This post was edited by aki1 at 2012-4-26 14:05|
Peng Liyuan, Major general, People’s Liberation Army
In one of her most popular songs, Peng Liyuan, a star singer of the People’s Liberation Army, croons, “Our future is in the field of hope.” Peng’s future has nearly arrived: As the wife of Communist Party heir apparent Xi Jinping, Peng will likely become first lady when her husband replaces Hu Jintao as president in 2013. Ever since Mao Zedong’s wife, Jiang Qing, was blamed for some of the worst excesses of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese first ladies have kept a very low profile. Unlike her three post-Mao predecessors, however, 49-year-old Peng is famous in her own right: Her melodic voice has made her one of the best-known singers in China, and until a few years ago she was much more famous than her husband, the career politician. Besides working on social causes (she is a World Health Organization goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS), she might also bring grace and charisma to a government often seen as out of touch with the people.
Liu Yandong, the state councilor is so also selected in the ranking.
Although they hold up “half the sky,” as Mao Zedong famously said, women make up just over 20 percent of the delegates in China’s national legislature. Former chemist Liu Yandong is the outlier: the only woman in the Politburo, the 25-member elite decision-making body at the top of the Communist Party pyramid. Considered a close ally of President Hu Jintao, she has a good chance of ascending this fall to become one of the small handful in the Politburo Standing Committee, the true ruling council at the center of the system. As with everyone in China’s opaque Politburo, little is known about how Liu’s politics differ from those of her colleagues, though some analysts think she favors increasing China’s contacts with the outside world; the 66-year-old Liu has an honorary Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and spoke at Yale University in 2009. She would be the first woman in Chinese history to make it to the Standing Committee.
Source: Foreign Policy