A Change for the Disabled? Will It Matter?

Long time head of the China Disabled Persons Federation, Deng Pufang, son of Deng Xiaoping, has been replaced at the most recent national meetings by fellow paraplegic, Zhang Haidi. Deng, who was injured during the Cultural Revolution, used his father's connections to help first set up the Chinese Disabled Welfare Fund and later the Disabled Persons Federation. He has been in charge of both of them since they were founded back in the 1980s. At this year's meeting, he was named Honorary Chairman, though Zhang will take charge of the day-to-day work.

Zhang, who became disabled after a surgery at the age of 5, didn't attend school, but studied hard on her own and taught herself multiple foreign languages. During the late 70s/early 80s, she was used as a model student who all Chinese should learn from.

It's doubtful this change fully removes Deng's influence from the scene, so its not quite a new day, but at least with new blood at the top, it will be interesting to see what, if any, changes or lobbying takes place.

No comments: