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Leadership fan blogs emerge

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-02-20 22:07

BEIJING - A Xi Jinping-centric micro blog wowed netizens early this month by releasing information on the Chinese leader's inspection tour of Gansu province even before official media reports emerged.

Entries on the "Xuexifensituan" ("Learning from Xi Fan Club") account are often written in a tabloid style, with brief, declarative statements tracing the movements of the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Mysteriously enough, the posts on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter, appear to contain exclusive material and always come ahead of official media reports.

The person behind "Xuexifensituan", a 28-year-old interior decorator in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, came forward on Feb 10. He refused to disclose any more personal information at that time, but promised to hold a public interview on or after Thursday.

Meanwhile, the popularity of "Xuexifensituan" has given rise to other accounts devoted to offering news and information on top leaders, including personal details that are traditionally withheld from the public.

Among them, "Xianglixuexi" ("Learning from Li"), a Sina Weibo account about Vice-Premier Li Keqiang, had attracted 2,000 followers on Wednesday alone, bringing the total to 10,000 followers as of Wednesday evening.

Various pieces of information regarding Vice-Premier Li have been posted on the micro blog, including samples of his handwriting, rarely seen photos that go all the way back to his childhood and a picture of the latest book by his wife, an English professor.

Li's wife, Cheng Hong, is referred to as "Sister Cheng" in the micro blog and one entry offered details on her educational background.

More notably, the micro blog relays some of Li's spontaneous, off-the-cuff quotes and showcases the moments when he seems most accessible.

During Li's inspection tour of Enshi, Hubei province, he stopped by a clothing shop and inquired about taxes and administration fees the owner had to pay. When the shop owner tried to downplay his tax and fee burdens, according to one micro blog entry, Li said, "I am not your tax officer, you can tell me the truth."

After a playful young boy unwittingly rose to fame for appearing pantsless in a primetime news broadcast while Li visited his home, the vice premier was praised for breaking from tradition and carrying out truly unplanned inspections.

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