亚洲必赢626aaa.net 1


  1. In modern times, Asia experienced twists and turns in its
development. To change their destiny, the people of Asia have been
forging ahead in an indomitable spirit and with hard struggle. Asia’s
development achievements today are the result of the persistent efforts
of the industrious and talented Asian people. The people of Asia are
fully aware that there is no ready model or unchanging path of
development that is universally applicable. They never shy away from
reform and innovation. Instead, they are committed to exploring and
finding development paths that are in line with the trend of the times
and their own situations, and have opened up bright prospects for
economic and social development。

The ever-shifting interaction of the government, the market, and the
people makes it impossible to predict what form it might adopt in the

The long read


  2. China lies in the east of Asia and it has the largest population
in the world. China is also one of the four countries in the world that
have an ancient civilization. Besides, it has a vast territory with such
abundant natural resources as dense forests, magnificent waterfalls,
majestic and beautiful rivers and lakes, and mountains whose peaks reach
high into the sky like swords. All these make China a singularly
attractive place to tourists around the world. But, most importantly,
China boasts a history of over five thousand years with innumerable
historical relics left over from the long past, such as priceless pearls
and jewels, historic sites and scenic spots, palaces and edifices of
architectural richness, all of which have won people’s admiration. You
are sure to find great enjoyment from all these attractions in China, a
much-admired dreamland。

– Li Mingjie, professor

China’s memory manipulators

  the picture symbolically depicts that six lovely children from
different countries with different ethnicities get together and play
games happily in a world of harmony. It is quite obvious that the drawer
wishes to draw our attention to the most favorable social phenomenon
that cultural exchanges are gaining worldwide popularity。

  3. The traditional Chinese culture, both extensive and profound,
starts far back and runs a long course. More than 2000 years ago, there
emerged in China Confucianism represented by Confucius and Mencius,
Taoism represented by Lao Zi and Zhuang Zi and other theories and
doctrines that figured prominently in the history of Chinese thought,
all being covered by the famous “the masters’ hundred schools”. The
traditional Chinese culture presents many precious ideas and qualities,
which are essentially populist and democratic. For example, they lay
stress on the importance of kindness and love in human relations, on the
interest of the community, on seeking harmony without uniformity and on
the idea that the world is for all. Especially, patriotism as embodied
in the saying “Everybody is responsible for the rise or fall of the
country”, the populist idea that “People are the foundation of the
country”, the code of conduct of “Treat others as you want to be
treated”. And the traditional virtues taught: endurance and hard
working, frugality in household management, and respecting teachers and
valuing education. All of them have played a great role in binding and
regulating the family, country and society。

If you live in China, you’ll almost certainly have seen so-called
peasant paintings, even if you aren’t familiar with the concept. Be they
on city streets, walls around construction sites, pages of newspapers,
or screens of TVs, computers, and smartphones, these colorful folklore
paintings can be found just about everywhere.

The country’s rulers do not just suppress history, they recreate it to
serve the present. They know that, in a communist state, change often
starts when the past is challenged

  There are, to my mind, several reasons accounting for this
phenomenon of the picture. For one thing, cultural exchanges can enhance
international friendship, and people can acquire better understanding of
each other. Through cultural exchanges, they can learn of different
peoples around the world, what they believe in, how they lead their
daily life,and their traditions and customs. For another,cultural
exchanges can also greatly benefit the countries involved That is
because countries can share their achievements with each other to
stimulating their own social progress and cultural prosperity。

  4. In China, “four treasures of the study” refers to “writing
brush”, “ink stick”, “paper” and “ink slab”, playing an important
role in passing on Chinese civilization. They not only have their value
of practical use, but also become the works of art for appreciation and
collection. There is large variety of these four treasures. Selecting of
materials and making process have become increasingly delicate and
perfect. Each dynasty of Chinese history saw famous craftsmen appear and
works produced, which is a profound process of cultural accumulation. In
contemporary times, “four treasures of the study” have been increasingly
rarely used for study or writing, but they are still playing an
irreplaceable role in the field of Chinese calligraphy, painting,
collection and in the activities of cultivating one’s mind。

Many of the images in them have been combined with slogans. Since 1988,
when China’s Ministry of Culture granted the title of “Chinese Modern
Folk Painting Village” to 35 villages, many provinces, cities, and
counties have recognized their peasant paintings as an intangible
cultural heritage, granting them a level of state-sanctioned protection.

by Ian Johnson

  Based on the above reasons, I hold that worldwide cultural exchange
is beneficial to all countries involved. As for China, the open door
policy has greatly promoted the Chinese civilization to the entire world
and vice versa. Therefore, I can firmly conclude that in the long run,
cultural exchanges will contribute to a flourishing Chinese and global
economy, as well as diversified cultures。

  5. China is a time-honored multi-ethnics nation with a vast
territory and abundant resources, and every ethnic group has its unique
abundant dishes. Regional cuisines have taken shape after long-history
evolution under the influence of geographical environment, climate,
cultural tradition, folk customs and other factors. The most influential
and representative ones are Lu, Chuan, Yue, Min, Su, Zhe, Xiang and Hui
Cuisines, which are commonly known as “Eight Major Cuisines”. Dishes in
the “Eight Major Cuisines” in China are characterized by diversified
cooking skills, with each having its strong points。

In recent years, the government hasincreasedfinancial support for
projects involving intangible cultural heritage, with peasant painting
being one such beneficiary. Jinshan District in southwestern Shanghai is
home to a peasant painting village exhibiting works from all over China.
Cao Xiuwen, an artist who in 2009 was recognized as an “inheritor of
Shanghai’s intangible heritage” for her unique, locally refined peasant
painting, saw her work “Spring Awakening”displayedin the theme pavilion
at the 2010 world expo in Shanghai.

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  6. Known as China’s national opera, Peking Opera originated in the
late 18th century from the basis of some local operas in Anhui and Hubei
Provinces. Peking Opera is the most influential and representative of
all operas in China. It has won great popularity not only in China but
also throughout the world. Peking Opera is a harmonious combination of
many art forms. It is a synthesis of traditional music, dancing, poetry,
acrobatics and martial arts. It is famous for its exquisite costumes,
beautiful make-up or painted face, and established performing
conventions and rules. Each of the patterns and brilliant colors on the
painted face has a symbolic meaning: red suggests loyalty; blue suggests
cruelty; black suggests honesty。

For some time now, my research institute has been paying close attention
to the peasant painting of Shanghai’s western suburbs. In the space of
20 years, this area has gone from being a network of rural villages to a
highly urbanized environment. Hu Peiqun, the official laureate of the
local style, currently teaches painting as part of a
government-sponsored training course. In May, her work “Upward Force”
was entered into the nationwide peasant painting exhibition “Chinese
Spirit, Chinese Dream,” said to be the biggest exhibition hosted by the
Chinese Folk Literature and Art Association since 1949. A total of 1,450
works from more than 20 provinces and cities applied to take part, of
which 200 were selected for display.



  7. The Imperial Palace, also called the Forbidden City, was the
palace where the 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties ruled China
for roughly 500 years. The Imperial Palace is located in the center of
Beijing, on the northern side of Tian’anmen Square, rectangular in
shape, 960 meters from north to south and 750 meters wide from east to
west, with an area of 72 hectares and a total floor space of 150000
square meters. It’s the world’s largest and most integral palace made of
wood in existence. The Forbidden City is divided into two parts: the
outer court and the inner court. The outer court was the place where the
emperors gave audience and handled state affairs, while the inner court
was the living quarters for the emperors and their families. In 1987,
the Imperial Palace was listed by the UNESCO as one of the World
Cultural Heritage sites。

亚洲必赢626aaa.net 1



  8. Along the Tea-horse Ancient Road lived more than 20 minorities.
Concentrations of beautiful and mysterious natural landscapes and
traditional cultures developed in various sites, including Dali old
city, Lijiang old city, Shangrila, Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon,
and Potala Palace. The road features temples, rock paintings, post
houses, ancient bridges and plank roads. It is also home to many
national minorities and their dances and folk customs. Today, although
the traces of the ancient road are fading away, its cultural and
historic values remain。

Left: ‘Upward Force’ by Hu Peiqun (2017), an example of Shanghai’s
western suburb-style peasant painting. Courtesy of Hu Peiqun; right:
‘The Mother Returns to her Parents’ Home’ by Cao Xiuwen (2016), an
example of Shanghai’s Jinshan-style peasant painting. Courtesy of the
Folklore Institute at East China Normal University



  9. American people emphasize efficiency, competition and
originality, while Chinese people give priority to careful planning and
encourage close cooperation and altruistic dedication among team
members. In American schools, discussion is given top priority while
Chinese teachers like to lecture in class, and lots of them are obsessed
with examinations. They write consistent and standardized teaching
plans, and are happy with bringing up identical and standardized
talents. Central to American political, economic and social thought is
the concept of individual moral autonomy. Traditional Chinese
philosophical systems are based on Confucianism, which sings high
praises for communal harmony. Nowadays, the relation of China and
America become closer than ever. Chinese learn English, play bowling,
enjoy KFC, while Americans learn Chinese, exercise Kung Fu, love Peking

Similar examples of peasant painting are hard to come by in other parts
of the world. Peasant painting represents a unique art style that
developed after China was united under Communist Party rule in 1949.
Sponsored by government cultural departments, the first peasant
painting, “Complaint From the Old Bull,” appeared in 1955, ushering in
the first of the genre’s three stages of evolution, each named after the
rural area considered representative of the style.


  As is profoundly depicted in the pie chart, we can come to a
conclusion that a number of factors are responsible for a person’s
choosing where he resides, we can see clearly from the pie chart that
opportunities and the living cost account for a larger proportion of the
total. However, at the same time, the other factors, such as income,
living conditions, social connections and competition can not be
neglected either。

  10. China’s urbanization will release the full potential of domestic
demand. Some economists point out that urbanization is a process that is
occurring in nearly every developing city in the country. It will lead
to better quality of life for many people and provide individuals with
more job opportunities. The construction of housing and city
infrastructure, including water and energy supplies, will be a focal
point of urban development as more people migrate to cities.
Urbanization means better access to educational and medical resources in
the city. However, it also predicts less use of personal vehicles and
more use of public transportation. The fast, free flow of goods and
services is a basic trait of an urbanized society. Expanding cities
require more retail outlets to serve customers。

The first stage — which takes its name from Shulu and Pi counties — was
closely tied to two major political campaigns at the time: During the
collectivization of agriculture, cartoon-like images were used to
promote policy. During the Great Leap Forward, meanwhile, all art was
meant to serve politics. One such representative is corn cobs painted
bigger than airplanes.

Wednesday 8 June 2016 06.00 BST Last modified on Tuesday 28 November
2017 20.02 GMT

  Currently, an increasing number of people do their utmost to swarm
into the big cities, it is universally-held that there prove to be a
number of reasons to be responsible for this social issue, in the first
place, compared with the rural areas, the big cities usually offer more
and better opportunities. What is more, to live in big cities is likely
to widen our scope, which will be instrumental in our study as well as
work. However, there exist a factor of significance that should be taken
into account seriously, due to the soaring prices, especially the
housing price, and the mounting inflationary, people living in big
cities are compelled to live under huge pressure。

During peasant painting’s Hu County stage of the 1960s and ’70s, the
government deepened collaboration between professionals and amateurs. As
a result, lay artists were exposed to the latest sketching and coloring
techniques, allowing the country’s artistic output to flourish. This is
perhaps best summed up in a 1974 Hu County-style peasant painting called
“The Old Party Secretary,” commissioned by China’s national post office.

When I first went to China in 1984, my fellow foreign classmates and I
at Peking University used to play a game with an old guidebook. Called
Nagel’s Encyclopaedia Guide: China, it was first published in 1968 in
Switzerland and featured descriptions of important cultural sites
visited by French diplomats and scholars. The key for us was that they
had gathered the information in the 1950s and the early 1960s. In other
words, this was just before Mao unleashed the Cultural Revolution, which
destroyed tens of thousands of places of worship and historic sites
across China. We would look a place up in Beijing and set off on our
bikes to see what was left.

  In terms of the issue discussed above, the government concerned
should do a great job with regard to administrative decision-making and
support-measures, what is more, the nation as a whole should do whatever
they can to create a happy and harmonious environment for its people。

The final stage — named after the Shanghai suburb of Jinshan — grew out
of the nascent reform period of the ’80s. Politics, which during the
Cultural Revolution had come to dominate people’s lives, now somewhat
receded from view, and peasant painting reverted back to traditional
depictions of everyday rural life.

I remember one trip to find the Five Pagoda Temple, which was built in
the late 15th century and featured five small pagodas on top of a
massive stone platform. Nagel’s said most had been destroyed in the
turmoil of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but that the five
pagodas were still there. Our 1980s maps of Beijing showed nothing, but
Nagel’s intrigued us. Did it still exist?


Today’s peasant paintings are heavily influenced by local folk
traditions and scenery. For example, Cao’s Jinshan-style peasant
painting “The Mother Returns to her Parents’ Home” is markedly different
from work by Liu Dan of Dongfeng County, in northeastern China’s Jilin
province, on the same topic. Jinshan-style peasant painting has its
origins in the embroidery andstove paintingsof southern China. The small
bridge, flock of ducks, and blue and white hues create a gentle,
depoliticized pastoral scene.

We rode down Baishiqiao Street and tried to superimpose Nagel’s maps of
old “Pékin” on our maps of an exhausted, post-Cultural Revolution
Beijing. Eventually we had to stop and ask. After many fruitless
efforts, we were led through the gates of a factory and into the temple,
which was hidden in the back. All that was left was the large stone
platform, topped by five stone pagodas. Tiles had fallen off the roof,
and slabs of stone bearing inscriptions and decoration lay smashed on
the ground. Weeds grew everywhere. Still, we walked the grounds with a
sense of wonder: here was something that had vanished from today’s maps,
and yet it existed. In one structure we had the story of China’s
cultural grandeur, foreign invasions, auto-cultural destruction, but
also of survival. Here, thanks to our odd guidebook, we had Chinese
history in a nutshell – the past and the present.

  As is shown by the two graphs above, the average price of eggs was
on the rise from 1990 to 1995 and the demand for them increased
correspondingly. The graphs also indicate that during the period from
1995 to 2000 the price eggs declined, and so did the demand. The
phenomenon is quite strange and worth studying. According to the law of
market economy, the increase in demand results in higher prices. That
is to say, when prices climb, the demand decreases, and when prices
fall, the demand grows. Now the reality was just the other way round。

In comparison, because the Dongfeng style originated in northeastern
Chinesepaper-cutting, it tends to feature warm, festive symbols
including donkeys, other beasts of burden, and magpies, thought to bring
good fortune. For this reason, peasant paintings — a decoration rich in
folk imagery — satisfy the imaginations of city-dwellers and foreigners
who fetishize the exotic pastoral scenes as a true home for the soul. It
is unsurprising that peasant paintings once served as popular government
gifts and tourist merchandise.

Observing China sometimes requires a lens like Nagel’s. Walking the
streets of China’s cities, driving its country roads, and visiting its
centres of attraction can be disorienting. On the one hand, we know this
is a country where a rich civilisation existed for millennia, yet we are
overwhelmed by a sense of rootlessness. China’s cities do not look old.
In many cities there exist cultural sites and tiny pockets of antiquity
amid oceans of concrete. When we do meet the past in the form of an
ancient temple or narrow alleyway, a bit of investigation shows much of
it to have been recreated. If you go back to the Five Pagoda Temple
today, you will find a completely renovated temple, not a brick or tile
out of place. The factory has been torn down and replaced by a park, a
wall, and a ticket booth. We might be on the site of something old, but
the historical substance is so diluted that it feels as if it has

  The reasons for this strange phenomenon are obvious. During the
period from 1990 to 1995 with the development of our socialist market
economy people’s income, bonus and different kinds of benefits,
increased rapidly. Though the price of eggs rose gradually, the demand
for them grew sharply, too. On the other hand, when the demand for
eggs reached a certain point, it stopped rising because people began to
spend more and more money on clothing, recreations and tours round the
country and even round the world. It is generally assumed that the
expenses for tours accounted for a great part of the total consumption
of the people in our country from 1995 to 2000. As a result, it seemed
reasonable that the demand for eggs declined during the same period of

However, peasant painting’s heavy reliance on government and the
consumer market is constricting its development. The amateur status of
the artists and the high replicability of the works make peasant
paintings less competitive in the nearly saturated market of mass
artworks and tourism products.

What does this tell us about a country? Optimists feel a sense of
dynamism – here, at last, is a country getting on with things while the
rest of the world stagnates or plods forward. This is always said with
amazement and awe. The apex of this era of wonder came shortly before
the 2008 Olympics, when the western media tripped over itself trying to
trot out the most effusive praise for China’s
rise/transformation/rejuvenation – pick your cliche. Typical was a New
York Times architectural critic, who raved upon arrival in Beijing in
2008 about “the inescapable feeling that you’re passing through a portal
to another world, one whose fierce embrace of change has left western
nations in the dust” and concluded that “one wonders if the west will
ever catch up”.

  As far as I’m concerned, with the domestic poultry farming
continuing to develop, the price of eggs is likely to decline because
the demand for them is limited and the fall in consumption of them is
also inevitable。

In addition, the inspiration for works like “Spring Awakening” and
“Upward Force” comes entirely from a government that hopes to use the
visual arts to illustrate its key theories and policies. As the
self-ordained patron of peasant painting, the state commissions art for
its own exhibitions and competitions, while replicas color the streets
and serve as a vehicle for ideological education and propaganda. The
ubiquitous posters for China’s so-called socialist core values are good
examples of this.

Other emotions are more ambiguous. The bluntest I have experienced is
this: a country that has so completely obliterated and then recreated
its past – can it be trusted? What eats at a country, or a people, or a
civilisation, so much that it remains profoundly uncomfortable with its
history? History is lauded in China. Ordinary people will tell you every
chance they get that they have 5,000 years of culture: wuqiannian de
wenhua. And for the government, it is the benchmark for legitimacy in
the present. But it is also a beast that lurks in the shadows.


Peasant paintings already struggle to attract buyers among the general
public, and collector enthusiasm is slowing. If the government were to
pull its support, therefore, the existence of peasant paintings would
likely come under threat.

It is hard to overstate history’s role in a Chinese society run by a
communist party. Communism itself is based on historical determinism:
one of Marx’s points was that the world was moving inexorably towards
communism, an argument that regime-builders such as Lenin and Mao used
to justify their violent rises to power. In China, Marxism is layered on
top of much older ideas about the role of history. Each succeeding
dynasty wrote its predecessor’s history, and the dominant political
ideology – what is now generically called Confucianism – was based on
the concept that ideals for ruling were to be found in the past, with
the virtuous ruler emulating them. Performance mattered, but mainly as
proof of history’s judgment.

  As can be clearly observed from the chart above, the trend of
Chinese traveling abroad is going up these years. In the past three
years, the number of Chinese traveling abroad was on a steady rise.
According to the chart, the number increased from 7.5 million in 1999 to
10 in 2000 and to 12.1 million in 2001.

The crisis is rooted in the fact that peasant painting fails to uphold
an essential component of folk art: reflecting the spiritual needs of
the people. Nearly all folk art pieces closely connect to ancient
beliefs or annual festivals, and they find a rich breeding ground in
people’s everyday lives. Prayers for good fortune and fertility are both
central components of folk art as well as the secret to its longevity,
but peasant paintings lack such a base, as their origins lie in
government propaganda and the development of local
economies.Globalization complicates the picture even further, as artists
must cater to more diverse aesthetic tastes and compete within a larger
market. As peasant paintings cleave ever closer to this market, they —
in turn — lose much of their original artistic value. The marketization
of culture becomes a powerful force that redefines the value of each
artwork solely based on how much money can be made from it.

That means history is best kept on a tight leash. Shortly after taking
power in 2012 as chairman of the Communist party, the Chinese leader Xi
Jinping re-emphasised this point in a major speech on history published
in People’s Daily, the official party newspaper. Xi is the son of a top
party official who helped found the regime, but who fell out with Mao,
and suffered during the Cultural Revolution. Some thought that Xi might
take a more critical view towards the Mao era, but in his speech, he
said that the 30 years of reform that began under Deng Xiaoping in the
late 1970s, should not be used to “negate” the first 30 years of
communist rule under Mao.

  I assume that there are at least three main/primary/fundamental
reasons/causes/factors accounting for the above mentioned changes. First
and foremost, the changes are primarily concerned with the income of
Chinese. They are better off and can afford to travel abroad. What’s
more, they have a lot to do with the development of the travel industry
in China. Travel agencies in growing/increasing/expanding/mounting
numbers are attracting more people to join in their tours abroad. Last
but no the least, the changes are closely related to our policy of
opening up to the outside world。

Under the multitude of external forces, peasant painting somewhat
resembles the chimera of Greek mythology — a monster with the head of a
lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a snake. The ever-shifting
interaction of the government, the market, and the people makes it
impossible to predict what form it might adopt in the future. Whatever
the outcome, the simple, subtle style of peasant painting serves as an
excellent reminder of how much China has changed economically,
politically, and culturally since 1949.

The Five Pagoda Temple in Beijing was a ruin in the 1980s. It has since
been renovated.

  From what has been discussed so far, it is obvious that the rise in
the number of Chinese traveling abroad is of great concern to our life.
It reflects the improvement of our living standards and the development
of our economy。


The Five Pagoda Temple in Beijing was a ruin in the 1980s. It has now
been renovated. Photograph: Alamy



The unstated reason for Xi’s unwillingness to disavow the Mao era is
that Mao is not just China’s Stalin. The Soviet Union was able to
discard Stalin because it still had Lenin to fall back on as its
founding father. For the Communist party of China, Mao is Stalin and
Lenin combined; attack Mao and his era and you attack the foundations of
the Communist state. Five years after the Cultural Revolution ended with
Mao’s death in 1976, the party issued a statement that condemned that
era and Mao’s role in it, but which also ended further discussion of Mao
by declaring that “his contributions to the Chinese revolution far
outweigh his mistakes. His merits are primary and his errors

  As can be seen from the above charts, some important changes have
taken place in the past years with regard to the employment of
university graduates. In 1992, about 50% of the university graduates
found suitable positions in state-owned firms, while only 18% of them
were working in private firms. However, in 2002, private firms took
almost 50% of graduate, while only 15% of them were willing to work in
state-owned firms。

来源|Sixth tone

But on a broader level, history is especially sensitive because change
in a communist country often starts with history being challenged. In
the 1980s, for example, groups such as the historical-research society
Memorial morphed into a social movement that undermined the Soviet Union
by uncovering its troubled past. Today’s China is more robust than the
Gorbachev-era Soviet Union, but memory is still escaping the
government’s grasp, posing challenges to a regime for which history is
legitimacy. Even though history is, by definition, past, it is also
China’s present and future.

  It is no difficult job for us to come up with some possible factors
that underlie the above changes. In the first place, most state-owned
firms were still operated under planned economy, whose economic
condition was not as good as expected. Therefore, fewer and fewer
university graduates wanted to find jobs in state-owned firms. In the
second place, private firms were run under market-oriented economy.
There were flexible systems in private firms, in which university
graduates were more likely to apply what they had learned in school to
their work. Thus they could have more chances to be promoted, as they
were willing to work in private firms。


History suppressed?

  From what has been discussed so far, I think that the employment
situation in the state-owned firms won’t change much so long as the
state-owned firms don’t change their system. And it can be predicted
that the present situation will continue for quite a while in the near

Chinese cities are ghost towns. Not in the sense of real estate
boondoggles – vast complexes built prematurely, lying empty, and
crumbling – though there are some of those. Instead, the country’s urban
centres are built on an obliterated past, which only sometimes seeps
into the present through strange-sounding names for streets, parks, and
subway stops.

4 5

In Beijing, like scores of cities across the country, streets are very
often named after their relationship to things that no longer exist,
ghostly landmarks, such as city gates, temples, memorial arches, and
forgotten historical events. In the capital, for example, the Foreign
Ministry is located on Chaoyangmenwai, or the Street Outside the
Chaoyang Gate. Just a few hundred metres west, the street changes name
to Chaoyangmennei, or the Street Inside the Chaoyang Gate. In between is
the Second Ring Road. The streets’ names only make sense if you realise
that the ring road was built on the site of the city walls, which had a
passageway right there, Chaoyangmen, the Chaoyang Gate. The wall has
become a highway and the gate an interchange. Nothing beyond the street
names exists in the neighbourhood to remind you of either spectral


It is always possible for a sceptic to downplay a phenomenon by saying,
but wait, that exists elsewhere too. One could say that all cities have
neighbourhoods or streets named after people or events long since
forgotten to all but history buffs. This is of course true, but in China
the cultural dislocation is greater, and the barriers to memory are
higher. China does have online encyclopedias, as well as books that
explain Beijing’s history. Some even sell well, such as the
path-breaking work City Record, by the Xinhua news agency journalist
Wang Jun. But these are heavily edited, and require cultural knowledge
that most Chinese people today lack. Back in the 1990s, it was still
possible to find citizen activists who fought to preserve the old city
because it meant something to them. Nowadays, few real Beijingers live
in the old city; they have been relocated to suburbs and replaced by
migrants (poor ones from China’s hinterland, or rich expats) with no
link to the city’s past. The city has its stories, but to most residents
they are mysterious.


Chinese cities are ghost towns. They are built on an obliterated past,
which only sometimes seeps into the present


Another difference is that efforts to commemorate the past are often
misleading or so fragmentary as to be meaningless. Almost all plaques at
historical sites, for example, tell either partial histories or outright
lies. A few steps east of the Foreign Ministry, for example, is the
Temple of the East Peak. Out front is a stone marker, which states that
since 1961 it has been a nationally protected monument. A second plaque
on the wall gives a few more details, explaining how the temple was
built in the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) and is a key Taoist temple.

In reality, the temple was completely gutted in the Cultural Revolution,
its statues burned or carted off to warehouses, where they were to be
destroyed. Of the roughly 50 statues now in the temple, all but five are
new. These five older statues belonged to another temple, Sanguanmiao
(Three Officials Temple). After the Mao era ended in the late 1970s and
temples reopened, the East Peak Temple’s statues could not be located so
it was given the statues from the Three Officials Temple, which remains
occupied by a government office.

Visitors also learn nothing about how the temple’s area was greatly
reduced during the Cultural Revolution because it was occupied by
military and public security agencies. When the Mao era ended, they
vacated the central core of the temple – the three courtyards and
buildings that one sees today. The rest was occupied by the Public
Security Bureau until the 1990s, and eventually torn down and turned
into commercial real estate in the early 2000s. The remaining structures
barely function as a temple. When the military and public security moved
out, the Ministry of Culture moved in and turned the temple into a
museum of folk culture. It was only after a protracted struggle that the
China Taoist Association retook partial control of the temple in the
early 2000s, but it still must share the space.


Of course, the plaques explain none of this. Instead, one gets the
impression that the temple is as it always was – an 800-year-old relic
of China’s great past. This history that I have sketched out is not
definite or grounded in solid documentary evidence, but rather something
that I have reconstructed by observing the temple over two decades and
talking to Taoist priests who now work there. But until municipal
archives are opened, this is probably the best we can hope for.

History recreated

The Communist party does not just suppress history, it recreates it to
serve the present. In China, this has followed the party’s near
self-destruction in the Cultural Revolution, which led to a desperate
search for ideological legitimacy. At first, this was mainly economic,
but following the massacre of pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen
Square in June 1989, the party began to promote itself more aggressively
as the defender of Chinese culture and tradition.

One way it has begun to do this has been to position itself as a
protector of “intangible cultural heritage”, a term adopted from Unesco,
which keeps a country-by-country list of traditions important to
specific nations. As opposed to world heritage sites, which are physical
structures such as the Great Wall or Forbidden City, intangible heritage
includes music, cuisine, theatre, and ceremonies.

Qianmen Avenue, rebuilt in the style of the the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Qianmen Avenue, rebuilt in the style of the the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Photograph: China Photos/Getty Images

As late as 1990s China, some of these traditions were still labelled
“feudal superstition”, a derogatory term in the communist lexicon
synonymous with backward cultural practices. For example, traditional
funerals were widely discouraged, but now are on the government list of
intangible culture. So, too, religious music that is performed
exclusively in Taoist temples during ceremonies.


Since taking power in November 2012, Xi Jinping has cloaked himself in
the mantle of tradition more thoroughly than any Chinese leader since
the imperial system collapsed in 1911. Building on the work of his
predecessors, especially Hu Jintao and his call for a Taoist-sounding
“harmonious society” (hexie shehui), Xi’s ideological programme includes
an explicit embrace of traditional ethical and religious imagery.

In 2013, according to a news report on 5 December of that year, Xi
visited Confucius’s hometown of Qufu, picked up a copy of The Analects –
a book of sayings and ideas of the great sage – as well as a biography
of him, and declared: “I want to read these carefully.” He also coined
his own Confucianesque aphorism – “A state without virtue cannot
endure.” The next year, he became the first Communist party leader to
participate in a commemoration of Confucius’s birthday. Speaking at the
International Confucian Association, Xi said, “to understand today’s
China, today’s Chinese people, we must understand Chinese culture and
blood, and nourish the Chinese people’s grasp of its own cultural soil”.
His classical allusions have become so numerous that on 8 May 2014,
People’s Daily published a full-page spread explaining them.

Soon into Xi’s tenure as party chief, traditional rhetoric came to
dominate the public space of China’s cities. In mid-2013, for example,
posters began going up across China that cleverly appropriated
traditional Chinese art, coupling these images with references to the
“China Dream”.

The China Dream was to be Xi Jinping’s contribution to national
sloganeering – every top leader has to have at least one. Most refer to
esoteric theories, such as Jiang Zemin’s “Three Represents”, which had
to do with the party representing a broader swath of society than in the
past. By contrast, Xi’s idea was simple to grasp – who doesn’t have a
dream? The slogan would become associated with many goals, including
nationalism and China’s surge to global prominence, but domestically,
its imagery was almost always linked to traditional culture and

In China, most traditional propaganda has a tired look: often red
banners with white or gold lettering exhorting people to follow a
Communist party policy, comply with a census, or make their local
district more beautiful. The China Dream posters, however, were
colourful, bright, and cute. Many of them featured paintings of clay
figurines fashioned by “Niren Zhang” (Clay-man Zhang), a well-known folk
artist as popular and well-known in China as Norman Rockwell is in the
US. Traditionally, these clay figurines show scenes from daily and
religious life, or entertainment, such as characters from Peking Opera,
or gods such as Lord Guan. Sets of the figures were sent to world’s
fairs during the latter years of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) as
examples of Chinese arts.

The most famous of the China Dream posters features a Clay-man Zhang
figurine of a chubby little girl, dreamily resting her head. Below it is
a poem that conflates personal and national dreams:

Ah China

My Dream

A fragrant dream

The author of this poem was Yi Qing, the pen name of Xie Liuqing. Xie is
an editor of the magazine The World of Chinese and head of Salon Famous
Blog of China, a blog that deals primarily with nationalist issues and
is registered under the ministry of propaganda’s official website. Xie
also writes dramas and musical plays, all glorifying the party and
especially Mao. Several dozen of his works based on big historical
events have been published, made into movies or television shows, or
staged in theatres. Some of his blog posts have been published by the
party’s chief ideological magazine, Seeking Truth.

On one level, Xie could simply be seen as a government apparatchik,
cranking out material for the state’s latest campaign. But when I went
to visit him in 2013, his story turned out to be more interesting, and
revealing of the sophisticated propaganda techniques used by the
Communist party during the 2010s to create an ideology that can link
traditional communism with traditional values.

Xie invited me to his office. This turned out to be a room at the Ordos
Hotel in Beijing. I was surprised to learn that Xie lacked a proper
government office as he was not the government official I had imagined,
but instead a freelancer. We chatted for a while and he told me he was
from Mao Zedong’s home province, Hunan. Most of Xie’s work was about
Mao, who he said was a hero of modern China. “You can criticise him but
you can’t deny that he was important,” said Xie. “This is my firm

The ‘China Dream’ is the signature slogan of President Xi Jinping.

The ‘China Dream’ is the signature slogan of President Xi Jinping.
Photograph: Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

We were joined by Zhang Jiabin, an editor at Red Flag Publishing House,
a Communist party company that had just published a collection of the
posters, and also of Xie’s poetry. Xie showed us a short video of a
ceremony honouring the China Dream posters. In the clip, Xie explained
that he had seen the signature statue of the chubby girl while at an
exhibition in the Beijing suburb of Huairou. He posted pictures online
with a few couplets of poetry.

In early 2013, when the civilisation office, a government body, was
planning a campaign to promote Xi Jinping’s idea of a China Dream, they
saw Xie’s poems and the pictures of the figures. He met with officials
and they brainstormed, coming up with the idea of broadening the
campaign to include many forms of traditional culture, including peasant
paintings and woodblock prints.

“They said, hey we need more poems, so I just dashed them off quickly
and now they’re up,” he said as the video segment ended. “It’s supposed
to be a 60,000km campaign. That’s how many kilometres of highways there
are in China – we joke that every metre of every road will be covered
with it.”

亚洲必赢626aaa.net,The Comminist party has used sophisticated propaganda techniques to link
traditional communism with traditional values

That was hardly an exaggeration. It was hard to avoid the posters. They
sometimes advocated traditional values such as filial piety (“honesty
and consideration, handed down through the generations”), other times
outright admiration for the Communist party (“feet shackled, hands
cuffed / sturdy grass withstands strong winds / the Communist party
members on the road / the mountains can shake; their will is unshakeable
/ hot blood and spring flowers will write today’s history”). Sometimes
they just advocated patriotism or nationalism (“Our country is
beautiful” and “It’s springtime for our father’s future”). All showed
how for today’s government, there was no better ally than history.

History recovered

Sometimes the resurfacing of history into the public consciousness is
inadvertent and apolitical. This was driven home to me one day in 2014
when I went to hear a talk at the main office of the National Archives,
next to Beihai Park in Beijing. The speaker was Liu Guozhong, a
professor at Tsinghua University with a heavy accent and small eyes that
often disappeared when he laughed. Liu spoke freely, without notes, for
90 minutes about something that might seem obscure but that was slowly
shaking China’s intellectual world: the discovery of long-lost texts
from 2,500 years ago.

The earliest-known Chinese texts are called oracle bones. Written on
tortoise bones, they usually concern a narrow set of topics: should the
crops be planted on such-and-such a day, should the king launch a war?
Marry? Travel? Through them, the nitty-gritty concerns of a king’s life
could be fathomed.

The texts we were here to learn about had been written a millennium
later on flat strips of bamboo, which were the size of chopsticks. These
writings did not describe the miscellanea of court life – instead, they
were the ur-texts of Chinese culture. Over the past 20 years, three
batches of bamboo slips from this era have been unearthed. Liu was there
to introduce the third – and biggest – of these discoveries, a trove of
2,500 that had been donated to Tsinghua University in 2008.

A guard stands by the illustration of a project to renovate Beijing’s
Qianmen street, in 2012.

A guard stands by the illustration of a project to renovate Beijing’s
Qianmen street, in 2012. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The project to catalogue and study the slips is led by China’s most
famous historian, Li Xueqin. Li has headed numerous big projects,
including an effort in the 1990s to date semi-mythical dynasties from
roughly 5,000 years ago, such as the Xia and Shang, which are seen as
the earliest dynasties in Chinese civilisation. For millennia, their
existence was taken for granted, even though no texts or archaeological
material relating to some were traceable (the historicity of the Xia in
particular remains in doubt). In the early 20th century, historians in
China started a “doubt antiquity” movement that challenged the existence
of these dynasties, positing that they were merely myths. That was more
than an intellectual dispute; it challenged the deeply cherished
certainty among Chinese that theirs is one of the oldest civilisations
on the planet, going back as far as ancient Egypt. Li’s efforts
essentially pushed back against this scepticism, marshalling evidence
that these dynasties did indeed exist.

The bamboo slips that Liu was describing are from a much later date, but
they challenge certainties of Chinese culture in other, possibly more
profound ways. The texts stem from the Warring States period, an era of
turmoil in China that ran from the 5th to the 3rd centuries BC. All
major Chinese schools of thought that exist today stem from this era,
especially Taoism and Confucianism, which has been the country’s
dominant political ideology, guiding kings and emperors – at least in
theory – until the 20th century.

The bamboo slips change how we understand this era. Some have compared
its impact on China’s understanding of the past to how the past was
viewed in Europe’s Enlightenment, a period when western core texts were
for the first time analysed as historical documents instead of texts
delivered intact from antiquity. “It’s as though suddenly you had texts
that discussed Socrates and Plato that you didn’t know existed,” Sarah
Allan, a Dartmouth university professor who has worked with Liu and Li
in the project, told me a few months before I heard Liu speak. “People
also say it’s like the Dead Sea scrolls, but they’re more important than
that. This isn’t apocrypha. These texts are from the period when the
core body of Chinese philosophy was being discussed. They are
transforming our understanding of Chinese history.”

One of the surprising ideas that comes through in the new texts is that
ideas that were only alluded to in the Confucian classics are now
revealed as full-blown schools of thought that challenge key traditional
ideas. One text, for example, argues in favour of meritocracy much more
forcefully than is found in currently known Confucian texts. Until now,
the Confucian texts only allowed for abdication or replacement of a
ruler as a rare exception; otherwise kingships were hereditary – a much
more pro-establishment and anti-revolutionary standpoint. The new texts
argue against this. For an authoritarian state wrapping itself in
“tradition” to justify its never-ending rule, the implications of this
new school are subtle but interesting. “This isn’t calling for
democracy,” Allan told me, “but it more forcefully argues for rule by
virtue instead of hereditary rule.”

Back in the auditorium next to Beihai Park, Liu continued to talk about
the new findings. He flashed newspaper headlines on the screen. Media
interest in China has been intense, he said. After each volume is
released, the Chinese media rush to discuss the findings, while blogs
and amateurs try their own hands at interpreting these new finds. The
audience listened carefully to Liu as he outlined their Tsinghua team’s
publishing schedule.

“We think we have another 15 volumes, so that’s another 15 years – until
I’m retired,” Liu said, laughing. “But then you and others will be
debating this for the rest of this century. The research is endless.”

Liu concluded and bowed to the audience. He had gone on past the
allotted 90 minutes and the janitorial staff was eager to go home. No
sooner did he leave the podium than they began to turn off the lights.
But the audience rushed the stage, bombarding Liu with questions. There
was a man from the I Ching Research Society asking how they should treat
the new texts on divination. A graduate student from Peking University
eagerly asked about the political implications of abdication. Liu
answered them all, while handing out business cards. When the last of
his stack was gone, people began to pass them around, snapping photos of
his card with mobile phones. The room was now lit only by the dim winter
sun. The guards at the back waited to lock the door but the crowd of two
dozen would not let Liu leave. For them, he held a key to the present:
the past.

This essay is adapted from The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern
China, which will be published by OUP on 23 June

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8 Jun 2016 17:24



The same to a lesser degree of course goes on in the West. False flag
operations for example may be exposed eventually but the mass of
population have the impression imprinted that the manipulators want. I
think a major part of what is happening in News controlled Western ”
Free Press” USA is that the young are taking to sources other than the
mainstream media like Reddit etc where discussion takes place and
thought is provoked. Bernie Sanders is where he is because the young are
asking questions and not marching in step to a rubbish media..

The Chinese are playing a dangerous game… once the young question the
lies and misinformation a transformation takes place. 1984 manipulation
of the truth might work for a time but the reaction can be violent.

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MalDeDebarquement  Wirplit



Is it to a lesser degree in the West, or does it just use different
methods? Where China might suppress a leak by deleting any mention of it
and disappearing the person who released it, the US often hides
uncomfortable secrets by burying them within millions of meaningless
bureaucratic memos declassified at the same time. Where the Chinese
press control public opinion through outright content control, Western
press control public opinion by controlling what goes in the headlines,
what goes on the front page (who reads a correction in tiny print on
page 16?), and what manipulative adjectives go where.

They are two different methods of control, both very sophisticated in
their own way. Neither one is obviously to a greater or lesser degree.
And both serve exactly the same purpose: To protect business interests
in order to maximise profits. In the case of China, it’s the business
interests of the large network of families and cronies who control the
Chinese state. In the case of the West, it’s the business interests of
the network of companies which own the media, all the companies they’re
invested in, and those which pour vast sums of money every year into
controlling Western governments through legalised forms of bribery such
as ‘campaign finance’.

Same game, different methods. Business is business.

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EugeneStalin  Wirplit



To put China’s distortions on the same level as the West is ridiculous.
We have academics who are free to conduct their research, we can
criticize our governments without getting disappeared or sent to a
re-education camp, we dont abduct lawyers only to parade them on TV with
forced confessions after torture.

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8 Jun 2016 17:24



Maybe it’s all true of China but do we honestly know whether or not we
are manipulated? Can any of us truly rely on the media said to serve us,
or do they merely serve their own interest. Can we trust a media that
constantly reports on our obesity problem, yet two minutes later
bombards us with ads to eat ever more calories. Can we trust a media
that tells us the crisis caused by debt but when you turn the page it
advertises yet more stuff they tell you you can’t live without – and can
have if you turn the next page and apply for the credit card they are
trying to sell you -at obscene interest rates of course – because fairly
soon they’ll have another story about rip off lenders charging obscene
rates. Sadly, the older I get, the less I trust anybody.

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ID8045835  thetangerinepanda



You trusted people when you were younger?

The people running the country now are my age – I realised at school
they were tosspots.

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Steve Hunter  thetangerinepanda



Yep. We are. And we know. Ongoing example is the GOP’s efforts to
rewrite textbooks.

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