The memorabilia of Communist China, like this hat, will be on full display this year. Image by crudmucosa available at Flickr.com under CC license.
The People’s Daily reports prominently on its front page today that the Central Office of the Chinese Communist Party has released a notice providing guidance for propaganda and education in the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the CCP. The notice, which outlines general “arrangements and outlays” (安排部署) for the carrying out of a comprehensive national propaganda campaign through the July anniversary and to the end of the year, specifies the guiding theme: “Forever Following the Party” (永远跟党走).
According to the People’s Daily, the notice says that a “diverse and content-rich” campaign for the anniversary should “vigorously sing the main theme of the times, the goodness of the Chinese Communist Party, the goodness of socialism, the goodness of reform and opening, the goodness of the great motherland, and the goodness of the people of all ethnic groups.”
The notice makes clear that the “thematic propaganda and education campaign” (主题宣传教育活动) will unfold in two phases. The first phase, extending through this month, will focus on the Fifth Plenum and the 14th Five-Year Plan, the recent National People’s Congress, and the February conference declaring victory in eliminating extreme poverty. The gist will be to publicize the “great prospects for development during the 14th Five-Year Plan period.”
The second phase, unfolding from May through to the end of the year, “cresting in June and July” according to the People’s Daily report, will focus on the “spirit” of the “important speech” to be delivered by Xi Jinping at the official ceremony to commemorate the Party’s 100th anniversary, and on China’s building of a moderately prosperous society. The notice outlines a broad propaganda strategy along seven key points, including widespread grassroots events involving oath-taking by Party members, including new initiates, and the active use old revolutionary sites, revolutionary memorials, martyrs’ cemeteries and other so-called “red resources” (红色资源).
The People’s Daily report closes by noting that the notice “also issued propaganda slogans for the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.” In recent days, a list of 80 propaganda slogans has circulated. The lists includes phrases like the following:
Ardently celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CCP! (热烈庆祝中国共产党成立100周年!) A journey of a hundred years, a hundred years our original intention has remained strong! (百年征程波澜壮阔，百年初心历久弥坚!) Long live the Chinese Communist Party! (伟大的中国共产党万岁!) Long live the Chinese people! (伟大的中国人民万岁!) Long live the People’s Republic of China! (伟大的中华人民共和国万岁!) Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era is the guide of action for the whole Party and the whole nation as they strive for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation! (习近平新时代中国特色社会主义思想是全党全国人民为实现中华民族伟大复兴而奋斗的行动指南) Closely uniting around the Central Party Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, seizing a new victory in the comprehensive building of a modern socialist state! （紧密团结在以习近平同志为核心的党中央周围，夺取全面建设社会主义现代化国家新胜利!) Unity is strength, only with unity can we move forward! (团结就是力量、团结才能前进!)
Though an indelible feature of PRC politics under Mao Zedong, the top-down release of such slogans for broad national propaganda campaigns was unseen in post-reform China before 2019. In May of that year, a similar notice was issued for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. That notice was also reported on the front page of the People’s Daily just below the masthead.