The “White Maiden” and “The Red Army of the Maiden”, which were once household names in China, will become important programs for the Communist Party’s centennial celebration. Some scholars have pointed out that the Communist Party of China, which started with violence, is once again launching a series of red dramas with the intention of promoting national hatred and seclusion.
The content of the cultural performance program for the 100th anniversary celebration of the Communist Party of China was unveiled this week. On Tuesday (23), the CPC Central Committee held a conference on the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. Hu Heping, vice minister of the Propaganda Department and minister of Culture and tourism, said that in order to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Party and revisit the red classics, a number of classic works have been rehearsed this year, such as the national opera “White Maiden”, the ballet “Red Maiden”, and the symphonic chorus “Long March Group Song”.
Hu Heping said at the conference, this year around the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, the organization to create 100 different categories, different themes of stage art works. These include the opera “Red Boat”, “Yimeng Mountain”, the Peking Opera “Red Army Story”, the dance drama “Never Fade Away” and other works on revolutionary historical themes; there are also national operas to promote the spirit of poverty alleviation “on the road to poverty”, “New Liu Sanjie” and so on.
As for the red dance dramas that took the stage again during the Communist Party’s centennial celebration this year, Zhang Jianping, a current affairs commentator from Changzhou, Jiangsu Province, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia this Thursday: “These movies and dramas that we could see when we were kids, which were probably The White Maiden, The Red Army of the Maiden, and The Surprise Attack on the White Tiger Regiment, etc., we used to be incited to national emotions, of course Now we feel horrible that this is something that preaches hatred”.
Left: Resurrection of the Chinese Cultural Revolution model play “White Maiden”. (Web screenshot) Right: Red history questions are said to be brainwashing for young people. (Video screenshot)
The Chinese Communist Party uses xenophobia to rally domestic public opinion
The Red Drama of the Cultural Revolution, known as the “Model Drama”, is a group of stage art works that were officially recognized by the Chinese Communist Party as having been finalized during the Cultural Revolution between 1967 and 1976 and carrying the CCP’s ultra-left political stance. It was strongly recommended by Jiang Qing, one of the Gang of Four. Under China’s “reform and opening up” policy, “model operas” were treated coldly and even spurned by the public.
Zhang Jianping said, “After the reform and opening up, many enlightened people in the Chinese Communist Party wanted China to integrate into the world civilization, so that there would be less hate propaganda and hate Education. The 100th anniversary of the party, this kind of dregs proliferate mainly because of the Sino-US relationship.”
The 19th Communist Party Congress amended the Constitution of the Communist Party of China (CPC) to include two 100-year periods as achievements of the CPC in power. The first 100-year anniversary of the party’s founding coincides with the deterioration of U.S.-China relations.
Xi Jinping recently launched a campaign to “learn and educate” about the history of the Party. (AFP file photo)
According to Zhang, the authorities launched the red dance drama to increase public cohesion with the Communist Party. Diplomacy is a continuation of domestic affairs, and when there are tensions between China and the United States, it matters what kind of approach China takes in response,” he said. For example, addressing medical issues, environmental issues, education issues, social justice, that’s one way, and another way is to promote national hatred. This is very dangerous.”
Taking big steps backwards is a dead end
Guangxi literature and history scholar Zhang Guangsheng told the station that the return of the Cultural Revolution drama to the Chinese stage is a sign of regression: “I think it is now taking a big step backwards, and there is nothing we, the people, can do about it. It’s going down a dead-end road, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Of course the situation at Home and abroad is putting a lot of pressure on them, and they have no choice. Take the past closed kind of road, it feels a little safer, it does not know whether the people agree.”
Ling Zhenbao, a netizen in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province, told the station, “This year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, and the propaganda department is in full swing to promote the everlasting greatness, glory and correctness of the CPC. At the same Time, it also creates public opinion for Xi to seek re-election at the 20th Congress next year. To prove to the world that he is the orthodoxy of the Red River and that the violent revolution, class struggle, etc. of the Communist Party will never be forgotten.”
Xi Jinping, the Communist Party’s general secretary, recently launched a campaign to “learn about Party history and education,” with a focus on youth. Authorities also said that students should be guided to actively study the history of the Communist Party.