While Hillary Clinton emphasizes her feminine side to help her run for the US presidency, China's "iron lady" looks as steely as ever at the nation's convention of political advisors.
Xie Qihua, 63, led China's largest steel company from 1998 to 2007 as chief executive and later board chairwoman of Shanghai Baosteel Group Corporation. She ranked second on Fortune's list of the most powerful businesswomen outside the United States in 2005.
She is now chairwoman of the China Metallurgical Council affiliated to the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, overseeing imports of iron ore, of which the country is running short.
At the CPPCC session, it is hard to spot Xie, who has a simple haircut and wears a plain jacket.
Speaking in a husky voice, she proposed that the government help several large State-owned steel producers in their mergers and acquisitions, and that the anti-monopoly law in the pipeline should not prevent China's steelmakers from becoming major global players.
She also believes that Chinese steelmakers should build more factories in countries such as Brazil, where there are rich resources of iron ore, since steelmaking giants around the globe are competing for iron ore and the price keeps rising.
As tough as her ideas and looks are, she sneered at criticism that she is not very feminine.
"Women can be feminine in different ways," she said.
"I don't have to keep telling people that I am a woman, or to constantly remind myself of my gender when I am working. That can be silly. Being a leader you have to be decisive, regardless of your gender."
She is "not active at all" after work, she said, and would rather stay at home and read books than go out. She almost never appears at the many banquets and parties in Shanghai, and it is her rule not to disclose any information about her family because "it is best for them", she said.
Although she prefers not to emphasize her femininity, she never denies that her success at work has to do with the fact that she is a woman.
"It happens in two ways," she explained. "I tend to think more about details in planning and set lower goals than some male leaders do. Besides, I am not that heavy-handed in management and care more about the feelings and individual needs of my employees."
At Baosteel she had 90,000 people working for her. And while some of China's steel giants dipped their toes into all kinds of businesses, Baosteel never ventured beyond steelmaking.
Xie is coordinating Chinese steelmakers in their difficult negotiations on iron ore prices with suppliers and other steel giants. She may keep a low profile, but insiders said that she is "sharp and tough".