Chairman Mao's Grandson Becomes Youngest Army General in China's History

The grandson of Chairman Mao Zedong, the first leader of the People’s Republic of China, has become the country’s youngest army general, state-run media reported.

Photographs of the portly Mao Xinyu wearing the insignia of a major general, the lowest of three general ranks in the People’s Liberation Army, were published on the Web site of China News Service. Mao is the youngest person to hold that rank, the Global Times reported today, citing Bao Guojun, a spokesman at the Academy of Military Sciences, where Mao is stationed.

Mao’s grandfather led the Communist Party to victory over the Nationalists in a decades-long struggle, ruling the country from 1949 until his death in 1976. The younger Mao, who studies his grandfather’s theory, is also a member of the advisory committee to China’s parliament.

News reports about Mao’s promotion first appeared last year. Mao was cited earlier this year by the China News Service as saying that any formal announcement on the promotion would come in July.

“Everyone is transferring their love for my grandfather to me,” Mao was quoted by the Chinese News Service as saying earlier this year.

The progeny of China’s revolutionary leaders often reach high office. Vice President Xi Jinping is the son of former Guangdong Governor Xi Zhongxun. Chongqing Communist Party Secretary Bo Xilai is the son of former Politburo member Bo Yibo.

--Michael Forsythe, Jiang Jianguo. Editors: Ben Richardson

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