The FT wants you to know that one of the founders of China Guardian has ties to the country’s elite:
China Guardian’s rise has shone attention on Ms Wang and her background as a “princeling” – the term given to relatives of senior party members. When she worked at the Sheraton after returning from the US, she says nobody knew who she was.
“I don’t feel that someone should live in the shadow of their family, for good or for bad. I should have my own credit, my own identity.”
But when people found out that her father was Zhao Ziyang, they would become very polite: “Mostly they would say, they respect my father and I appreciate that.”
Zhao served as premier and then general secretary of the Communist party, before he was purged after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre for being too soft. In his last public appearance, Zhao told the protesters in the square: “I came too late”.
Ms Wang says her father showed no interest in art – “he was just work, work, work” – but neither did he discourage her from the career path she took.
“He let me make my own choices . . . It was quite diplomatic in our home around the dining table,” she says. “I cannot remember him ever asking me to work hard, or to do something, or to join the party, or to join the youth league. He never did.”