Chinese movie stars, monks and even rappers are all eagerly paying tribute ahead of the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th birthday this week.
- Rapper Ice Paper was forced to backtrack after claiming he did not contribute to a track honouring the CCP
- At least 10 feature films will be showing in theatres to mark the occasion
- Chinese religious groups are also lining up to wish the CCP a happy birthday
Celebrations have already begun across the country ahead of the official anniversary on Thursday, including an enormous gala performance on Monday, an exhibition of historical material and an awards ceremony for outstanding party members.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which came to power in China nearly 72 years ago, was founded in 1921.
“It is hard to tell whether people are doing those things out of sincerity, but it is necessary for them to make a gesture, to show to [the CCP] that they follow [China’s] value system,” Hsuanlei Shao, associate professor of East Asia studies at National Taiwan Normal University, told the ABC.
100 rappers spit bars for the CCP
Last week, a 15-minute ode to the CCP titled “100%” caused controversy after the producers claimed it was a collaboration between 100 Chinese rappers.
One of the artists named, Ice Paper, claimed on social media that he had nothing to do with the project, and ridiculed the track, which was made by an independent Chinese hip-hop label.
He warned his fans not to be fooled, saying: “There is no such a song.”
However, Ice Paper quickly walked back the criticism, apologising and claiming he “forgot” that he had worked on the track.
Both the original post and the apology were later deleted.
The film and television industry has also been hard at work producing content to celebrate the occasion.
According to Xinhua, China’s state news agency, a 100-episode documentary dedicated to the history of the CCP will be released this year.
At least 10 feature films promoting the CCP’s values, many featuring all-star casts, will be showing in theatres during the anniversary celebrations.
One of the movies, 1921, which is to be officially released on July 1, documents the birth of the party and the stories of its founding members.
Local media reported that as of last Friday more than 20 million people had either paid for an online test screening of the movie or bought tickets in advance to watch it in theatres.
Dr Shao said it was easy to understand why so many people in the Chinese entertainment industry were going all-out for the 100th anniversary.
He said the management companies or television broadcasters they worked for operated in the party’s shadow, with party members in key positions.
Entertainment industry workers, as a result, were motivated to show their support in such party events.
“It is different in China than in the West. Whether a celebrity participates in an event is not out of their own will, but due to the management company’s decision,” Dr Shao added.
Religious groups show loyalty
It’s not just celebrities. Chinese religious groups are also lining up to wish the CCP a happy birthday.
Taoists, Buddhists and Christians are all throwing events to show their dedication to the party.
Zhang Keyun, leader of an eastern China Christian group, said the CCP’s anniversary was not only important to the party’s members, but to everyone in the country.
Mr Zhang said his organisation was going to hold a quiz on party history plus lectures, a reading club and film screenings for the occasion.
“We need to obey the party and follow the party,” he wrote on the group’s website.
Dr Shao said religious groups in China tended to be little more than extensions of the party.
Original posted at www.abc.net.au