The grandson of late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping has become the highest ranking official in a township in Guangxi, a local newspaper has reported.
Deng Zhuodi, the only child of Deng Xiaoping’s younger son Deng Zhifang, was named the party chief of Xin’an, a township administrated by Pingguo county, where he also worked as a deputy head of the local government.
The county has a population of over half a million and is a two hour drive northwest of Nanning, the capital of the autonomous region.
Deng’s new appointment came to light as the Henan Business Herald, a popular business newspaper in Henan, on Tuesday reprinted a report on his visit to an impoverished village in May.
Deng worked as a low ranking village chief in a small village for three days, the paper cited the local official newspaper Youjiang Daily as reporting.
“Only after working as a village chief for a couple of days did I realise how hard it was to live and work in the rural areas… A lot of problems would be solved if officials could put themselves in the shoes of the public,” Deng said according to the report.
He was appointed to work in Xin’an in January, shortly after the party chief of Guangxi, Peng Qinghua, visited Pingguo, Henan Business Herald reported on Tuesday.
Deng applied for the transfer to a low ranking office voluntarily, the paper said.
For descendants of former state leaders, known as princelings on the mainland, working as a low ranking official in rural areas has become an obligatory rite of passage to higher office.
Deng graduated from Duke University’s law school in the United States in 2008 and later worked for the New York-based law firm White & Case, according to Bloomberg.
Deng, who has kept a low profile on the mainland, made headlines in May last year when he was named the deputy head of Pingguo, overseeing a reform drive.
The county is administrated from Baise city, where his grandfather helped organise an uprising against the Nationalist government in 1929.
Deng is among several of the third and forth generation descendants of the founding fathers of the People’s Republic that have assumed public office.
Ye Zhonghao, the great-grandson of late Marshal Ye Jianying, was appointed as a member of the Communist Youth League’s Guangdong provincial committee last year.
Mao Xinyu, Mao Zedong’s grandson, was promoted to become the country’s youngest major general in 2010.
Deng Xiaoping, who died in 1997, was widely credited for leading China’s reform and opening process in the 1980s and negotiating Hong Kong’s return to the mainland. However he has also been blamed for cracking down on protesters on Tiananmen protesters in 1989.