Celebrity showdown at the CPPCC

Celebrity showdown at the CPPCC

China watchers got more than they bargained for as Chinese celebrities joined in the CPPCC proceedings
CPPCC delegates
Delegates arrive for the opening of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. Although many of the 2,000 delegates will be unknown to most, celebrity delegates like Liu Xiang got the red carpet treatment.

The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China’s top political advisory body, opened its session in Beijing on Wednesday.

We’ll leave the political analysis to the pundits, but we have to say we were pleasantly surprised to see a few bonus attendees, besides President Hu Jintao, Wu Bangguo, Wen Jiabao and their 2,000 nearest and dearest political friends.

Although the topics between now and March 13 will range from the nation’s development to national reunification and social harmony, that hasn’t stopped celebrities -- and their causes -- from marking an appearance.

The Financial Times reports that the CPPCC will hear proposals from delegate Zhang Xiaomei, editor of the China Beauty Fashion newspaper who proposed “legislation to force husbands to compensate their wives for doing housework.”

Liu Xiang, China’s 2004 Olympic gold medalist hurdler, also a delegate, suggested a discussion about salaries and training of top athletic coaches -- although he was too busy training to actually write the proposal himself. We’re guessing this topic will come after debates of proposals on national reunification and social harmony.

The press had a field day trying to get a quote from Liu Xiang as he entered the meeting but he shot by without comment -- if only he could have moved that fast during the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

A borough-bred Manhattanite, editor and writer Jessica Beaton lived in Shanghai for five years and has now moved to Hong Kong.

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