Opinion / Blog

How First Lady Peng is setting new trend in diplomacy

By leixiangping ( Updated: 2015-04-28 17:55

On April 17, a blue book on China’s public diplomacy was published by Renmin University of China. The book states that the first lady's international image and activities are important to China's public diplomacy and can help highlight China’s soft power.

It is the first time that a Chinese institute has researched the role of China’s first lady. Compared with the situation in America where the first lady started to play a public role in the middle of 19th century, the result is not surprising. However, it signals a new trend in China: first lady diplomacy is starting to take off and is becoming hugely important in shaping China’s global image.

Chinese people are proud of the positive role China’s first lady-Peng Liyuan-has played on the global stage. Since paying a formal visit to Russia with President Xi Jinping in March 2013, her appearance, modesty, clothing style and elegant manners, as well as her passion for charitable causes, have enchanted her image in domestic and international media, which describe her as China's new business card.

For decades, China’s first ladies kept a comparatively low profile and their engagement with public diplomacy was not noticeable. However, with China rising rapidly in recent years, to have a first lady like Peng who can convey kindness and goodwill to the world with her individual charm is indispensable.

From the perspective of foreign media, Peng is a typical oriental female, an ambassador of noble causes and a virtuous wife, who not only has inspired Chinese people’s national pride, but also demonstrated to the world that China is a friendly and peace-loving country.

Peng has highlighted Chinese females’ beauty. Being dignified and magnanimous in appearance, learned and refined in style of conversation, she has impressed many. On official occasions, she always wears stylish indigenous garments, adding luster to the scenes. Instead of using expensive brands, she prefers local affordable brands, with which she displays Chinese culture elements in a modern way.

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