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HU YAOBANG – private life details revealed

China’s communist party chief Hu Yaobang left for a visit to Japan yesterday — after revealing to the world for the first time that he had a wife, four children and five grand-children.

The secrecy that surrounds the private lives of China’s leaders is rarely broken, and even the most basic details are often unknown to outsiders.

just before leaving Peking on his week-long Japanese tour, Hu, aged 68, agreed to answer journalists’ questions on his personal life “so long as you do not make it into important news.”

he said he was married to a lady by the name of Li Zhao, whom he said had recently retired from a job in the textile industry.

his four children — three sons and a daughter — are aged in their thirties and forties, and all are university graduates. one son has two children, the rest one each.

hu, the leader of the world’s largest communist party, said he enjoyed reading sports news, and described himself as being “probably weak compared to strong people my age, but strong compared to people who are weak.”

he attributed his good health to “the hard testing i went through in the long revolutionary struggle.”

“it is not really our custom to ask such questions (of a political leader),” he added.

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