Wife of China's Next Leader a Star in Her Own Right

The man widely expected to become China’s next leader will likely be sharing the media spotlight with wife Peng Liyuan, a professional folk singer and PLA major general.

The Shandong Province native began her singing career at the age of 18 and is now one of China’s most famous folk singers. She is best known for the songs “People from our Village”, “Mount Everest” and “On the Plains of Hope”. Peng was one of the first to obtain a master’s in traditional ethnic music when the degree was first established in China in the 1980s. Peng currently serves as art director of the People’s Liberation Army’s song and dance troupe, and is also active with various social organizations.

Peng was already a singing star when she met her husband Xi Jinping in 1986. The couple married a year later. At that time Xi was vice mayor of Xiamen, Fujian Province. Today he is China’s vice president and the presumptive successor to Hu Jintao when his second five-year term ends in three years. Peng, 47, is nine years younger than her husband. Their daughter Mingze was recently admitted to Harvard University.