Spot the famous at China’s CPPCC session


Yao Ming arrives at CPPCC. (Xinhua/Yin Gang)

Yao Ming

Occupation: Retired NBA player, current owner of the Shanghai Sharks, owner of Yao Family Wines in Napa Valley.

Former Chinese NBA star Yao Ming makes his way through a crowd of journalists to the steps of the Great Hall of the People as he arrives for the opening session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing on March 3, 2015. Thousands of delegates from across China and the Chinese leadership will gather for its annual legislature meetings from March 3 in Beijing. AFP PHOTO / Greg BAKER


Claim to fame: Seven-foot-six-inch-tall Yao was drafted by the Houston Rockets as the first pick in the 2002 NBA draft. That season he was an All-Star and was on the league’s All-Rookie team and he later earned all-star honors in each of the following six seasons, according to

What he’s doing at the CPPCC: Yao has proposed extending schools’ physical education class hours nationwide and he urges young people to exercise and strive to be good at one sport, according to Global Times. Yao said that once a student gets to know a sport, interest can grow. “This helps them keep the habit of physical exercises,” Yao said on Wednesday. Yao has also been an advocate for protecting the northern white rhinoceros and an ambassador for elephant conservation.

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Jackie Chan

Occupation: Actor, filmmaker

Claim to Fame: Chan has been a martial arts film star for decades and has appeared in more than 150 films.

What he’s doing at the CPPCC: So far the only questions Chan has answered relate to an Internet meme of him called: “Duang” which uses footage of Chan from a 2004 commercial that has gone viral in the last week. Learn more about Duang. On the first day of the session, reporters asked him about the meme to which he replied it was “funny.” In previous CPPCC sessions, Chan has advocated for better regulations on calculating box office sales of films and has been vocal against heavy film censorship that harms box office sales.



Liu Xiang:

Occupation: Track and field athlete

Claim to fame: Liu won the 2004 Olympic Gold medal in the 100-meter hurdles.

What he’s doing at the CPPCC: Liu has been a supporter of the sports service industry at this year’s CPPCC. “Sport industry is not just sports gear manufacturing but of many things and service should be an important one,” Liu said. “Sport service industry is a specialized field and needs well-trained professionals.” Liu said he hopes that retired athletes can join the sports service industry after study and training. On the first day of the session, as journalists peppered him with questions, Liu jokingly shouted: “Yao Ming is over there!”



Mo Yan

Occupation: Novelist, writer

Claim to fame: Mo is a Chinese novelist and short story writer who won was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature for his work. He is best known for his 1987 novel Red Sorghum Clan.

What he’s doing at the CPPCC: In the past, Mo has proposed more policy and financial support from the government for parents whose children have died. Traditionally Chinese people rely on their children to support them in old age, but without progeny, some can find themselves in dire circumstances. In Mo’s hometown of Weifang City of east China’s Shandong Province, there are more than 3,000 people who have lost their only child.



Li Yanhong

Occupation: Internet Entrepreneur

Claim to fame: Li is the co-founder and CEO of the Chinese search engine giant Baidu was the second richest man in mainland China in 2013.

What he’s doing at the CPPCC: Li will propose that China set up a plan to develop artificial intelligence and promote a medical registration network. “My proposal this year is to launch a ‘Brain Project of China’, which is actually an artificial intelligence platform to promote China’s creative capacity. The platform will be used as a public facility through which everybody can create something. I think this can boost China’s creative capacity,” Li said. He has advocated for public service issues since 2013.



Zou Kai

Occupation: Olympic Gymnast

Claim to fame: Zou is a Chinese gymnast specializing in the floor exercise and the horizontal bar. He has won the Olympic gold medal five times in the 2008 and 2012 games. He holds the record for the most Olympic golds and the most total medals by any Chinese athlete in history.

What he’s doing at the CPPCC: Zou said that canceling the medal count at the National Games, as proposed by China’s sports authority, will help downplay the local sports authorities’ obsession with medals, and curb some unfair competition. However, athletes should still pursue medals, he said. The existence of the National Games, despite match-fixing scandals, is also important for events like gymnastics and weightlifting to earn funding and support from the local government, he added.



Feng Xiaogang

Occupation: Director, filmmaker

Claim to fame: Feng is a highly successful commercial filmmaker, including comedies such as The Banquet and Aftershock.

What he’s doing at the CPPCC: In the past, Feng has been vocal against film censorship in China – specifically 200-plus items listed in the central government’s work report that require State Council review and approval before airing.

“They should give directors more space to create art work, rather than making them tread as if on the ice,” he has been quoted as saying.

Chen Kaige



Occupation: Director, filmmaker

Claim to fame: Chen is a leading figure of the fifth generation of Chinese cinema. His most famous film, Farewell My Concubine won the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.

What he’s doing at the CPPCC: Chen has expressed support for the recent documentary “Under the Dome” by former CCTV reporter Chai Jing. “The wind blew smog away [referring to the good quality air in Beijing week] but the problem has not been fundamentally solved. [To solve it] we need to be resolute and this is not just an issue for one man. I saw the film; it was really good, very sincere and very real. In times like this, we need someone to raise this issue and call for public attention,” Chen said.

Story compiled with information from China Daily, Xinhua, Tencent News,,,, the South China Morning Post.