Xi Jinping’s wife can’t continue as UNESCO special envoy

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Protests followed the scandal of a mother of eight found in chains in Jiangsu, another victim of human trafficking. But there is much more.

by Massimo Introvigné

Peng Li Yuan. Credits.

Imagine if Adolf Hitler’s lover would have been appointed by the League of Nations as a special representative for the education of women and girls. History, and the Jewish and other women lucky enough to survive the concentration camps, would never have forgiven the League of Nations and the nations that supported this choice.

It didn’t happen, but several media suddenly discovered that something similar was happening right now. A Chinese lady by the name of Peng Liyuan was appointed in 2014 as UNESCO Special Envoy for the advancement of girls’ and women’s education, with a mandate to “support the empowerment of girls and women through quality education”. She has been quietly kept in this position until today.

When Peng visits countries on behalf of UNESCO, she is often referred to as a “world-renowned soprano and folk singer”, although as an artist she is unknown outside of China. However, her singing talents are not the reason why she is a UNESCO special envoy. She is there because she is the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping. She had already been named by the World Health Organization “Goodwill Ambassador for Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS” with a Press release calling her “a famous Chinese soprano and actress” and concealing that she was the wife of Xi Jinping, then vice president of China.

Peng started “empowering women and girls” early on. In 1989, the Chinese military and state security killed some 10,000 students in Tiananmen Square in the June 4 Incident, many of them young women. Peng dressed in a military uniform went to celebrate and sing for the “victorious” troops in Tiananmen Square.

The official photo of Peng Liyuan singing for the soldiers who 'liberated' Tiananmen Square, 1989. From the Wayback Machine.
The official photo of Peng Liyuan singing for the soldiers who ‘liberated’ Tiananmen Square, 1989. return machine.

She was photographed red-handed and her picture appeared in the People’s Liberation Army official magazine. Apparently, the relevant issue of the magazine has been removed from Chinese public libraries. Hong Kong websites with the photo were thoroughly “cleaned up” as soon as the new national security law came into force. However, as in other cases, China cannot do much against Wayback Machine Internet Archive, which is located in San Francisco, and where the picture is still available. The whole story is a testimony to the CCP’s hypocrisy. Since Xi Jinping maintains that the Party in 1989 at Tiananmen did the right thing, why is he trying to hide his wife’s celebration of carnage?

Few noticed that Xi’s wife had a role as a special envoy to a United Nations agency until this month, when the ‘chained mother of 8’ incident became the focus. most commented media on Chinese social networks for years. This is one of the cases where the CCP’s propaganda was met with its own firecracker. Party media created the incident by broadcasting the story of a model citizen and CCP loyalist in Feng County, Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, who worked tirelessly to support his eight children. After a few days of propaganda surrounding this man, some began to wonder why the mother of eight children was never mentioned.

The circumstances are still not fully clear, but a video has emerged on Douyin (TikTok) showing the emaciated and chained mother-of-eight. Within days, the video had garnered over ten million downloads. Local CCP authorities have released no less than five official reports on the incident, with conflicting and conflicting information. Initially, it was claimed that the woman was schizophrenic and needed to be chained up to prevent her from harming herself and others – a good example of China’s commitment to “progressive” psychiatry. In subsequent reports, however, the Party had to confirm what millions of internet users had already guessed, that the woman was one of many victims of human trafficking.

From the video of the
From the video of the “chained mother of eight” that outraged millions, De Weibo.

Due to the (now defunct) one-child policy, in many Chinese families, girls were aborted because, as an only child, a boy was preferred. After a few decades, this created a shortage of wives. The brides were overwhelmingly imported from North Korea, but it was not enough. Human traffickers who ‘bought’ or abducted girls from poor families and sold them to potential husbands have built criminal empires.

After weeks of investigation, the identity of the chained mother is still unclear, and she has been identified with various women who had disappeared. The extent of outrage in China is difficult to comprehend in the West. In a country where demonstrations are banned, there have been protests at universities and even among female PLA soldiers. Public Safety shut down the area where the woman lived, conveniently saying there had been cases of COVID-19. Eventually, the CCP announced that the shackled woman’s husband, initially hailed as a model citizen, had been arrested, and even senior Party officials in Jiangsu Province had been put under investigation.

The ‘chained mother of eight’ scandal has led some feminists, bravely also in China, to “discover” that Xi Jinping’s wife is UNESCO’s special envoy for the advancement of girls’ and women’s education and to demand her immediate dismissal. They mentioned the Chinese authorities’ failure to eradicate the trafficking of women and girls, which was tacitly condoned as contributing to the shortage of brides.

This is just one reason why Peng Liyuan should leave. It sounds like a bad joke that the wife of Xi Jinping, who personally ordered the detention of millions of Uyghur women (and men) in the dreaded transformation by education camps in Xinjiang, falsely presented as “schools professionals” while they are in fact in prison, is responsible for promoting the “empowerment of girls and women through quality education” throughout the world. Are the Xinjiang concentration camps what UNESCO means by “quality education”?

We and other media have repeatedly documented the prevalence of systemic torture and rape of women both in Xinjiang camps and in prisons where prisoners of conscience – Falun Gong practitioners, members of the Church of Almighty God, Christians from house churches – are detained, along with the routine rape of Buddhist nuns in Tibet. Is this the “empowerment of women and girls” for which Xi Jinping’s wife is honored?

Democratic countries can no longer tolerate this scandal. Peng Liyuan should leave, or they should stop pouring billions into UNESCO.

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