Le Figaro‘s always-divergent China blog carries a high-society/CCP mash-up with a recent entry regarding Jasmine Li, the youngest daughter of Jia Qinglin, No. 4 in the Party hierarchy and one of the nine permanent members of the CCP Politburo.
Jasmine Li, following in the footsteps of other “red princes” (wealthy scions of the revolutionary elite), spent last weekend at the Bal du Debutantes in the Hôtel de Crillon, on the rue Royale in Paris. (En plein coeur du Paris! the hotel website reminds us.)
For Jasmine Li, such fêtes are a far cry from her dad’s work as a machinist in Shijiazhuang in the late 1950s or his efforts to lift steel companies in moribund Taiyuan into profitability, but sometimes one has to make sacrifices for the sake of international relations.
Her date was the omnipresent Stéphane Bern, a Lyonese media personality and writer who has, among other things, published a couple of books about Princess Diana. (Perhaps his work made for interesting conversation with Diana’s niece, who also attended the ball?) Le Figaro doesn’t make much of the pairing, but in some ways it is nice to see a daughter of the Party elite take some time off from school in New York, hop on that direct flight to 戴高尔 （De Gaulle), and mix in a little bit of dancing with a well-connected expert on royal blood. Certainly the Dalai Lama has friends in Paris, but even his would-be successors were left, like Cinderella, to stare at their shoes and think of the muddy earth of Shijiazhuang.
[Coup d’chapeau/hat tip to the inepuissable Arnaud de la Grange!]