AKA: Peng Liyuan (彭丽媛)
Born: November 20, 1962 (Yuncheng county, Shandong province)
Income: Definitely soaring
China’s new First Lady Peng Liyuan (彭丽媛) is a folk music singer who became massively popular due to her regular appearances on the annual CCTV Spring Festival Gala, the most-watched TV program on the planet.
Having won many honors in singing competitions nationwide, Liyuan is a civilian member of China’s People’s Liberation Army and currently holds a civilian rank equal to a major general.
She was one of the first in China to obtain a master’s degree in traditional ethnic music, when the degree was first established in the 1980s.
When she married Xi Jinping (习近平) in 1987, she was already a famous singer, while Jinping, then deputy mayor of Xiamen, Fujian province, was little known.
The two met in 1986 through a mutual friend.
Liyuan once said she soon warmed to Jinping, as he was idealistic and had big ideas.
She said when Jinping comes home, she never thinks of him as a political leader.
“In my eyes, he is just my husband.”
Liyuan and husband Jinping have a daughter, Xi Mingze (习明泽), currently studying at Harvard University, a fact which many believe is conducive to Sino-US relations.