Famous faces at annual meetings

JACKIE CHAN.
JACKIE CHAN.PHOTOS: REUTERS
YAO MING
YAO MINGPHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY
MO YAN
MO YANPHOTO: GLOBAL TIMES/FACEBOOK
HAN HONG
HAN HONGPHOTO: YOUTUBE
MAO XINYU.
MAO XINYU.PHOTO: REUTERS

Apart from China's political bigwigs, the annual CPPCC and National People's Congress meetings also bring together big names from the entertainment, literary and sporting fields. Here are some of them.

JACKIE CHAN

The 62-year-old gongfu star was appointed to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in 2013.

He once spoke out against film censorship on the mainland. In 2015, he suggested that reporters be barred from some panel discussions so that CPPCC delegates could communicate freely with one another.

"There are so many reporters here, what can I say? I can't say anything," he was quoted as saying then in a report on China.org.cn.


YAO MING

The 36-year-old was elected president of the Chinese Basketball Association just last month.

At the CPPCC in 2015, Yao proposed extending the duration of physical education classes nationwide to improve health and fitness.

He had earlier called for Chinese sports to get back to basics and not be viewed solely as a way to advance national honour, said the South China Morning Post. "My basketball career has ended, but I will continue to push sports development forward."


MO YAN

The 62-year-old novelist became China's first Nobel prize winner in literature in 2012. A former soldier whose real name is Guan Moye, Mo chose his pen name, which means "don't speak", to remind himself not to speak too much.

At the 2015 CPPCC, he called for greater focus on education in rural areas. He also urged more protection and innovation of local folk opera Maoqiang, which originated in his hometown, Gaomi, in eastern China's Shandong province.


HAN HONG

Singer Han Hong, 45, was the winner of the popular I Am A Singer competition in 2015.

At the 2015 CPPCC session, Han, who is also a philanthropist, voiced concern about the plight of "left- behind children" whose parents move to the cities to work as migrant workers.

Han, who is of mixed Tibetan and Han ethnicity, also presented a proposal on how to combat smog.


MAO XINYU

The only surviving grandson of late chairman Mao Zedong is a media darling at the annual meetings.

The 47-year-old became a major- general at age 40 in 2010, the youngest person ever to attain that rank. His job: studying the Mao Zedong Thought political theory as a researcher in a military academy. He proposed his grandfather's theories be applied to modern military strategy, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Connie Er

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 04, 2017, with the headline 'Famous faces at annual meetings'. Print Edition | Subscribe