As the Chinese Communist Party turns 100, its members’ ‘red genes’ matter more than ever to Beijing
For a decidedly atheistic political organization, the ruling Communist Party in China likes to talk about its origins in religious terms.
In party literature and state media, former revolutionary bases are referred to as “holy places,” and the almost compulsory visits to these places by the base are intended to “baptize” members into the Communist “faith”.
“Mao once said that the people are our God,” said Wang Dongcang, professor at the Chinese Executive Leadership Academy of the Communist Party in Yan’an on May 11. “We believe in leading the people to a better future.
CNN joined more than two dozen international media outlets on a recent government-sponsored media tour of Yan’an and Xibaipo, two renowned “red sites” where the once fledgling Communist Party grew in size and strength before emerging. victorious in a bloody civil war. take control of mainland China in 1949.
As the Communist Party counts down to its 100th anniversary in July, strengthening the “red genes” of its 91 million members has become a top priority under Xi Jinping, the current party leader and the most powerful leader in the country. country since Mao Zedong, the founder. of the People’s Republic.
In a series of quotes published recently by the party’s official magazine, Xi called on members to “make good use of red resources, inherit red genes, and pass the red country down from generation to generation.” And “red sites” are playing an increasingly crucial and lucrative role in his campaign.
In Yan’an and Xibaipo, crowds of visitors – some dressed in revolutionary clothes – crowded into the former residences of communist leaders, auditoriums of former party congresses, and countless exhibition halls.
Crowds of party members re-took their oaths of admission – “Always be prepared to sacrifice everything for the party and the people, and never betray the party” – in a ritualistic fashion, while the schoolchildren received lectures in the open air. on why history chose the Communists to rule China.
There is also a lot of money in the growing popularity of “red tourism”. In Yan’an alone, more than 73 million visitors flocked to the city of over 2 million in 2019. An airport has opened in the once economic swamp, which now includes rows of new hotels and even a billboard advertising an upcoming Starbucks.
On these “red sites”, however, more thorny topics – infighting and purges in the upper echelon, and ruthless mass political campaigns dating back to the early days of the party – are hardly ever discussed.
Historians at the Communist Party Academy in Yan’an insist that they do not skip party failures in their teaching, but quickly add that even the darkest chapters – like Mao’s Cultural Revolution, which lasted for a decade, which critics say resulted in millions of deaths – must be seen through the prism of the “party quest to build socialism” in China.
“The twists and turns in this quest are understandable,” Professor He Hailun told reporters, echoing Xi’s outright rejection of what the party sees as attempts to discredit the Chinese political system by focusing on the leaders’ past mistakes. communists.
On all the sites we visited, a clear message emerged. China’s rejuvenation is due to two strong man leaders: Mao and Xi. Anything else in between is barely mentioned.
When asked whether the propaganda around Xi contradicted the measures put in place by the Party after Mao’s death in 1976 to avoid another personality cult, Wang, Professor Yan’an, suggested that the Party Communist was like a peach – he could only have one kernel.
“It would be a mutation if a peach had two cores,” he says.
- Japan’s Naomi Osaka was fined $ 15,000 for skipping a media session after her straight-set victory at Roland Garros.
- A team of Australian scientists have discovered a curious “chocolate” tree frog in New Guinea.
- Hong Kong’s Tsang Yin-Hung became the fastest woman to climb Everest – reaching the top in less than 26 hours.
- Meanwhile, in orbit above Earth, a spacecraft carrying supplies, equipment and thruster successfully docked with China’s under-construction Tianhe space station.
China’s affairs: old debate opens new wounds
China still can’t figure out how to tame the global commodities boom.
Today, a decades-old interview between a controversial Chinese politician and a prominent US economist sparked a debate over whether Beijing is partly responsible for soaring costs for steel, coal and gas. other materials needed to fuel its infrastructure-based stimulus plan.
163.com, a major news site owned by NetEase, published a conversation Thursday evening between former Secretary General Zhao Ziyang and Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winner who helped shape the modern free market economy.
In the text, Zhao told Friedman that China has inflation issues and asked for advice on how to move forward with free market reform.
The website has not explained why it is now posting the conversation, which is already public outside of China. But, for some, the timing was remarkable: Zhao was sadly purged of political leadership after opposing the use of force during the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, which happened two years ago. 32 years old Friday. Zhao’s name is generally considered taboo in China.
The conversation on the private news site drew some 27,000 responses, debating the merits of a reformed free market approach to solving economic problems, versus Beijing’s often heavy top-down methods.
This topic quickly revolved around China’s new environmental policies. Power outages across the country have bothered millions of people in recent months, and commentators have questioned whether Xi’s stubborn drive to become carbon neutral by 2060 is limiting their energy supply.
As commodity prices remain volatile and coal continues to be a lightning rod problem, the government is committed to keeping costs under control.
On Monday, the government revealed that manufacturing activity in the country slowed a bit in May compared to a month ago due to soaring raw material costs. It remains to be seen how long this lasts.
– from CNN Business
The Chinese city of Yuxi, in southwestern Yunnan province, received surprise visitors last week: a group of 15 wild Asian elephants, according to Chinese state tabloid Global Times.
“It was around 10 pm and I was still in my store,” local resident Jia told the Global Times on Friday. “I heard some noise in the street and I looked outside – wow, the elephants!”
The herd had walked for 40 days from their original habitat in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, more than 400 kilometers (about 248 miles) south of Yuxi, according to local authorities. The herd included nine adults, three teenagers and three calves, state agency Xinhua reported.
Their trek is unusual given the scarcity of food for elephants north of their usual habitat, conservationists say – but a major reason could be environmental degradation and habitat loss.
In recent decades, the Asian elephant population has nearly doubled since 1976, as many forests have been replaced by human settlements and farmland. The traditional migration corridor for elephants has been cut, fragmenting and isolating herds in increasingly small plots of land.
This means that many elephants are forced to forage in agricultural areas instead, leading to an increase in human-elephant conflict over the past 10 years. Residents of the surrounding area report eating their crops, damaging houses and even cattle like attacked cows.
Authorities said on Friday they were working to gradually return the herd to its original habitat, with a police escort and 228 vehicles deployed to facilitate the journey.
But the only way to prevent a future exodus of elephants is to restore their habitats and protect natural resources, said Zhang Li, a wildlife biologist and professor at Peking Normal University, according to the Global Times.
“The traditional buffer zones between humans and elephants are gradually disappearing, and the chances of elephants encountering humans naturally increase dramatically,” Zhang said.
Quoted and noted
“Attempts by the Australian media to drive a wedge between China and New Zealand may reflect their desperation over the prospects for Sino-Australian trade.”
– The state tabloid Global Times criticized a controversy 60 minute episode in Australia who accused New Zealand of abandoning relations with Australia for “quick Chinese money”.