melodies. Peng also enjoyed performing them at military events. After the suppression of the student movement on Tiananmen Square in 1989, she sang in uniform for the “victorious” soldiers. Politically, she always clearly stood by the Party.

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