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On this episode of China Uncensored: China’s new First Lady: Upbeat, Presentable, Great Closing Act for Student Massacre Hello soon-to-be news-knowers; this is China Uncensored, and I’m your host Chris Chappell. Well, the United States has them, France and Britain occasionally produce them, and they’re the envy of less fortunate states around the world though North Korea has recently astonished everyone by obtaining its own. No, not nuclear weapons, glamorous first ladies. Now China has recently joined the elite of countries whose first spouse makes her own headlines.

New Communist Party head Xi Jinping recently went abroad with his wife, Peng Liyuan, and she was the one turning heads. No, not Xi; she. Uh, that is, she Ms. Peng! Mr. Xi may have had too many years of dumplings and mind-numbing bureaucracy under his belt to look dashing and it’s probably been a few years since he dashed anywhere. But Peng Liyuan has for years been one of China’s biggest celebrity singers, and a general in the People’s Liberation Army, to boot. And her predecessors as first lady were, uh, well. Let’s just say She adds something to the role. She was famous enough that, when Xi Jinping was chosen as China’s new Communist Party leader, many people just referred to him as Peng Liyuan’s husband. You see, she’s more famous than Xi, and she and Xi combine their fame to that Xi’s even more famous and uh, moving on. Anyway, it was all going according to plan.

A bright, upbeat first lady was finally making China look a little more friendly and dynamic on the world stage, and instead of searching online for censored things like Tiananmen massacre, tons of impressionable Chinese youth were looking for things like Peng Liyuan’s blouse. Then that got censored too. That’s Not a joke. Anyway, the bright and shiny, Kennedy-esque image that Xi and Peng project has now been overshadowed for some people, by a recently-revealed photo of Peng in full army gear, singing to armed troops, in Tiananmen Square. Oh yeah, it’s also in 1989. Shortly after that massacre that never happened. Apparently, Peng was dispatched by the PLA to sing reassuring, patriotic songs to the young soldiers who had recently been forced to gun down thousands of protesting students.

Needless to say, she doesn’t put this one on her resume. It’s worth noting that she might herself have been targeted if she’d turned down the assignment even the official Communist Party leader of the time was thrown out for supporting the students too much. But anyway, while her husband talks about achieving the Chinese Dream and Peng smiles and promotes vegetable eating, like all good first ladies, it might be worth remembering that China is still a bit different from other countries in some important regards. On the outside, it may start looking like Kennedy’s Camelot inside, it’s still more like Stalin and Kremlin.  Thanks for watching this episode of China Uncensored. Once again I’m Chris Chappel. See you next time..

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