Despite the furore over Liu Yandong’s appointment as Vice Premier, China’s highest ranking female politician was overlooked for a position on the Communist Party Standing Committee and is herself an anomaly in the incredibly male dominated CPC. Hope lies, it seems, with the next generation, as SCMP reports that many of China’s new leaders have only daughters, leading some to predict the future rise of the ‘princesslings’.
Some careful readers pointed out that most of the top national leaders have daughters not sons – President Xi Jinping , Premier Li Keqiang , chairman of the national parliament Zhang Dejiang, and three of the four vice-premiers all have a daughter.
Some internet users asked if they should be called “princesslings”, a female take on the concept of the princelings, a term coined to describe the privileged sons of past Chinese leaders who benefited from their family’s influence and connections and took senior political posts.
While this gender imbalance among the leadership’s progeny has lead some to hope that it might result in more female representation in Chinese politics, the SCMP points out that it could just as easily result in sons-in-law being favoured instead:
A current example is the son-in-law of former vice-premier Yao Yilin, Wang Qishan, who rose through the ranks to become one of the current PBSC members.
Nevertheless, by dint of birth and opportunity, the daughters of China’s leaders tend to be highly qualified. Xi Mingze, the daughter of China’s new president, is currently enrolled at Harvard University in the US, where she is said to be constantly shadowed by Chinese bodyguards.