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Xi Jinping game show: How well do you know China's leader?

Discussion in 'The NF Café' started by DonutKid, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. DonutKid

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    It's dinnertime in China, the evening news has just aired, and primetime TV-watchers are settling down for the real entertainment of the night.

    "Let's listen to President Xi's speeches and comprehend his thought," enthusiastically declares the host of a game show called, yes, "Studying Xi in the New Era".

    The "Xi" - in this instance - is a reference to China's leader Xi Jinping who has steadily tightened his grip over the state. Just one year ago "Xi Jinping thought" - an articulation of his political philosophy - was enshrined in the constitution of the Chinese Communist Party. Nothing like that has happened in a very long time.

    Now it's moved onto Hunan TV, China's most popular entertainment channel aimed at young people, which means that it's clearly time to ensure China's Generation Z and millennials are on board.

    So is it any fun?
    It takes the form of two rounds of quizzes and a short speech about Communist Party theories and Xi's thought, as well as a few questions thrown in about Mr Xi's personal experiences on his way to the top.

    "President Xi, at the age of 15, was sent from Beijing to Liangjiahe in Shaanxi province to become a farmer. During that period of time, he was eager to acquire knowledge. He even walked 15km (9 miles) to borrow a book. What's the name of it?" fired off the host.

    One contestant fired back with "Faustus" - no hesitation whatsoever.

    "Congratulations. That's correct," said the host to polite applause from the studio audience.

    The host then read a poem Xi wrote when he was the secretary of Fuzhou city's Communist Party in the 1990s, and asked: "Who does this poem commemorate?"

    "Jiao Yulu" shot back the answer. Correct. Once again the contestant immediately knew Xi had once penned an ode to commemorate a dedicated party cadre in China.

    "What theory is great theory?" was a question asked by Ai Silin, who is president of the School of Marxism at Tsinghua University and invited onto the show as an expert.

    "It must be a scientific theory for the people. Nowadays, it must be Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era," said another contestant who won praise for his perfect answer.

    The game show also plays excerpts of Xi Jinping's speeches or interviews, which are regarded as "golden quotes", and the participants need to finish Xi's sentences or answer related questions.

    Xi Jinping said in a speech, "Marxism is very profound, but essentially it can be summarised by one sentence…"

    "Striving for the liberation of humanity," a contestant finished.

    But there is a twist for the game show participants. There is no prize at the end of this spectacle - the reward is in soaking up and displaying expertise and knowledge of Xi Jinping. There could be a prize for the audience, or so the organisers must be calculating, which is that they too will get a chance to memorise party theory and enhance their knowledge of Xi.

    The message is clear which is that in this day and age in China that is only going to lubricate your path to success, particularly in any public or governmental sphere.

    It might feel like a crude and thinly-disguised tool for propaganda but in one sense it is no different to the standard Q&A of any indoctrination process. It's a gamified extension of the slogan-chanting and praise of leaders on television - and a clear demonstration of how Mr Xi's personality cult works.

    Will people care?
    The series has five episodes covering issues from the origin of Xi's thought to what's new in it and what kind of future it is likely to create. But four days after its debut, it has failed to ignite the social imagination of Sina Weibo, China's version of Twitter.

    "This show will definitely become highest-rated TV show," one Weibo user mocked.

    "Anyone who had wrong answer should be re-educated to meet the requirement in the new era," another joked.

    A couple in their 60s, who wanted to remain anonymous, spoke to the BBC after watching the show.

    "I can't carry on watching. You can tell those participants are so staged. They're like reciting textbooks," said the husband who was giggling when the show started.

    But his wife, a seasoned Communist Party member, had a different view: "It's boring but meaningful. Nowadays young people barely learn any basic political knowledge. It's necessary to instil them with something valuable".

    In some senses it is simply a logical extension of the industry that has emerged around Xi Thought. The show features guest speakers from the Xi Thought institutes that have sprung up across China since the end of 2017 specifically targeted at students.

    "In the wake of Mao's reign, Deng Xiaoping made a decision to dissolve the rule by charismatic leader and establish a rule of bureaucratic elites, constrained by term limits. Xi has upended this decision. Since he took power, there has been a marked return to the 'cult of personality'... of the pre-reform era," said David Moser, an Academic Director for CET Chinese Studies.

    Nowadays there are plenty of tools to help leaders who want to establish a cult of personality, such as apps, mobile games and cartoons - this TV game show is just another one.

    "This new cult of Xi has altered the fundamental separation of politics and entertainment in Chinese media, " Mr Moser says.

     
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  2. Skaddix

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    So what happens if you lose do you get dragged to the gulags?
     
  3. Mider T

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    I have watched all of the New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episodes.
     
  4. Yami Munesanzun

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    /violently vomits in Chinese
     
  5. Le Male Absolu

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    Wow they study Xi Jinping speeches like he was Mao or Confucius.
     
  6. mr_shadow Moderator

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    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  7. mr_shadow Moderator

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    Well, that's kind of why the slogan-chanting comes easily to the Chinese: they've been doing this in one form or another since the Han dynasty (200 BC).

    In every dynasty there is always The Philosopher whose quotations have to be memorized verbatim. Whether it's Confucius or Lao Zi or the Buddha or Mao or Xi, the basic method is always the same.
     
  8. mr_shadow Moderator

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    Although the difference with Mao and Xi versus the others is that The Philosopher is also the currently ruling Leader.

    It would have been more in keeping with the tradition if The Philosopher of the PRC was Marx; somebody who is safely dead and therefore can't correct you when you selectively quote him to justify the political expediencies of the day.

    The fact that Marx wrote primarily in German (and never in Chinese) also provides a useful buffer: whenever something goes wrong you can blame it on errors in the Chinese translation. "That's not what Marx really meant!" So you just send the translator (if alive) to a labour camp and then issue a new translation that happens to align with the Party's current priorities.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  9. mr_shadow Moderator

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    December 18 will be the 40th anniversary of Deng's "Reform & Opening" project.

    If he has balls the size of Jupiter, that's a good time where Xi could declare "mission accomplished" and chart his own path independent of Deng's legacy.

    Though I think there's a quote by Deng that "the modernization of China will take at least 100 years", so if you take him literally Reform & Opening is supposed to last until 2078. (When I'll be 89 years old and hopefully still an avid China watcher)
     
  10. Yami Munesanzun

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    shadow, youre scaring everone off.

    Stahp.
     
  11. wibisana

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    I know he is reincarnation of Zhu Wuneng

    Coz he didnt actually get to become Arhat after accompanying Xuanzang

    Xi was Pig herder/farmer when he was young
    I dont think it is coincidence
     
  12. Alwaysmind

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    I should use the word lubricate more often. What say you @Mider T


    It’s no different then these indoctrination segments:






     
  13. Mider T

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    U ghey
     
  14. Alwaysmind

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    You are losing your touch gramps.
    :boredbear
    *You gay.

    And no, I’m just saying that I want to assist you in lubricating the English grammar on this channel.
     
  15. Alwaysmind

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    Fixed for you. :cat

    In all seriousness, I feel that China will have surpassed the modernization by then.
     
  16. mr_shadow Moderator

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    Believe it or not China is almost a high-income country by the World Bank's definition.

    Their GNI/capita is about to pass $10,000 perhaps already this year, and the cut-off is $12,000 (don't ask me why).

    Unless the yuan completely collapses from the Trade War, they should probably cross the threshold into "developed country" territory by the important 2021 celebration of the Party's 100th anniversary.

    Though they'd still of course be on the lowest rung of "developed" together with the likes of Russia and Mexico.
     
  17. Alwaysmind

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    China poised to be like the Russian Empire? A world power that is derided by others for being « backwards » or behind times (just as the Russian Empire was a hundred years ago).
     
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