Li Keqiang and Cheng Hong arrive in Angola's capital Luanda on May 8. Li Tao / Xinhua
Little was known about the wife of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang before she accompanied him to Africa, but her keen intellect and elegant disposition has made her a hit with the public. Xue Yanwen from China Features reports.
Before Cheng Hong accompanied her husband on an official visit to Africa last month, the wife of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was little known among ordinary Chinese.
Prior to the trip, the public had only a few tidbits of information about her from coverage by the Xinhua News Agency. It was known that she is a professor of English at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing and has translated several books on American literature, and that the couple has a daughter.
But when she smiled and waved to the welcoming crowds and donated books to a local university during the premier's four-nation tour, her presence created a frenzy in the media and online.
Netizens and experts hailed Cheng, together with Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping, as heroines of China's "wife diplomacy", a move to cultivate soft power and improve the country's international image.