|Spouse of the Paramount leader of China|
15 November 2012
|Preceded by||Liu Yongqing|
|Spouse of the President of China|
14 March 2013
|Preceded by||Liu Yongqing|
|President of the People's Liberation Army Arts College|
|Preceded by||Zhang Jigang|
November 20, 1962 |
|Political party||Communist Party of China|
|Alma mater||China Conservatory of Music|
|Profession||Chinese traditional ethnic singing|
|People's Liberation Army||People's Liberation Army Arts College (rank: Mj. General) July 2012 - Incumbent|
Peng Liyuan (simplified Chinese: 彭丽媛; traditional Chinese: 彭麗媛; pinyin: Péng Lìyuán, Mandarin pronunciation: [pʰə̌ŋ lɨ̂y̯ɛ̌n]; born November 20, 1962 (age 54) is a Chinese contemporary folk singer and performing artist. Peng is the President of the People's Liberation Army Academy of Art, and the wife of the current Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Peng is referred to as the "Chinese First Lady" by the media.
Peng gained popularity as a soprano singer from her regular appearances on the annual CCTV New Year's Gala, a widely viewed mainland Chinese television program that airs during the Chinese New Year. Peng has won many honors in singing competitions nationwide. Peng's most famous singles include People from Our Village (父老乡亲), Zhumulangma (珠穆朗玛) and In the Field of Hope (在希望的田野上). Peng also sang the theme songs of several popular TV series, such as, The Water Margin (1998).
Peng was a civilian member of China's People's Liberation Army, and held the civilian rank equivalent to Major General before she was appointed the Art Academy's dean, upon which she was given the formal rank. Peng was the first in China to obtain a Master's degree in traditional ethnic music when the degree was established in the 1980s.
In 2014, Peng was listed as the 57th Most Powerful Woman in the World by Forbes.
Peng Liyuan is a native of Yuncheng County, Shandong province. Peng joined the People's Liberation Army in 1980, when she was 18 years old, and began as an ordinary soldier. Because of her vocal talent, Peng later performed during frontline tours to boost troop morale during the Sino-Vietnamese border conflicts. Peng first performed nationally and came to fame during the earliest rendition of the CCTV New Year's Gala in 1982, when she performed On the Plains of Hope.
For the greater part of their relationship, Peng has enjoyed a very positive reputation within China, comparable to that of her politician husband. Since her husband became General Secretary of the Communist Party (de facto paramount leader) in November 2012, and Chinese President (de jure head of state) in March 2013, the American press refers to her as the First Lady of China.
Xi and Peng were introduced by friends as many Chinese couples were in the 1980s. Xi was reputedly academic during their courtship, inquiring about singing techniques. Xi was the son of famous Chinese revolutionary Xi Zhongxun, and Peng's family obviously accepted the relationship with ease, due to his attitude. After parental consent, the couple married on September 1, 1987 in Xiamen, Fujian. Four days later, Peng Liyuan returned to Beijing to appear in the National Art Festival, and then immediately departed for the United States and Canada to perform. Since that time, Xi and Peng have led largely separate lives, with Peng spending most of her time in Beijing, and her husband spending his time in Fujian and later in Zhejiang.
Peng is actively involved in politics, and is a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Peng is a WHO Goodwill Ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS since 2011.
Controversy and criticism
Directly after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 in June 1989, Peng Liyuan sang for the martial-law troops. A photo showing the scene in which Peng, wearing a green military uniform, sings to helmeted and rifle-bearing troops seated in rows on Beijing's Tiananmen Square, was swiftly scrubbed from China's Internet, before it could generate discussion online. However, the image — seen and shared by outside observers — revived a memory the leadership prefers to suppress. The image is a snapshot of the back cover of a 1989 issue of a publicly available military magazine, the People's Liberation Army Pictorial.
Peng starred in a song-and-dance number in 2007, that has perky women in Tibetan garb sashaying behind her while she sings an ode to the army that invaded Tibet in 1959. The video has provoked severe criticism from Tibetan rights groups.
In June 2013, the American Foreign Policy magazine's article Why Michelle Obama Shouldn't Meet With Peng Liyuan, approves the First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama's choice not to meet with Peng Liyuan, who sang in support of Chinese troops in Tiananmen Square in 1989, following a crackdown on protesters on June 4. According to the op-ed, Peng was an army representative of a non-ally country who spent her military time belting out CCP propaganda.
- Guhantai news 3/30/2013
- Page, Jeremy (February 13, 2012). "Meet China's Folk Star First Lady-in-Waiting". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- "Peng Liyuan describes her own time in the army" (in Chinese). CE.cn. 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
- Staff Reporter (February 16, 2012). "Red Nobility: Xi Jinping's Harvard daughter". Want China Times. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "UN health agency appoints Chinese singer as Goodwill Ambassador". un.org/. 2011-06-03.
- 彭麗媛六四後舊照曝光 外媒：令中國尷尬的照片, Apple Daily (Taiwan), 2013年03月29日
- 第一夫人觸屠殺敏感話題 彭麗媛六四勞軍照 閃電刪除, Apple Daily (Taiwan), 2013年03月30日
- 彭麗媛 遭爆高歌慰勞六四屠殺部隊, Liberty Times, 2013-3-30
- As China Readies for Transition, 7 Tibetan Self-Immolations in 7 Days, Time, 29 October 2012
- Why Michelle Obama shouldn't meet with Peng Liyuan, Foreign Policy, 2013-6-5
- 不見彭麗媛 陸網友酸蜜雪兒, Apple Daily (Taiwan), 2013-6-7
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Peng Liyuan.|
- Kavanagh, Jim. "Peng Liyuan." CNN. January 20, 2011.
- "China's Likely Next First Lady is a Famous Singer" The New York Times, February 14, 2012
- "China's incoming first lady a challenge for the image makers". Julie Makinen, Los Angeles Times October 21, 2012
|Spouse of the Paramount leader
|Spouse of the President of China