BEIJING, March 8 (Xinhua) -- He is an ardent proponent of Mao Zedong's philosophy in China. He is also a political advisor, a young major general, a military researcher, and Chairman Mao's grandson.
Mao Xinyu has been followed by cameras and microphones since the opening of the current annual session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top political advisory body.
He has captured attention not just because he has a big, imposing build like his grandfather, but because the public is keen on his unusual perspectives.
"The theories of my grandfather will never be outdated even though China has changed a lot," Mao said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua. "Truth-seeking, an emphasis on the people, and his view of history both deserve lasting study."
During his everyday life, Mao keeps a low profile and buries himself in research on Mao Zedong, one of the leading figures who founded the People's Republic of China, as a skilled military commander. He is a military researcher with the Academy of Military Sciences under the People's Liberation Army.
"Mao Zedong's art of command represented a high point," said the younger Mao, whose speech -- free of bureaucratic jargon -- resembles his grandfather's plain style.
Mao wore a plain black jacket. His chin was tipped slightly upward and he waved his hand heroically when he spoke, exuding the casual grace of his grandfather.
"His strategic thoughts can guide war in the information age," Mao said. "Digital networks play an increasingly critical role, but the basic principles of war remain unchanged."
Mao recently submitted a proposal to the current CPPCC session, suggesting that the nation apply the principles of the Mao Zedong Thought to war in the Information Age -- an era in which "the Internet is as pivotal as mechanized forces."
"Please take my proposal seriously. I took much time in preparing it," Mao said to a CPPCC aide.
Mao himself is an Internet fan. He regularly communicates with other netizens to spread Chairman Mao's philosophy, politics, and economic and military thoughts.
"We are still on a trail Mao Zedong initially blazed," Mao said. He noted that his grandfather early on took note of the "economic imbalance between China's east and west," an issue central to economic planners today.
This year marks the 120th anniversary of Mao Zedong's birth and many official and grassroots commemorative activities could be anticipated.
A Xinhua-released microblog picture showing Padma Choling, a Tibetan deputy to the National People's Congress, wearing a Mao Zedong button rapidly went viral on the Internet.
A button depicting the image of Chairman Mao used to be a must-have accessory when Mao was China's top leader. Sometimes a Mao button was even presented as a marriage gift. Now the buttons are valuable in the collectibles market.
Mao also sees the need to balance the good points of the Mao Zedong era with the benefits of rapid economic growth. "Once we paid a lot of attention to social justice. Afterwards, for a period of time, we focused on economic growth too much," he said.
"We should give equal consideration to economic growth and social justice," Mao said. "A neglect of either side will cause trouble. That's the essence of Mao's theory."
Similar to his grandfather, Mao is fond of calligraphy. On his hotel tea table were brushes queued in a row and a couple of old-styled exercise books filled with Chinese characters.
Climbing is another of his hobbies. "I am heavy, but I also have endurance. I like climbing mountains, as did my grandfather. I can learn much from him."
Mao considers himself a common person despite his famous heritage. At the mention that "some officials disregard or even trample ordinary people's rights to democracy and supervision," Mao became livid.
"That's what makes me most angry. People must have those two rights. That's the key to fighting corruption," Mao said.
Mao has two children. One is 10 years old, the other is five. "If they study well, I don't mind sending them overseas," he said. "But they must depend on themselves. No privilege."