China: Exodus of central leaders’ children from the US could forebode war

Li Keqiang and Xi Jinping

Li Keqiang and Xi Jinping

Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao says in its exclusive report on March 22, “At the time around the 18th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), quite a few CCP central leaders’ children conducting further study or having settled down in the United States returned home one after another.

They included President Xi Jinping’s and Premier Li Keqiang’s daughters, Vice President Li Yuanchao’s son and the daughters of two newly appointed vice premiers Wang Yang and Ma Kai.

In spite of that, the president of Harvard University of the US said a couple of days ago that students from China remained the largest in number of the university’s international students.”

Drew Faust, the president of the university, said on March 20, though many of the Chinese leaders’ children have had their further study in Harvard, political relationships did not make it easier for them to be admitted into the university.

In fact that university was known to every household in China and as far back as in the 1990s, its Kennedy School of Government was providing training to quite a few high Chinese officials. Li Yuanchao, Li Hongzhong and others have received short-term training there.

Premier Li’s daughter returned to resume her work in Peking University after finishing her study in the United States, which must be quite natural. However, it was strange that Xi Jinping’s only daughter returned before graduation and even stranger that Ma Kai’s daughter returned after having settled down and worked in the US for quite a few years.

Sources say that the leaders’ children returned this time not for a short time, but they have sold their houses and cars and cancelled their bank accounts. It meant that they would leave the US forever and settle down in China.

Some analysts believe that high officials have become targets of criticism for their children studying and settling down abroad and such criticism has now become a serious obstacle to their promotion. However, that certainly was not the case for Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang who are at the top and there is no room for further promotion or Ma Kai who has to retire due to old age in 2017.

Moreover, there is nothing to blame Ma Kai as his daughter has job and relies on herself in the US.

Sources say that the trend of exodus has spread from central to localities and even to business circles. Even Zong Qinghou, the richest tycoon in China, solemnly announced during the NPC and CPPCC sessions that both his family members and he had given up their green cards.

I doubt whether the exodus of central leaders’ children from the US is due to political reason of avoiding being criticised. I think perhaps it is for security sake as the US may be involved in a military conflict between China and Japan.

It will be much safer for leaders’ children if they stay in China.

Does that forebode war? I don’t know. Anyway, such precaution is necessary since neither Japan nor China seems to have intention to ease tensions in the area around the Diaoyus (called Senkaku by Japan) and the US has expressly stated its intention to support Japan if there is a war between China and Japan.

Source: Ming Pao “Central leaders’ children withdrew from the US one by one” (Excerpts and summary translated by Chan Kai Yee)

Categories: Human Rights & Social Issues

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2 replies


  1. China says new military regulations on treason and deserting is “preparation for war” | China Daily Mail
  2. China’s Xi calls for tighter ideological control in universities | China Daily Mail

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