First Lady of China Peng Liyuan tours the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Friday. She was accompanied by Noora Mohammad Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development. Image Credit: Twitter

Abu Dhabi: China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan is accompanying President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China on his official visit to the UAE, as part of a high-level delegation to deepen bilateral trade, cultural and scientific cooperation between the two countries.

Liyuan represents a new image of China, where the President of the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University described her as “a key player in China’s soft power”. He added that Peng Liyuan, in her new role as China’s First Lady, represents her country abroad as an artist, singer and a long-time advocate of fighting poverty among other issues facing Chinese citizens.

Liyuan has become a popular feature of China’s global outreach since her husband first took the reins of state in 2013.

She is actively involved in promoting public welfare and serves as China’s Ambassador for TB Prevention, Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organisation for TB and HIV/AIDS and Unesco Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls’ and Women’s Education.

Forbes included Liyuan on its list of the most powerful female figures as an expression of the role she played internally and globally, especially after she succeeded in drawing a new image of China.

Peng Liyuan, born in 1962 in Shandong province, is a renowned soprano’ music professor and opera artist. She is the first in China to have received a Master’s degree in National Vocal Music and is a Ph.D supervisor at China conservatory, and has served as the president of the then Academy of Art of the People’s Liberation Army.

Peng was also a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Vice-President of the National Committee of the All-China Youth Federation, Vice Chairperson of the Presidium of Association of Chinese Musicians and Vice Chairperson of the All-China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.

She married President Xi Jinping in 1987.