Features Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| September 18, 2014| 5.20 pm IST When the west first set eyes on her, they blinked. She was neither dour nor demonish. She was stylish and before you knew it, she was being compared to Carla Bruni, the singer, composer and model wife of former French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and Michelle Obama. Her bags, her trench-coat and her shoes were scrutinised. And she had a beautiful voice. Even before she became the first lady, Peng Liyuan was already famous as one of the China's star singers,and appeared on state-run television programmes, singing songs about the wonders of Chinese ascent to power. Peng Liyuan was an entertainer approved by the Communist Party. Picture courtesy- Peng Liyuan Facebook group Forbes included Peng Liyuan as the 57th most powerful woman in the world in 2014 and said,"Peng promotes rural education in China and campaigns against tuberculosis for the World Health Organization. China's most public first lady since Madame Mao, she toured with her husband, Xi Jinping, during his first and second presidential trips abroad after he was elected in 2013, and was credited with putting a human face on the Communist regime. She is a member of the Public Diplomacy Association, an organized tasked to make China more appealing abroad. Life under the national gaze isn't new to Peng, though. Before becoming first lady, she was a fixture on national magazine covers and television shows during her three-decade career as a folk star." As Peng Liyuan accompanies her husband President Xi Jinping's in a three-day trip to India charming her way through crowds and dinners, music aficionados may not get to hear her live in India, but here's some music....

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