Change on the horizon? Xi Jingping’s Wife, Peng Liyuan, to Be Global Ambassador for WHO

In a country where HIV/AIDS is still treated as a myth instead of a preventable disease, it is refreshing to see someone using their power and position to shed a little light on this world-wide epidemic. Maybe this is the glimmer of hope millions suffering from HIV or AIDS need in China to get at least an ounce of respect from the medical community and even their own private communities. I pray this is a step in the right direction for China truly becoming a part of the global community.

Article: Xi Jingping’s Wife, Peng Liyuan, to Be Global Ambassador for World Health Organization – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

It is often said that Peng Liyuan, the wife of Xi Jinping, China’s likely next president and Communist Party chief, is more famous than her husband inside China.

Liao Pan/
Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese vice president Xi Jinping, attends the opening session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in March.

Now Ms. Peng, 48, has taken an unprecedented step into the international spotlight by becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS for the World Health Organization.

The appointment Friday makes her the first spouse of a top Chinese leader to take such a prominent international role, and hints at the changes in leadership style that may await after Mr. Xi’s anticipated promotion in a once-a-decade Party reshuffle next year.

Liu Yongqing, the wife of current President and Party chief Hu Jintao, rarely appears — and almost never speaks — in public, even inside China. She does accompany him on some overseas trips, but did not join him on a state visit to the U.S. in January.

Wang Yeping, the wife of Mr. Hu’s predecessor, Jiang Zemin, also kept a low profile.

Ms. Peng, however, looks set to play a “First Lady” role more comparable to Michelle Obama or France’s Carla Bruni-Sarkozy–the latter of whom is Goodwill Ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Ms. Peng, a major general in the musical troupe of the People’s Liberation Army, was already unique among top Chinese leaders’ spouses for being a national celebrity in her own right.

A regular performer at the annual Chinese New Year gala on state television, she has been an AIDS ambassador for China’s Ministry of Health for several years.

She has also broken the mould by discussing her husband in interviews, once telling a state-run magazine: “When he comes home, I’ve never thought of it as though there’s some leader in the house. In my eyes, he’s just my husband. When I get home, he doesn’t think of me as some famous star. In his eyes, I’m simply his wife.”

But she has fallen conspicuously silent on the subject, and avoided appearing alongside him in public since his promotion in 2007 to the Politburo Standing Committee, the party’s top decision-making body.

Her new appointment is especially remarkable since her job will involve actively urging governments around the world to take stronger action to combat the two diseases, and to help victims — despite China’s general aversion to anything that smacks of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs.

“It is a great honor to be given this important role by WHO,” Ms Peng said at an inauguration ceremony at WHO headquarters in Geneva, according to a press release from the WHO. “I hope to make a significant contribution to the great work of WHO in saving lives from TB and HIV/AIDS, and that my involvement will benefit those who are at most at risk.”

The WHO said she would take part in a series of high profile events to help raise international attention on the two diseases, which together were responsible for the deaths of more than 3.5 million people in 2009. In addition, it said, she would advocate for stronger action to ensure those in need can access prevention, care and treatment services.

– Jeremy Page


5,000 families break up in China everyday | ChinaHush

5,000 families break up in China everyday | ChinaHush.



The divorce rate in China has increased for 7 consecutive years! According to statistics from China’s civil administration, more than 460,000 couples registered for divorce between January and March this year, increased by 17.1% compared to last year’s statistics, meaning that 5,000 couples get divorced everyday on average.

In 2010, about 1.2 million couples got married while 1.96 million couples got divorced. The divorce rate in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai is already beyond 1/3.


People’s Daily cited Chen Yijun, deputy director of Marriage and Family Research Association of China, saying that a new era for divorce has come to China because of the great challenge to marriage caused by society transformation and changes in social environment.

The rise of the divorce rate indicates the social development and progress brought not only more choices and freedom to our lives, but also interpersonal conflicts and marriage risk.

Since China was founded in 1949, people’s marriages have been very stable until 1979. After China adopted the Opening and Reforming Policy in 1979, the divorce rate surged extensively. Statistics shows that since 1979, divorce rate has never fallen and the rate is around 7.65% in recent 5 years.

“30 years ago, the traditional marriage is the so called economic cooperative and community to give birth. And the notion that a good man never gets divorced is widely and deeply accepted by the society, which greatly protects marriage from breaking up,” said Chen Yijun, “marriage is the biggest event in a person’s life at that time, once in a lifetime. So people never thought of changing.”

“Now is different, men have their private coffers and women have their private savings. Nobody is indispensable from each other. The bond of consanguinity to marriage is weaker since normal family has only one child,” Chen thinks, “The most important thing is that the view of love has dramatically changed. We can see from the names of many popular songs such as I love you just as the mouse loves the rice and this is love that you can’t tell.”

“Along with the Value ​​of commodity economy infiltration, nobody demand for a life-long love and marriage. For example, as long as a man does not involve in corruption or accepting bribes, he will not be investigated for an affair, which becomes a private thing.”

Chen thinks that the trend of Chinese marriage is approaching western marriage. The social and culture wave of Sexual Liberty and Family Revolution happened in Western World in 1960s, including cohabitation, no marriage and DINK, which pursues more convenient, more free and happier ways of living. The trend came to China in 1970s and brought us, the so called most stable marriage country, a great change.

From the structure of age, the majority of people who get divorced are aged between 22 to 35 years old. 36 to 50 is the period with less divorce. But the divorce rate goes up in people who are aged over 50. Looking from education background, the academic degree is inversely proportional to divorce rate, which means the higher academic degree, the lower the divorce rate.

People’s Daily said that not only people born after 1980s have trouble with marriages their parents’ marriages also face the red light. “Now that their sons and daughters have graduated from colleges and can support themselves, the parents have no more obligations and don’t need to maintain the marriage.”

The elderly makes up one third of all the lawsuit cases for divorce, according to a lawyer Zheng Wenxu in Beijing.

Li Yinhe, famous Chinese sexology expert and researcher in Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said, “In the past, a professor married a farmer is common and they can live for a whole life time. But today, the cohesion of married family shifts to the harmony of feelings, match of culture and the satisfaction of sex life.”

Li thinks that China’s view of family is changing from children oriented to conjugal relation oriented through several generations. In this process, the feelings of husband and wife is weighed more and more, different from the past that marriage works as serving parents and family inheritance.

Chen said that the modern marriage links husband and wife with feelings, culture and sex. This kind of marriage is called the psychological-cultural community. Compared to the traditional marriage, it is more civilized, advanced but weaker. On the other hand, the expansion of social communication and entertainment will get people more opportunities to meet new people and make extramarital affair the biggest killer in marriage.

Laowai Girls like Asian Boys | Lost Laowai China Blog

See Kristin they do get us…


When people think of “Rice Chasers” the common thought is of non-Asian men chasing Asian women. In fact, it’s often believed that Asian men are the most discriminated against by white women (dating wise). No one ever really thinks about crazed non-asian girlschasing after Asian men. I guess those people have never been to an Anime (multimedia) convention. While it’s not very common now to see a laowai girl with a Chinese guy in China, it’s becoming more common and all those old stereotypes about Asian men seem to be disappearing and fangirls are appearing.

The fanaticism with Asian men probably started with the increased availability of Asian media in America. It may have all started with Bruce Lee. Now attractive Asian men are common on American TVs and computers with boy bands, dramas, and Kung Fu movies.

After I studied abroad in Japan in high school, I brought back tons of Jpop that turned several of my girl friends into crazed fangirls who kissed their posters of male Jpop stars before bed and ordered cds and plush dolls off of ebay (high school girls are always the biggest fanatics). Need I even mention the popularity of Rain or even Jay Chow? I know many girls who weren’t alone as non-asian screaming girls at their concerts.

For those girls who don’t follow boy bands, there are always the (Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese) dramas. I made my American college roommate watch Meteor Garden (Taiwanese live-action drama of the Japanese Manga Boys over Flowers) once and she ooo-ed and ah-ed at the pretty boys and then vowed to learn Chinese and get a Chinese boyfriend (she eventually gave up on the Chinese language and now lives in Korea).

With more and more kung fu movies coming to America with male Chinese actors with martial artist-toned bodies, the idea of the male Asia sex symbol is more accepted.  Now, not all western girls are Asian-crazed (most probably are not) but there is quite a large group of them and I don’t know a single girl who discriminates against dating an attractive Asian man – sex appeal is fairly universal (though preferences do differ).  For the fanatics at least, a trip to China most likely includes dating; for the other girls, there’s not much taboo about it.

In China everyone is very surprised that a western girl would choose an Asian man, but in truth, there isn’t as much of a stigma about it as everyone seems to think there is. Of course, relationships are complicated (even more complicated when international/multicultural) and I’ve only discussed a surface issue of physical attraction, but I only want to break the stereotype that western woman aren’t interested in Chinese men (many are).

I know western women married to Chinese men and many more who are or have dated some.  I know some western girls who have only ever dated Asian men. Then I’ve met some Asian-crazed fanatics.  As China modernizes and more women actually visit and live in China, I’m sure more women will date Chinese men and there won’t be anything to be shocked about.

Full link:Laowai Girls like Asian Boys | Lost Laowai China Blog.

Sweetest morsel in the box – China Daily

Such a sweet and inspiring story. I can’t wait to see the movie…

BEIJING – From time to time Song Xuewen remembers the words of Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

Those words still run through the 35-year-old’s head as he recalls how times of bitter suffering were followed by such sweetness.

It was back in 1996 that Song, then a laborer at the Jilin Chemical Construction Company, picked up a glittering chain laying on the ground and put it in his pocket.

Unknown to him, the chain was radioactive, and had been left behind by workers who used it to test project results.

Story :Sweetest morsel in the box.

S. Korea to introduce special visas for marriage immigrants CCTV News – CNTV English

SEOUL, April 29 (Xinhua) — South Korea is poised to issue special visas for foreign immigrants who come to the country via marriage, the Ministry of Justice said Friday.

The ministry said it plans to introduce a new F-6 visa specifically for marriage-based immigrants, in a bid to help them settle in the country and raise the efficiency of government immigration policies.

The ministry added that revisions to the country’s immigration law, including the new visa and eased residency requirements for foreigners with outstanding abilities, will be enforced in the latter half of this year.

Foreign immigrants who marry South Korean national spouses are currently granted F-2 visa status as same as other long-term foreign residents here.

“The current F-2 visa covers various types of long-term residents, positing limitations on policymaking for marriage-based immigrants,” a ministry official was quoted by Yonhap News Agency. “We expect the introduction of the new visa will reduce such difficulties.”

S. Korea to introduce special visas for marriage immigrants CCTV News – CNTV English.

How Chinese Express Their Love | LoveLoveChina

This is something that I have been curious about as well. What are your thoughts?

My Chinese wife rarely says “wo ai ni” (“I love you”).

One day at dinner I remarked offhand that I had worn holes in a pair of socks. It was just one pair; God knew I had plenty more at home.

She showed up the next day with a new pair. Like I said, she rarely says “wo ai ni“.

Perhaps she doesn’t have to.

Article:How Chinese Express Their Love | LoveLoveChina.

Korean firm pairs princes with aspiring Cinderellas | Reuters

Reuters Life!) – A South Korean firm wants to celebrate Friday’s marriage of Britain’s Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton by pairing women from “humble” backgrounds with a man from the elite.

The men are all from elite backgrounds, have been to top universities, and make a six-figure income. The women should be bright, assured and successful.

Article:Korean firm pairs princes with aspiring Cinderellas | Reuters.

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