Before the former Politburo member Bo Xilai was imprisoned for corruption and his wife, Gu Kailai, jailed for murder, their son, Bo Guagua, invited Jackie Chan to Oxford, and sang with him onstage; he drove a Porsche during his time as a graduate student at Harvard.
Xi, on the other hand, led a “frugal life” in Cambridge, according to Minemura. At twenty-two, Xi Mingze has now returned to China; though she makes few public appearances, she joined her parents on a recent trip to Yan’an, the rural region where her father was sent to work during the Cultural Revolution, when he was a teen-ager.
As he rose through the ranks, Xi had frequent dealings with Westerners, but his government has recently taken a harder line against ideas from abroad.
His education minister, Yuan Guiren, said recently, “We must, by no means, allow into our classrooms material that propagates Western values.” Many of us who follow China wonder: What does Xi Mingze tell her father about her life in America?
Earlier this year, a fascinating piece called “Patriotism Abroad,” published in the compiled the views of anonymous Chinese faculty and students living outside the country.
A woman teaching in the natural sciences said, “In China, people often complain.
How did living on a campus that doesn’t restrict discussion of China’s painful chapters—the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution—affect her world view?