First lady Peng gives soft power a woman’s touch
Globaltimes.cn | 2013-3-26 17:32:00
By Globaltimes.cn
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        Editor's Note

Glamorous first lady Peng Liyuan has emerged as one of the highlights during Chinese President Xi Jinping's debut official visit abroad. 

Her elegance and fashionable style have not only advanced her into the international limelight once again, but also caused an instant sensation back home.


        Viewpoints

Chinese Media:

●Global Times
First lady helping build faith in Chinese brands
China's first lady has brought awareness from Chinese society toward its own brands.

To some point, China's modernization process is also a process in which we should no longer feel inferior toward our own brands and culture.

First lady's radiance delights world and boosts soft power
Given China's rise, China's first lady diplomacy is also expected to get a significant boost. Peng's graceful performance and inspiring speeches delivered abroad could send the message out soundly and profoundly that the representative of Chinese mothers cares for orphans in Russia and elsewhere, and that China is committed to working with others for world peace and development.

Her style, character, and radiance happily promote China's cultural image abroad.

Public’s enthusiasm for Peng mirrors brightness of new political scene
Referring to the roles that first ladies play in different countries, it can be assumed that China's first lady will develop her own characteristics to echo the international culture of first ladies and respond to the needs of social development. Peng's first appearance has proved her special strength in influencing society. And China's soft power, which is often mentioned by world media, will increase.

●Phoenix TV
First lady Peng Liyuan has softened China’s diplomatic style and left an impression on the world, according to commentator Zheng Hao. 

“As Peng stands at the center of the international stage, her wisdom, beauty, tenderness and passion for life stands testimony to all Chinese women,” he added.

Foreign Media:

●Associated Press
"First ladies are ambassadors of the culture and the design and of the soft power of a country. I'm glad that she chose to wear Chinese and take up that role of spokesperson for Chinese design here," said Hong Huang, publisher of the fashion magazine iLook and one of the most popular microbloggers in China.

Hong said it was too early to tell if Peng's high-profile public appearance signaled that she would be playing a more significant role in Chinese politics than her predecessors, who — unlike many of their Western counterparts — have been largely unseen. "It's good that finally China has a very pretty, very beautiful first lady and she can hopefully speak up for a lot more and complement whatever Xi wants to say, in a way, like all first ladies do."

●Lianhe Zaobao
Peng is obviously qualified to be China’s first lady. As a well-known folk singer and actress, she has won over audiences for 30 years. We’re all curious to see how she translates those experiences in the political arena.

●The Wall Street Journal
The praise of Ms Peng, a famous folk singer, evoked the fuss over Michelle Obama in 2008 and built on expectations by many political analysts and diplomats that Ms Peng will bolster and soften her husband's image by becoming the first wife of a Communist Chinese leader to play a role similar to that of a US first lady.

●ftchinese.com
China's up-market clothing labels should capitalize on the publicity the country's first lady has brought them. They should take this opportunity to improve their designs and their quality in order to establish stronger footings both at home and abroad.

Voxpop:

@Jiang Yaojin
Unlike many other countries, the term "first lady" has not been emphasized in the past in China. 

However, in the new era when Chinese people can receive increasing information about first ladies from other countries, they will naturally have expectations about our own first lady. 

A first lady who is respected and loved by the public will be great benefit to China's image, both internally and externally.

@Xue Yang
It is a matter for congratulation that China's own first lady goes on the international stage. Our first lady is beautiful and generous, which makes people feel proud and elated.

@Yike Damaizi
Top leaders in China have often been mysterious and serious in the public's eyes, but the public has a growing demand for transparency, vividness and tenderness, which is the cultural background of the current enthusiasm for the first lady. 

China has formed its own cultural standards about the first lady. It matches current China's social development and international status and shows China's soft power.

@Yibahuzi_2012
After the current enthusiasm for the first lady, we will have our own political stars. 

Hopefully, from then China will further boost democracy and prosperity, and move toward our "China dream."

@Xiaofadeweibo
Peng's dresses and handbags are all made-in-China. 

In a peaceful era, people's patriotism in some degree depends on whether they use domestic products and support domestic brands. 

From this perspective, our first lady has set a good example for those officials who pursue foreign luxuries and run after famous brands.


          Activities

In Russia, March 22-23

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan wave upon their arrival in Moscow, capital of Russia, March 22, 2013. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow Friday for a state visit to Russia. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan wave upon their arrival in Moscow, capital of Russia, March 22, 2013. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow Friday for a state visit to Russia. Photo: Xinhua 
Peng receives a bouquet of flowers from Russian President Vladimir Putin before the opening ceremony of the “Tourism Year of China” event in Moscow on March 22. Photo: ifeng.com
Peng receives a bouquet of flowers from Russian President Vladimir Putin before the opening ceremony of the “Tourism Year of China” event in Moscow on March 22. Photo: ifeng.com

Peng visits the dormitory of a boarding school for orphans in Moscow on March 23. Photo: ifeng.comPeng visits the dormitory of a boarding school for orphans in Moscow on March 23. Photo: ifeng.com

Peng poses for photos with performers of the Alexandrov Song And Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Army on March 23. Photo: ifeng.com
Peng poses for photos with performers of the Alexandrov Song And Dance Ensemble of the Soviet Army on March 23. Photo: ifeng.com

In Tanzania, March 24-25

Chinese President Xi Jinping (1st L) and his wife Peng Liyuan (2nd R) are welcomed by Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (2nd L) and his wife Salma Kikwete (1st R) upon their arrival in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, March 24, 2013. Photo: Xinhua
Chinese President Xi Jinping (1st L) and his wife Peng Liyuan (2nd R) are welcomed by Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (2nd L) and his wife Salma Kikwete (1st R) upon their arrival in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, March 24, 2013. Photo: Xinhua
China’s first lady Peng Liyuan talks with Salma Kikwete, wife of Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete on March 24 at the Women and Development Foundation (WAMA) office in Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. Peng had gifted sewing machines and school bags to WAMA, an organization Kikwete founded. Photo: ifeng.com
China’s first lady Peng Liyuan talks with Salma Kikwete, wife of Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete on March 24 at the Women and Development Foundation (WAMA) office in Dar Es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. Peng had gifted sewing machines and school bags to WAMA, an organization Kikwete founded. Photo: ifeng.com
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan pose for photos with Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and his wife Salma Kikwete on March 24 during a state visit to Tanzania. Photo: ifeng.com
Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan pose for photos with Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and his wife Salma Kikwete on March 24 during a state visit to Tanzania. Photo: ifeng.com
Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan bid Tanzania farewell before boarding a plane to South Africa for the next leg of Xi’s state visits on March 25. Photo: ifeng.com
Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan bid Tanzania farewell before boarding a plane to South Africa for the next leg of Xi’s state visits on March 25. Photo: ifeng.com


More about First Lady

China's first lady Peng Liyuan

●A well-known folk singer and actress, and a renowned military vocalist

●One of the first people in China to obtain a master's degree in traditional ethnic music

●One of the founders of the School of National Vocal Music

●She produced and starred in the lead role in the opera Mulan Psalm, which was performed at New York City's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the Vienna State Opera House in Austria.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and his wife Peng Liyuan wave upon their arrival in Moscow, capital of Russia, March 22, 2013. Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow Friday for a state visit to Russia. Photo: Xinhua


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        Related Reports

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First lady’s radiance delights world and boosts soft power
Public’s enthusiasm for Peng mirrors brightness of new political scene
First lady hailed as big push to soft power
Anticipation high for first lady Peng’s diplomatic debut in Russia
第一夫人 Style

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