CULTURAL REVOLUTION NOSTALGIA

REMEMBERING THE THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION

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Cultural Revolution restaurant
Many of the Red Guards that took part in the Cultural Revolution are now middle-age men who "ride bicycles to the market and live next door." Some veterans feel a sense of nostalgia for the Cultural Revolution. They have formed clubs and meet at reunions. Some of them meet in Cultural-Revolution-themed restaurant that serve peasant food and are decorated with Mao memorabilia or go on Cultural Revolution vacations that recreate the re-education experience in the countryside with mare's milk drinking, cow dung shoveling, boiled mutton eting and the singing of revolutionary songs.

Some never got over their Cultural Revolution experience. Many well-educated sons of academics and elite melted into the countryside, married local women and became peasant farmers. Some of residents of Shanghai and Beijing sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution now can not get work permits to come back and have returned as migrant workers.

In Hangzhou, China, couples are getting married and having their wedding pictures taken while dressed up like Red Guards in green military outfits with Red Star on their hat and Mao Zedong badge pinned to their uniform, “It's just different from other wedding pictures. I think it's very cool, but it doesn't mean it is related to the history of the revolution,” a 24-year-old advertisement company worker who is marrying 26-year-old dancer told AP.

The idea for the special Red Guard-style wedding photos came from Zou Sigen, manager of the 9th Channel Photo Studio in Hangzhou, China, who thought they would be popular. “People are more open-minded, more eager to change,” said Zou. Two or three couples come every week for Red Guard portraits, which cost 2,000 yuan ($290), about the same as regular wedding portraits. “I think it is fun to pose as a Red Guard. That is a special period that most young people do not know about. It definitely makes you feel different when you are in the green army uniform,” Zou said. [Source: AP]

In 2013, a video showing female employees at the Arirang Hotel in Dandong performing their allegiance to their company in Cultural Revolution style, was an Internet phenomenon in China. Check You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JbgNqwea4Q

Websites and Books on the Cultural Revolution

Good Websites and Sources on the Cultural Revolution Virtual Museum of the Cultural Revolution cnd.org ; Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Morning Sun morningsun.org ; Red Guards and Cannibals New York Times ; The South China Morning Post has produced a wonderful multimedia report on the Cultural Revolution. multimedia.scmp.com. Posters: Cultural Revolution posters at The Ohio State University online exhibition Picturing Power: Posters of the Cultural Revolution and the University of Westminster Chinese Poster Collection huntingtonarchive.org ]

Great Leap Forward: University of Chicago Chronicle chronicle.uchicago.edu ; Mt. Holyoke China Essay Series mtholyoke.edu ; Wikipedia ; Industrial Planning Video You Tube Death Under Mao: Uncounted Millions, Washington Post article paulbogdanor.com ; Death Tolls erols.com People’s Republic of China : Timeline china-profile.com ; ; Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Cold War International Project wilsoncenter.org ; China Essay Series mtholyoke.edu ; Everyday Life in Maoist China.org everydaylifeinmaoistchina.org; Wikipedia article on propaganda Wikipedia ; Cultural Revolution sino.uni-heidelberg.de; Communist China Posters Landsberger Posters ; More Posters chinaposters.org ; Yet more posters Ann Tompkins and Lincoln Cushing Collection Mao Zedong Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Chinese Mao.com chinesemao.com ; Mao Internet Library marx2mao.com ; Paul Noll Mao site paulnoll.com/China/Mao ; Mao Quotations art-bin.com; Marxist.org marxists.org ; Propaganda Paintings of Mao artchina.free.fr ; New York Times topics.nytimes.com; Communist Party History Wikipedia article Wikipedia ; Illustrated History of Communist Party china.org.cn

Books on the Cultural Revolution: "The Cultural Revolution: A People's History” by Frank Dikotter (Bloomsbury 2016); “The Cowshed: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution” by Ji Xianlin (New York Review Books, 2016); "Wild Swans” by Jung Chang, an international bestseller; “Ten Years of Madness: Oral Histories of the Cultural Revolution” and “One Hundred People's Ten Years” by Feng Jicai. “The Execution of Mayor Yin and Other Stories from the Great Cultural Revolution” by Chen Jo-his; Life and “Death in Shanghai” by Nien Chang; “Enemies of the People” by Anne F. Thurston.

“Colors of the Mountain” by Da Chen (Random House, 2000) is a coming-of-age set in the Cultural Revolution. It was described by Newsweek as "surprisingly free of cynicism or bitterness...all the more poignant by the wonder and vulnerability in the voice of their child narrator." “The Lily Theater: A Novel of Modern China” by Lulu Wang is an entertaining and interesting depiction of the Cultural Revolution originally written in Dutch by a Chinese woman with a strong, eccentric voice.

The human costs of the Cultural Revolution have been best captured by Simon Leys (the pen-name of the Belgian sinologist and literary critic Pierre Ryckmans) in his books "Chinese Shadows" (1974) and "The Burning Forest" (1987). "Voice from the Whirlwind" by Feng Jicai is a collection of oral histories from the Cultural Revolution. Also worth a look is "My Name is Number 4: A True Story of the Cultural revolution" by Ting-Xing Ye (Thomas Dunne, 2008). Li Zhensheng’s photographs of the Cultural Revolution can be found in “Red Color News Soldier: A Chinese Photographer’s Odyssey Through the Cultural Revolution,” edited by Robert Pledge and published by Phaidon Press in 2016. You can help this site a little by ordering your Amazon books through this link: Amazon.com.

Cultural-Revolution-Themed Restaurants

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The Daily Beast reported: “It’s a typical Saturday night at the Red Scene restaurant, which is packed with well-to-do Chinese diners. The younger ones clap in time to the music, while a gaggle of middle-aged patrons<many of them red-faced and tipsy---are on their feet, dancing and singing along with the stage performers. Tables groan under heaping platters of food. This could be any one of Beijing’s popular dinner shows, which draw audiences with the promise of Chinese opera or Western cabaret. But at Red Scene, the waiters and performers are all dressed as Red Army soldiers, Red Guards, workers, and peasants. And the skit is showcasing the persecution of an evil landlord, who is being beaten and forced to wear a pointed dunce cap---a scene straight out of China’s Cultural Revolution, one of the most tumultuous times in the nation’s history. The epoch remains controversial for a huge number of Chinese who were submitted to such “criticism sessions”---or even knew people who’d been “struggled” to death for being too bourgeois. [Source: The Daily Beast, February 19, 2011]

Such restaurants are part of a boom in Chinese tourism and entertainment venues catering to revolutionary nostalgia. To many, the idea of a Cultural Revolution’themed dining establishment is paradoxical, since tasty cuisine was certainly not that era’s strong suit. The first “Red restaurants” sprouted in Beijing in the “90s, offering little more than a few socialist-realist posters and food that was minimalist in the literal sense of the word. One served dandelion-leaf salad and raw cucumbers to symbolize the grass and bark that some poor Chinese ate during the hardscrabble “60s and “70s. Now Red-restaurant cuisine is more in line with middle-class tastes. In Mao’s hometown, “the Chairman’s Favorite”---roast fatty pork---is a must, while Red Scene offers a pricey shrimp dish for $27 alongside less-expensive cornmeal cakes and country-style bean curd. By Western standards, Red Scene’s clients aren’t big spenders---an average check is about $12 per person---but that isn’t mere peanuts for most Chinese, either.

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p> The emergence of songs, dances, and vignettes evoking Cultural Revolution conflict is an equally significant change over the past decade. Before that, anything that exacerbated “class struggle,” or focused on the gap between the haves and the have-nots, was considered too sensitive for public airing. But Red Scene, which opened in 2005 and serves an average of 400 customers a night, is a good example of how many older Chinese have forgotten the dark side of that era<and how a younger generation never really knew it to begin with. During the skit vilifying an arrogant landlord, diners applauded and waved little red flags (conveniently provided by the wait staff).

This year, such “Red” venues are peaking in popularity because the Chinese Communist Party celebrated the 90th anniversary of its founding in July. Local governments are promoting “Red tours” to legendary sites along the Long March route, and organizers of a Red China Tourism Expo said such sites across the nation have received 1.35 billion visitors---or a fifth of all tourism traffic---in recent years. They expected a fivefold annual increase in 2011 over 2010 numbers.

Many of the Red-restaurant clientele were urban youths during the Cultural Revolution. In a nationwide campaign, they were sent to the countryside to reap the fruits of manual labor. These sojourns were often filled with long days of backbreaking work in the fields and lonely evenings. Still, many were inspired by communal life down on the farm. One such youth, Huang Zhen, decided to open Beijing’s Red Flag Fluttering restaurant in 2007, ‘so that people can remember the past,” he told Xinhua News Agency. Huang, now 58, instructed waiters to memorize Mao’s quotations and to dance the “loyalty dance” of the Cultural Revolution era, which involves a lot of fist-clenching to symbolize revolutionary ardor.

At Red Flag Fluttering, the majority of customers are in their 60s and 70s, usually arriving in groups to wallow in nostalgia for their years as youths “sent down” to the farm. “They like ... the revolutionary songs, dances, and pictures, [which] bring their memories back to their Cultural Revolution experiences,” explains one waiter. He says customers also like the Red-themed dishes, such as one called “A Revolutionary Big Family,” consisting of nearly a dozen types of seafood and meat, and “Warriors Who Dashed Over the Luding Bridge,” a dish of chicken named after the site of a famous Red Army victory. As for the skits on class struggle, the waiter shrugged. “We simply want our customers to be entertained and to recall their old experiences without thinking too deeply of these social issues.”

But the popularity of Red restaurants has also stirred controversy. One reader wrote in to a local paper to complain about Red Flag Fluttering. “The Red Guard uniforms are disgusting ... They remind me of the unpleasant past.” The reader said she’d gone to the restaurant with a dozen elderly friends, but “one of us who suffered a lot during the Cultural Revolution felt extremely uncomfortable. So we all left.” And how do authorities regard the restaurants? Although stage performances are subject to government censorship, there seems to be little official meddling so far. “We have nothing to do with the government, so we don’t care too much about its attitude,” says the waiter at Red Flag Fluttering. “As a matter of fact, we don’t even know the attitude of the government.”

Reminiscing About the Cultural Revolution

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Cultural Revolution costumes
Reporting from a Mao-era restaurant in Beijing, Liyan Qi and Olivia Geng of the Wall Street Journal wrote: “Sixty-two-year-old Li Shuhua, a native of northeastern Jilin province, who was dining alongside her husband, daughters and granddaughter, said she met her husband thanks to Mao, who sent millions of urban youth to farm and be “reeducated” in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. [Source: Liyan Qi and Olivia Geng, China Real Time, Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2014 <<>>]

“Sipping a large bowl of coarse corn porridge, Ms. Li and her husband said that the food reminded them of the home-style dishes they used to eat, including goose stew and a dish of stewed pig. Still, she said the restaurant presented a rosy vision of the past. “We were so poor. Ordinary families could hardly to afford newspaper to cover the wall,” Ms. Li said. Her 66-year-old husband, Dong Lisheng, said that when he was young, he was never able to eat goose stew. “I knew the dish was made in that part of the countryside, but we could never afford it,” Mr. Dong said.

“A few tables away, another older couple also reminisced about the early days of their romance, which they likewise struck up thanks to Mao’s campaign. “I chased her. She was so beautiful!” said 66-year-old Wan Jiajun, beaming at his 63-year old wife, Yu Min, who was originally from Beijing but met Mr. Wan in Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution, when the two were herding sheep and horses. The duo moved to Beijing in 1994.

”Red Culture” Revival Under Bo Xilai

Bo also gained notoriety for a citywide campaign to revive Mao-era communist songs and stories, dredging up memories of the chaotic Cultural Revolution, although Bo claimed he wasn't motivated by politics and only wanted to boost civic pride. The campaign fizzled after initial bursts of positive publicity.

Reporting from Chongqing before the approach of the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in July 2011, Keith B. Richburg wrote in the Washington Post, “The country is being swept up in a wave of orchestrated revolutionary nostalgia...The local satellite television station recently stopped broadcasting sitcoms and now shows only “revolutionary” programs and news. Government workers and students have been told to spend time working in the countryside. The local propaganda department launched a “red Twitter” micro-blogging site, blasting out short patriotic slogans. [Source: Keith B. Richburg, Washington Post, June 29. 2011]

And in what seems like a throwback to the days of the Cultural Revolution, residents have been encouraged—or told—to read revolutionary books and poetry and to gather regularly in parks to sing old songs extolling the Communist revolution. A recent Sunday gathering, including a colorful, choreographed stage pageant, attracted an estimated 10,000 flag-waving people, many in uniforms and red caps and mostly organized by the party chiefs in their schools and factories.

The red culture campaign revival is the pet project of the local Communist Party secretary, Bo Xilai, a former commerce minister and son of Bo Yibo, a Mao Zedong contemporary who was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. Bo defended the red culture campaign, saying, “We aim to encourage people’s spirits.” He said his campaign has four aspects: reading Chinese and foreign classics, including the theories of Mao and other Marxist leaders; telling popular stories; circulating inspiring mottos; and group-singing of revolutionary anthems. “We should spread these things more,” Bo said.

Many here, including Communist Party adherents, agree that this revival of revolutionary fervor is needed to instill a new sense of pride and common purpose, adding that they feared that China’s decades-long rush to get rich has eroded the country’s moral bearings and created an ethos of unchecked materialism. “When I sing red songs, I find a kind of spirit I never felt when singing modern songs,” said Zhang Chenxi, a third-year student at Southwest University here. “To surround yourself with material stuff is just a waste of time.”

For others, particularly those old enough to remember the bloodshed and chaos of the decade-long Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, the red culture campaign is an unwelcome reminder of one of the darker chapters of China’s recent turbulent history. The Cultural Revolution played out particularly violently in Chongqing, with clashes in the streets involving knives, heavy weapons and tanks.”For people of my generation, it’s like a return to the Mao era,” said a 57-year-old lawyer who had attended a middle school in Chongqing and asked not to be quoted by name. “I saw the beatings of the teachers by the Red Guards. It was horrible,” the lawyer said. “Young people may not recognize it. But for us who lived through it, how can we possibly sing?”

Richburg wrote in the Washington Post, in June 2011, “Bo took his efforts to Beijing, with a 1,000-member Chongqing singing troupe, including small children and the elderly, performing red songs for audiences at several concert halls. Most senior party officials stayed away, but mid-level officials were in the audience.Some critics said they were rattled by this apparent revival of Maoism and red culture, which seems to be gaining traction nationwide. [Source: Keith B. Richburg, Washington Post, June 29. 2011]

'Red Song' Campaign in 2011

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Bo and his family
Reporting from Chongqing, Barbara Demick wrote in the Los Angeles Times,” Although her musical tastes run to Mariah Carey and Norah Jones, Vicy Zhang didn't hesitate when she received an instant message inviting her to sing paeans to Mao Tse-tung at a celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party. "How could I refuse?" said Zhang, a 26-year-old graduate student at Chongqing University who hopes to join the party and have a career in civil service. "I thought it was boring and useless, but I didn't dare say no."[Source: Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, June 03, 2011]

More than 10,000 students and faculty members participated in the event last month. Although Zhang wore an evening gown, other students were dressed as Red Army soldiers, with red epaulets and armbands. Carrying red flags, they danced around a university athletic field with arms swinging rhythmically to martial music harking back to China circa 1966.

Throughout China, people are singing and dancing in homage to the Communist Party. The "red song" campaign began in Chongqing, where it was launched by party Secretary Bo Xilai, an ambitious politician who is believed to be angling for a seat on the Standing Committee of the Politburo."Red songs depict China's path in a simple, sincere and vivid way," Bo was quoted as saying by state news agencies in November. "There's no need to be artsy.... Only dilettantes prefer enigmatic works."

In conjunction with the 90th anniversary celebration in 2011 of the founding of the Communist Party of China was in Shanghai in 1921, the red song phenomenon has spread throughout the nation. In Beijing's subways, television screens show transit employees competing in a red song competition. In some parts of China, karaoke clubs have restricted playlists of Taiwanese love songs in favor of patriotic mainland ballads.

Under orders from the local propaganda department, Chongqing satellite television suspended its soap operas in favor of patriotic songfests. From April 20 to May 20, local newspapers had to publish the lyrics to familiarize the populace with the songs.Outside the airport, a billboard as high as a seven-story building features photographs of pink-cheeked young Chinese students and workers urging the public to "Sing Red Songs! Spread the Truth! Raise Your Spirits!" In public parks, retirees set up portable stereos and dance in long lines to songs praising Mao, even in Shapingba Park, which is next to an overgrown cemetery where thousands of people killed in the fighting of the late 1960s are buried.

Enthusiasm for the 'Red Song' Campaign

On Wednesday and Friday mornings at 7 a.m., former schoolteacher Cao Xingfen, 66, led fellow retirees through an elaborate dance routine set to red music, beneath billboards advertising Ermenegildo Zegna suits and Louis Vuitton bags. "These songs have a good rhythm; it's easy to dance to them," said Cao, a petite, silver-haired fireplug of a woman dressed in red pajamas. [Source: Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, June 03, 2011]

No doubt there is a genuine gusto for red songs, particularly among the older generation, for whom Communist marching songs are the campfire tunes of their childhood. On a balmy recent evening, a dozen people twirled through the dark in Renmin Park, the dancing figures illuminated by slivers of fluorescent light from a nearby beauty salon.

"We know these songs from our youth. We grew up with revolutionary spirit and we want to pass that on to our children," said Cai Derong, 55, who wiped his brow as he watched his wife, dressed for the occasion in a silky black-and-white dress, dance with one of her girlfriends. "Our economy is good. We want to express our appreciation to the Communist Party," piped in a middle-aged woman, Zhang Jin, who was also taking a break from the dancing.

Criticism, Lack of Enthusiasm and Mockery of the 'Red Song' Campaign

To critics, the Maoist revival has echoes of the maniacal quest for political correctness during the Cultural Revolution. "People with a sense of history look at it and wonder whether it is possible to go back to an era in which cruel things would happen again," said Alan Zhang, a recent law school graduate from Chongqing and blogger who, like other students interviewed, agreed to be quoted using only an English name. "The red song campaign has made Chongqing a laughingstock," he said."It's not that everyone is required to sing and love the songs. What we are seeking is a wider participation," Xu Chao, the Chongqing official in charge of the program, told the party-controlled Global Times.

At Chongqing's universities, those invited to participate in Communist Party anniversary celebrations were primarily party members and aspiring party members, many of them top students who see membership as a prerequisite to jobs in government or academia. "You have to accept when you get an invite, or you will be considered politically incorrect," said Owen Chen, a 24-year-old student and party member. "In our country, these are the kinds of things you have to do." [Source: Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times, June 03, 2011]

When the invitations were sent out, students jokingly turned red song into a verb, saying to one another "I've been red songed. Have you been red songed?" Participation meant going to rehearsals up to twice a day in the weeks before the May 11 performance."I didn't see a single student who sang these songs with passion," Vicy Zhang said.

It wasn't just the inconvenience; the politics were distasteful to the students too. They said the performances looked just like the "loyalty dance" everybody was required to do during the Cultural Revolution, moving arms from the heart to the sun in a display of boundless devotion to Mao.

As soon as the music died, one of the older men sat down on a stone bench next to a reporter and in a loud voice offered up contrary opinion. "These people are all afraid to tell you the truth. They're dancing to these red songs because it is all they have in their brain. For 40 to 50 years, they've heard nothing else. The propaganda songs have drowned out regular Chinese folk music," said the man, Hu Jiaqing, 60. "It is just like the Cultural Revolution: They're using these big campaigns and movements to cover up their social problems.” None of the other dancers argued. They just drifted away in the dark.

Similarities of Bo Xilai’s Red Culture Drive to the Cultural Revolution

In March 2011, Chen Youxi, a lawyer for a target of Bo’s anti-crime campaign, warned that Bo's disregard for law recalled the Cultural Revolution. John Garnaut wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald, “Chen was joined by another renowned and courageous lawyer, He Weifang, who had studied law in Chongqing in the idealistic years after Mao's death in 1976. “So many things have happened in this city with which we are so intimately familiar, things that cause one to feel that time has been dialled back, that the Cultural Revolution is being replayed, and that the ideal of rule of law is right now being lost,” he wrote in an open letter in April 2011. [Source: John Garnaut. Sydney Morning Herald, August 22, 2013. John Garnaut is the author of “The Rise and Fall of the House of Bo”*=*]

“The lawyers' warnings struck a chord with Hu Deping, the eldest son of Hu Yaobang, China's most popular reform-era leader, so he invited them in for talks. As party chief in the 1980s, Hu had warned his children that the lessons of the Cultural Revolution had not yet been learnt. But Hu himself was purged in 1987, without a trial or legal process, before he could do much about it. Xi's father Xi Zhongxun, who worked alongside Hu, was the most senior elder who stood up for him. *=*

“Throughout 2011 Hu Deping rallied his liberal princeling allies, including two of Xi Jinping's sisters, with a series of unprecedented seminars. “There seems to be a 'revival' of something like advocating the Cultural Revolution,” said Hu. “Some do not believe in the Cultural Revolution but nevertheless exploit it and play it up,” said Hu, referring to Bo, whose mother was murdered or pressured to commit suicide during the Cultural Revolution. Privately, Hu repeated a similar message to two of his father's proteges: the then president and premier, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, according to a source familiar with those exchanges. *=*

“The men and women of China's political elite came of age in an environment of psychological and physical brutality that is unimaginable for their counterparts in the developed world. Especially cruel ordeals were reserved for “children of high cadres,” as they were known, when Mao's courtiers accused their parents of disloyalty to the revolution. What seemed most troubling, among princelings who knew Bo well and agreed to be interviewed, was that he had glorified the same Mao-era movement that killed his mother. The Bo family was not the only one that suffered. Many princelings bear grim tales of family members tortured and murdered. President Xi cannot attend a family funeral, wedding or Spring Festival event without facing the absence of his oldest sister, Xi Heping. She committed suicide near the end of the Cultural Revolution, in 1975, according to family friends. *=*

Fang Hong, a forestry official, was sent to a labor camp for a year for posting a scatological ditty online that mocked Bo. Fang's was no isolated case of extralegal abuse — dozens of people were locked up for various minor transgressions, said Fang, whose case was overturned by a court recently. "It was a time of red terror," he said in a recent interview. "The labor camps were overflowing with people." [Source: Gillian Wong, Associated Press, August 20, 2013]

China Under Xi: Chinese Dream or Second Cultural Revolution?

Jasmine Yin, an admitted princeling and granddaughter of one of Mao Zedong’s favorite generals, wrote in Business Insider: “The proverb tongchuang yimeng — same bed, different dreams — is increasingly being used by young Chinese to describe our opposition to the draconian political direction the new leadership is taking the country, developments many Chinese are describing as a Second Cultural Revolution. [Source: Jasmine Yin, Business Spectator, March 9, 2016. Jasmine Yin, 19, is a student at Columbia University and granddaughter of the late general Ye Jianying, Marshal of the People’s Liberation Army, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and head of state of the People’s Republic of China ^^^]

“Communist Party leader Xi Jinping came to power on a promise to fulfil “The China Dream” — rejuvenation of the nation. To his generation, born and raised with the revolution, this means a communal vision of self-sacrifice for the greater glory of the party and state. But my millennial generation has a different dream, one that more resembles the traditional American one: less political interference in our lives, more openness to the outside world, dismantling the detested Great Firewall that blocks indispensable websites such as Google, Facebook and YouTube, and more freedom and democracy like that enjoyed by our peers in Taiwan and Hong Kong. ^^^

“Xi is taking China in a frightening, reactionary, ideologically driven direction. He is creating a personality cult the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Mao and Deng Xiaoping (both of whom earned their credentials leading the revolutionary war, while Xi has never seen a battlefield). His anti-corruption campaign has terrified everyone. With even routine approval of new projects and investments arousing suspicion, the bureaucracy is paralysed. ^^^

“In China, it’s not just about what you did, but who’s in your network of relationships that matters. If your political patron gets in trouble, it doesn’t matter how clean you are, your neck is on the chopping block. In addition to bureaucrats, academics, human-rights lawyers, bloggers, labour activists and business leaders are also being terrorised. In universities, the government has recruited informers to denounce professors advocating liberal values. Several outspoken progressive academics have lost their jobs. Hundreds of human rights lawyers have disappeared or been arrested. Many business leaders and labour activists have gone missing, presumably detained by anti-corruption investigators. Among the highest-profile cases was that of tycoon Guo Guangchang, popularly known as “China’s Warren Buffet” and the PRC’s 11th-wealthiest person with a net worth of more than $US7 billion ($14.7bn). Guo was detained last December to “assist a judicial investigation” and then simply appeared at his company’s annual meeting a few days later with no explanation. ^^^

“I’ve come to the conclusion that what we need now is a new New Culture Movement, a new China Dream, not a Second Cultural Revolution. A dream that isn’t fuelled by fear, but instead inspired by hope and idealism. I may be a naive teenager, but even Mao said: “You young people, full of vigour and vitality, in the bloom of life, are like the morning sun. Our hope is placed on you.”

Image Sources: Posters, Landsberger Posters http://www.iisg.nl/~landsberger/; restaurant and costumes; Asia Obscura http://asiaobscura.com/ ;

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, National Geographic, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, Lonely Planet Guides, Compton’s Encyclopedia and various books and other publications.

Last updated November 2016

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