A RARE article about the reclusive daughter of Chairman Mao's second wife, He Zizhen, claims she is living in poverty on 400 yuan (about HK$373) a month in a courtyard house near the Forbidden City. The Nanfang Daily said Li Min, 53, was in poor health and was unable to walk downstairs from her second-floor flat. 'As a princess who endured so many hardships and was once envied by everyone else, she should live more comfortably and affluently than ordinary people. 'Yet her life is still quite hard,' the article said. It described her living alone in quarters described as 'common' and furnished with filthy, old furniture. Ms Li is believed to be the only one to survive of six children of the marriage between Mao and He Zizhen, who accompanied her husband on the exhausting and dangerous Long March. The others are thought to have died or been left in the keeping of peasants. He Zizhen was sent to the Soviet Union where she lived during World War II while Mao took up with Jiang Qing. She was later diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia and after she returned, Mao rarely saw her. Her daughter, Ms Li, became a member of Mao's court and was tutored by Mao's doctor in maths, physics and chemistry. He thought her 'honest, simple, well-mannered and polite but not very bright'. In 1964, Ms Li was driven out of Zhongnanhai by Jiang who was jealous of Mao's affection for Ms Li's son. Asked if her father had been strict with her, she was quoted as saying: 'I rarely saw my father, so how could he give me instructions about anything?' Ms Li told the newspaper Mao insisted that his family ate sparingly and refused to use his influence to obtain extra rations of pork. Instead, he borrowed his daughter's pork coupons so he could eat his favourite red-cooked pork dish. When he died, he only left her 8,000 yuan. At a Politburo meeting, Jiang allegedly tried to stop her getting the money but, thanks to the intervention of Deng Xiaoping, she received it plus a colour television and a refrigerator. Her son is now over 30 and is in the People's Liberation Army, her daughter is at university and her husband, Kong Linghua, works in Shenzhen. Recent articles have highlighted the fate of Mao's other descendants. The wife of Mao's son, Mao Anqing, by the Chairman's first wife Yang Kaihui, has just been promoted to major general in the PLA. Mao Anqing, Mao's only surviving son, spent 11 years in the Soviet Union with his wife Shao Hua. He now lives at the age of 72 in the suburbs of Beijing and the couple are said to be more at ease speaking in Russian than Chinese.