Late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s influence over grandson lives on in his favourite game

Deng Zhuodi regrets never having had the chance to play bridge with his granddad

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 2:08pm
UPDATED : Friday, 10 March, 2017, 10:49pm

The grandson of late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping has taken part in a public contest of one of his grandfathers’ favourite leisure activities after stepping down as a county deputy party chief in southern China last year.

Deng Zhuodi, the only child of Deng Xiaoping’s younger son Deng Zhifang, took part in a bridge competition in Beijing on March 3 and, with his partner, ranked 6th in the pairs competition of the senior group, according to a report on the Beijing Bridge League Club House website.

Deng also attended the annual meeting of the Beijing Bridge League on February 18 and was elected a council member, another post on the website said.

His grandfather Deng Xiaoping was an passionate bridge player. The former Chinese leader learned the game in 1952 and it then became his main recreational activity.

Deng Zhuodi said in an interview that the greatest impact his grandfather had on him was the game of bridge.

“I always watched my grandfather playing bridge when I was young, but it was a pity that I never played with him.”

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Deng Zhuodi’s public appearance came more than seven months after he stepped down in July from the role of deputy party chief of Pingguo county, part of the city of Baise, Guangxi province, where his grandfather helped lead an uprising in 1929. No new position has yet been announced.

He has taken part in at least 14 bridge competitions since July, The Beijing News reported.

Born in the United States in 1985, Deng Zhuodi returned to China when only one month old and later accompanied his grandfather on a tour of southern China in 1992, as the elder Deng inspected several cities and reaffirmed his theory of reform and opening up.

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After graduating from Peking University, Deng Zhuodi earned a master’s degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in 2008 and later worked at a law firm in the United States.

He was appointed the deputy head of Pingguo county in 2013, overseeing the county’s development and reform as well as poverty alleviation.

He kept a low profile while in Guangxi and his resume was not shown on the website of the local government, according to mainland media.

It is common for descendants of China’s Communist Party leaders to work as low ranking officials in rural areas before being promoted to higher offices.

President Xi Jinping held a post in Zhengding, a county in Hebei province, in the 1980s, even after he previously worked as a secretary in the Central Military Commission.