The 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party is just a little over two weeks away, and the time has come for pomp and circumstance. That is the message China’s propaganda czar, Li Changchun (李长春), conveys to the domestic media today in a speech being energetically promoted — presumably because no one has any real choice — across major internet news portals and in daily newspapers.
In the speech, given yesterday while on an official inspection tour of the north-central autonomous region of Ningxia, Li urges media to “carry out education in the love of the Party, love of the nation and love of socialism extensively throughout society.” Media are to create “a dense atmosphere of solemnity and ardor, joy and peace, unity and advancement, and scientific development.” Li also talks about the need to advance “cultural sector reforms,” so that enterprises, in the cultural sector that is, continue to raise the competitiveness of their brands. For good measure, he talks about actively “extolling [our] outstanding national cultural traditions.”
What does all this Party claptrap mean? . . . What, you didn’t understand the memo?
It means, of course, tighter controls on the media. It sends the message, loud and clear to all journalists, editors and website operators, that now is crunch time. The party is just around the corner, and anyone who spoils the mood does so at great peril.
[ABOVE: Today’s news page at QQ.com, with Li Changchun coverage highlighted.]
For all the complicated mechanics of press control in China, the fundamental agent is fear. And this is what Li Changchun’s message conveys, behind the leader’s support for cultural traditions — sit back, sing along and enjoy the party, and you’ll have nothing to fear.
Just to give you a taste of Li Changchun’s soaring rhetoric, here is a portion of the Xinhua release.
“Li Changchun: Creating a Favorable [Public Opinion] Environment for the 90th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party”
Li Changchun emphasizes during an inspection tour in Ningxia: [We must] extensively carry out education in love for the Party, love for the nation and love for society
June 14, 2011
Xinhua News Agency
Reporter, Zhang Qin (张钦)
Creating a Favorable Environment for the 90th Anniversary of the CCP
CCP Central Committee Politburo Standing Committee Member Li Changchun (李长春) emphasized during an inspection tour in Ningxia that in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, [we must] carry out education in the love of the Party, love of the nation and love of socialism extensively throughout society, undertaking education in the socialist core value system (社会主义核心价值体系), undertaking education in the great experience [and success] of economic reform and opening, undertaking education in the furthering of unity among our national peoples, singing the main theme (主旋律) of the goodness of the CCP, the goodness of socialism, the goodness of economic reform and opening, the goodness of our Great Mother Country and the goodness of people of all nationalities, working hard to create a dense atmosphere of solemnity and ardor, joy and peace, unity and advancement, and scientific development. [We must] encourage cadres and the masses to struggle hard for the realization of the struggle objective of the “12th Five-year Plan,” for the seizing of the full building of the new victory of a moderately prosperous society, and the creation of a new dimension of the project of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
. . .
He [Li Changchun] emphasized that [we, or media] must thoroughly make use of sites of patriotic education, energetically propagating the great achievements and abundant merits of the Chinese Communist Party in leading the people in revolution, the building [of a nation] and economic reform and opening, must energetically promote the great spirit of the Long March and other precious spiritual riches created in the various historical eras of our Party, and invest these with new currency . . .
And while Li Changchun is drumming home the message out West, Liu Yunshan (刘云山), the head of China’s Central Propaganda Department, is in Zhejiang province with the same message.
The other big headline on news sites today is, “Liu Yunshan: Do Propaganda for the 90th Anniversary Well — Use the Achievements of the Party to Stimulate the People.”
Liu talks about the need to fully exploit “red resources” (红色资源), carrying out education on the “history, knowledge and nature of the Party.”
[ABOVE: Today’s news page at Sohu.com, with Li Changchun and Liu Yunshan coverage highlighted.]