“Red Princess” at the Debutante Ball, Paris

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.

"Jia Qinglin urges ethnic unity in Inner Mongolia" - courtesy Southern Mongolia Human Rights Information Center


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.

Entraînée par Stéphane Bern, la Chinoise Jasmine Li a fait ses premiers pas de danse sur le sol parisien. Etudiante à New York, celle-ci porte une robe Carolina Herrera. © Jean-Luce Huré, courtesy Le Journal de FEMMES


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.

Bern's new novel: "Forget Me" -- perhaps she will


[Coup d’chapeau/hat tip to the inepuissable Arnaud de la Grange!]


  1. Apparently Bern was the host, too (http://bit.ly/8VDj18).

    Wasn’t there a similar scandal-ish debutante ball in Paris a few years back involving another Party official’s daughter? I can’t recall too clearly, but all I remember is that the photos they took of the debutantes had them hanging by strings like marionettes.

  2. -the event is a faked farse only aiming to sell the pictures of the girls in the name of scandalous parents or a little society glitz to the daughters of unimportant parents.
    -however under the surface you can see the truth-ariel ho is the grandaughter of stanley ho one of the triad mafia leaders according to the canadian government. so why did other chinese officials ,forest whittaker and others participate and the living legend clint eastwood did not?
    -given the decline of the event and its big problems with the intitute de la mode for using the name haute couture when most dresses are common lines it ts surprising that anybody will show up

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