A Chinese online video is garnering a lot of attention from people not only based in China but also in the West appears to be a Public Relations (PR) stunt. It aims to explain the “Chinese Dream”, as told by the Communist Party of China.
The video presents a portrait of the country as an “ancient and youthful country,” a land which welcomes foreigners to mingle with the locals and live in a world that has clear blue skies and fresh green fields, while clowns on motorbikes hand flowers to pretty women.
One of the most interesting parts of the whole video, besides the happy clowns and flowers, is the fact that China is depicted as a fast growing nation which suffers from some “development disparities.”
The ‘disparities’ refer to issues such as pollution and traffic jams. The video also notes that opportunities that come in the way of China - whether business, political or social – are often accompanied by untold challenges.
It concludes with the catchphrase: “The Communist Party of China is with you along the way.”
Although the video was uploaded on Chinese video hosting service Yoku by an anonymous source, the Wall Street Journalnotes that it is probably a fresh advertising campaign by the Communist Party Of China headed by Premiere Xi Jinping.
Jinping, appears to be trying to live up to the vow he made in a New Year greeting to the Chinese people where he promised to promote China's cultural soft power by disseminating modern Chinese values and showing the world charm of Chinese culture.
In his endeavor, On December 28, Jinping made an unexpected visit to a traditional Beijing steamed-bun shop. He reportedly stood in line, ordered a lunch of pork buns and even paid for himself. The Chinese leader wasn’t even accompanied by any security personnel.
China is a country which is often criticized for its government’s over-powering authority, especially when it comes to freedom of expression. In November 2003 the country erected its virtual Great Wall of China – or firewall rather – that would control and monitor internet activities. The program titled ‘The Golden Shield’ applied restrictions on websites, foreign and/or local, containing anti-government content among other things.
In September last year, a controversial law was passed criminalizing online comments as libelous that are reposted 500 or more times.
“The Chinese Dream” is probably Jinping’s effort to soften his regime’s image in the Western world.
Here are some responses, reported by Quartz, from the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, SinaWeibo:
“I think it’s great! much better than shouting out political slogans in their previous propaganda efforts!,” one user wrote.
Another said the video fulfilledthe “international standards” of PR, calling it “vibrant and modern, a total breakaway from previous banal tone.”