Chinese president’s mother and sister in rare media appearance in tribute to Xi Jinping’s father

In another episode, Qi said that during Xi Zhongxun’s revolutionary career, “he did not present himself as a cadre but as an ordinary member of the public … this is why he was said to be a leader of the mass who emerged from the mass”.

The series cited an article written by Qi Xin, who noted that: “Under Zhongxun’s influence, being diligent and thrifty has become our family values.”

Qi Qiaoqiao, sister of Chinese President Xi Jinping, appears in the series. Photo: CCTV

In the interview, Qi is seen speaking in front of a photo of the elder Xi. She wears a warm-coloured shirt and glasses, appearing to express sentences fluently and clearly while in good spirits. The broadcaster did not specify when the interviews were conducted.

The series featured archive documents, photos and videos that reflect Xi Zhongxun’s career and life in regions that include Gansu and Guangdong provinces. Party history researchers, former officials and Xi’s brother Xi Yuanping and sister Qi Qiaoqiao were among those interviewed for the documentary.

While Xi Yuanping occasionally attends public events, Qi Qiaoqiao rarely appears in public.

In the documentary Qi Qiaoqiao recalled Xi Zhongxun’s work in late 1950s when he coordinated relief efforts for regions that suffered famine.

After the elder Xi received letters from people noting their situation during the famine, she said: “He reported to premier Zhou [Enlai] and Chairman Mao, and convened a meeting, where he [showed] and ate a vegetable flatbread that had gone bad, which he received from the people, and said bitterly, ‘how can people eat this?’”

CCTV aired the series from Sunday to Tuesday following the 110th anniversary of the elder Xi’s birth. Xi Zhongxun was born on October 15, 1913 and died in 2002, having been a Politburo member and vice-premier.

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A decade ago, CCTV broadcast a six-episode documentary series on Xi Zhongxun, including interviews with more than 300 people and featuring video and audio recordings of the elder Xi.

In one of the 40-minute episodes of the new series, Xi Zhongxun is quoted as asking his family “not to make any special arrangements, not to play with privileges, and not to seek mere enjoyment”.

In recent years, state media has published articles on Xi Jinping’s family as part of a public relations campaign. An article published in People’s Daily early last year said of the president’s mother: “Qi Xin has always set an example herself, educating her children with excellent family style.”

“Xi Jinping, who was deeply influenced by Qi Xin’s words and teachings, has always borne in mind his mother’s advice, being strict with himself and remaining true to the original aspiration,” the article said.

Xi keeps a photo of his father in his office, according to his most recent New Year’s Eve video address that showed his office bookshelves. A photo showing Qi Xin, Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan is also among family pictures kept on his office bookshelves, according to state media reports.
Ahead of the 110th anniversary of his birth, officials in Guangdong province hailed the elder Xi as a spiritual icon for his role in developing the Greater Bay Area.


Chinese President Xi Jinping secures unprecedented third term by unanimous vote

Chinese President Xi Jinping secures unprecedented third term by unanimous vote

Guangdong provincial party chief Huang Kunming, who chaired a provincial party committee’s study group session in early October, said Xi Zhongxun was “an outstanding member of our party, a great communist fighter and an outstanding proletarian revolutionist”.

In Shaanxi province, a commemoration was held on October 15 in Fuping county – Xi Zhongxun’s hometown – and was attended by his son, Xi Yuanping.

Xi Yuanping relayed his mother Qi Xin’s greetings to the people of the town and recounted the revolutionary career of his father, according to the official Shaanxi Daily.

Xi Jinping’s tribute to father seen as a bid to shore up his position

A decade ago, Beijing hosted a high-level seminar to commemorate the centennary of Xi Zhongxun’s birth. The CPC Party History Press published three books on the elder Xi featuring some of his writings, in addition to an official biography that had its second part published in August 2013.

In late 2014, another book on Xi Zhongxun was published by the state-run People’s Press and featured 300 photographs and a 70,000-word biography.


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