China: Xi Jinping's Harvard-educated daughter Xi Mingze makes first public appearance

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping's Harvard-educated daughter has made her first public appearance since her father took power in 2013 as she joined her parents in visiting a remote village where Xi began his political career.

Xi along with his only daughter Xi Mingze, 23 and wife Peng Liyuan visited Yanan village in Liangjiahe, Shaanxi province, where they offered Lunar New Year greetings to the local people many of whom remember his six-year stint in the village in the early 1970s as a worker of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

 China: Xi Jinpings Harvard-educated daughter Xi Mingze makes first public appearance

Chinese President Xi Jinping's daughter Xi Mingze. Image courtesy: Twitter

The new Lunar Year which is also celebrated as Spring Festival all over China will begin from February 18.

This is the first time Mingze who previously studied at Harvard University has appeared in public after Xi took power.

She remains out of the public spotlight, and the only available pictures of her are from the 1990s, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.

Mingze did not appear in any of the pictures of her visit to the village posted in China's microblogging site as well as the media, the Post report said.

Xi who is regarded as someone from the princeling generation by virtue of his lineage to top political leaders of the past was the first Chinese leader in recent years to grant a higher profile to his wife Peng who is a celebrated folk singer known all over China.

She travels with Xi on all his foreign tours and is known as a fashion icon.

Observers said the trip was aimed at further projecting Xi's image as inheritor of the Communist Party's "Red roots" and his connection to Mao Zedong and other early leaders, the Post report said.

Dubbed "the cradle of the red revolution", Yanan was where top party leaders - including Mao, Zhou Enlai, and the president's father, Xi Zhongxun , forged the ragtag Red Army into a populist guerrilla force and honed their socialist ideology. The party to used it as its base until 1948.

Xi was sent to the village for "reeducation" in 1969 after his father fell out of favour during the Cultural Revolution.

Xi visited the cave in Liangjiahe village, Yanan, where he lived from 1969 to 1975 while carrying out farm work as a zhiqing, or 'educated youth'.

Commentators say Xi wants to emphasise his role as the inheritor of the party's early leadership and demonstrate his connection to the poor at a time when economic growth is slow.

"Xi has 'moved the cheese' of almost all the cliques within the Communist Party except for the princelings - children of the revolutionaries. They are now the basis of his power," Zhang Lifan, a historian and political commentator in Beijing, was quoted as saying by the Post.

"He needs to stay close to his 'red roots' to show his legitimacy as the party's top leader. It also explains why he attended the Lunar New Year get-together of the princelings earlier this month," he said.


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Updated Date: Feb 14, 2015 15:35:02 IST