“Red descendants” at this year’s “two sessions”

The annual session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), dubbed China’s leading political advisory body, commenced at the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square in Beijing yesterday, and will run until 12 April. Traditionally held concurrently with the annual session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s highest legislative body that will convene on 5 March, the two meetings are collectively referred to as the “two sessions” (两会).

The mood at this year’s two sessions is slightly more subdued than usual, with Xi Jinping’s incoming administration aiming to restrict ostentatious displays of wealth, lavish banquets, and excessive exchange of gifts that were the hallmark of meetings in recent years. This year the 2,237 delegates will have to make do with alcohol-free buffets.

This year’s two sessions and the reforms supposedly to be discussed there dominate the front pages of China’s newspapers today (see gallery below). The City Lady (都市女报) from Shandong province, however, has as usual taken a slightly different view with a front page story on the “Red descendants” at the two sessions this year, i.e. the delegates who are children and grandchildren of previous Party leaders.

On the City Lady‘s count, there are in total at least 24 “Red descendants” at this year’s CPPCC, 15 men and nine women. The three images on the newspaper’s front page (see image above) are three of the nine female “Red descendants” delegates, namely (from left to right) Deng Xiaoping’s daughter Deng Nan (邓楠), Li Ping’s daughter Li Xiaolin (李小林), and Zhu Rongji’s daughter Zhu Yanlai (朱燕来).

Also included among the 24 are Mao Zedong’s grandson Mao Xinyu (毛新宇), Zhou Enlai’s niece Zhou Bingjian (周秉建), Zhu De’s grandson Zhu Heping (朱和平), Chen Yun’s son Chen Yuan (陈元), Wan Li’s son Wan Lifei (万季飞), Li Xiannian’s daughter Li Xiaolin (another 李小林), and Li Dazhao’s grandson Li Hongta (李宏塔).

Three new arrivals
Three of the 24 are this year appearing for the first time, namely Chen Yuan (the current Chairman of China Development Bank), Lieutenant General Xu Xiaoyan (徐小岩) (son of Xu Xiangqian, a former Marshal in the People’s Liberation Army), and Ren Kelei (任克雷)(son of former Guangdong Party Secretary Ren Zhongyi).

Classification by occupation
After checking on the official occupation of each of the 24, City Lady came up with the following classification: Eight are in government or political posts; ten are in business; five hold military posts; and one is a scholar.

Of the ten “Red descendants” that are listed as employed in business, Li Ping’s daughter Li Xiaolin is particularly noteworthy. The CEO of China Power International Development, a Hong Kong-listed company, she is known variously as the “first sister” or the queen of China’s power market.

Here’s how a few other newspaper front pages today covered the two meetings in more conventional fashion:


Links and sources
The Guardian: Chinese elite tighten their designer belts at sober annual congress
City Lady (都市女报): “红后代”在两会

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