LIANGSHAN, China (AP) — Communist Party leader Xi Jinping’s smiling visage looks down from the walls of virtually every home inhabited by members of the Yi minority group in a remote corner of China’s Sichuan province.
Xi has replaced former leader Mao Zedong for pride of place in new brick and concrete houses built to replace crumbling traditional structures in Sichuan’s Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, which is home to about 2 million Yi.
A considerable cult of personality has developed around Xi since he took over the ruling party in 2012. Millions of books containing his speeches have been distributed and an array of items from decorative plates to key chains display his image and that of his glamorous military singer-wife, Peng Liyuan, who also features in some of the posters hung in Yi houses.
Hanging portraits of Chinese leaders in private homes has generally declined since the days of