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October 29, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9617

Russian Pro-Kremlin Television Presenter Kiselyov Voices Sympathy For Chinese Cultural Crackdown

October 29, 2021
Russia, China | Special Dispatch No. 9617

Dmitry Kiselyov, who hosts the weekly Vesti Nedeli ("News of the Week") program, where he regularly offers harsh criticism of the West, and praise for Putin rhetoric, expressed his support for the cultural crackdown taking place in China. He claimed that China's Communist Party had learned from the collapse of the Soviet Union that was brought low by the infiltration of Western attitudes and mores.  China realizes that technological sovereignty is not enough but it must also move to cultural sovereignty. The party has made an example of two noted actresses, who have been on the receiving end of Chinese 'cancel culture'. Kiselyov claims that the Chinese crackdown has nothing in common with Mao Ze Dong's Cultural Revolution, which was severely criticized at the time in the Soviet Union. China is not engaged in such madness but is going back to its Confucian roots, where the elites devoted themselves to serving the common good.

Kiselyov's article follows below:[1]

"Most interesting cultural processes are taking place in China. The kickoff for the change was a recent article in the Communist Party of China's party organ The People's Daily. In fact, this is a deployment and a guide to action for the entire one and a half billion strong country, which, leaving behind the vanquished covid, is developing at a rapid pace. Having set the task of achieving technological sovereignty, the party goes further. The country needs unyielding cultural sovereignty, as a precondition for forward movement towards the goal set: building a 'strong democratic, civilized, harmonized and modern socialist state by the 100th anniversary of the PRC.'

"And here is the day’s task definition: 'We must finally bring order to the cultural chaos. We need to build a bright, healthy, valiant, powerful and people-oriented culture.' Having carefully studied the experience of the collapse of the USSR, the Chinese understand that such powerful, in fact, imperial, state structures collapse not from external blows, but from internal cultural processes. And here is their conclusion: 'If we continue to cooperate with the American ' mass entertainment ' industry, our youth will lose their strong and valiant energy. And then we will be ruined just like the Soviet Union, even before we undergo a real attack, allowing our country to collapse our enemies to plunder China's wealth, and place our people in immense misfortune. Thus, the profound transformations currently taking place in China are aimed at responding to the brutal and ferocious attacks that the United States is launching against China. ' ...

"That is, by building its new culture, including youth culture, China is creating an instrument of self-protection. It is a defense for achieving self-preservation. A critical area is to clean up the mess with pop idols. Chinese 'stars' now have to pay taxes and behave themselves. Under the slogan 'No corruption in the artistic elite!' they began to put things in order. For starters, the Chinese Tax Administration fined the popular young actress Zheng Shuang for tax evasion. The actress partially concealed the proceeds from filming the series by providing false declarations. As a result, the tax that Zheng Shuang now has to repay totals 72 million yuan, plus a fine of 9 million yuan for late payment and a quadruple sized fine of 30 million yuan for evasion and false information. A total of 11 million yuan, which is equivalent to $ 17 million. If she doesn't pay, the security forces will deal with Zheng Shuang. But in any case, the General Directorate of Radio, Film and Television prohibited TV, radio and network resources from inviting Zheng Shuang to their shows. This is the Chinese style of Western 'cancel culture'.


Zheng Shuang (Source: Koreaboo.com)

"Another Chinese actress - Zhao Wei - the one who appeared 20 years ago with [a dress featuring] the flag of the Japanese invaders during the Second World War - all these years somehow managed to maintain her notoriety with one scandal after another. The People's Daily verdict has canceled the popular name in all media fields. The 'cancellation culture' worked again: 'The problem is that no matter how bad the news is, Zhao Wei still can't calm down, each successive scandal quickly faded away. Now she has reason to be seriously upset - Zhao Wei has disappeared from the screens."


Zhao Wei today and wearing the controversial dress in 2001 (Source: Todayonline.com)

"Simultaneous with this process, the aesthetics, the very image of Chinese stars, and their outward appearance are also changing: 'current efforts for correcting the situation in the area of the entertainment industry art, film and television are far from sufficient. We must use all means to combat the various phenomena of fanatical worship of pop and film "stars". Now is the time to completely eradicate the phenomenon of "effeminate" stars and young "pop idols" spreading in our society. '

That means, no effeminate images in men. This is China’s current cultural policy without regard for the West. However, the article in the People's Daily is not enough. The State Radio and Television Administration is issuing a special circular to further tighten control over artistic programs and their staff: 'It is necessary to put an end to the phenomenon of "effeminate" men and other abnormal aesthetics. We must firmly resist these tendencies by the stars, such as ostentatious display of wealth and gossip about the private life of the stars, hot scandals, vulgar "Internet celebrities" and the absence of a bottom limit in the demonstration of ugliness and vulgarity. '

"So, what is this about? Is it a new cultural revolution, when Mao Zedong declared in 1966 that the intelligentsia was wallowing in prosperity and had lost its impetus for internal development? Not at all. This is a summons to remain yourself and work for the common cause. This is a summons of the intelligentsia to the Confucian service of common interests and the development of their [China's] own modern culture. This is how it is done in China. And soon the CPC Central Committee plenum will convene in Beijing, where questions of moral upbringing will be discussed. The goal is to return to tradition.

It is clear that for many countries such a cultural model is impossible. But China meanwhile is successful. The success of any country is due to its distinctive internal cultural balance. Its very own. The Chinese way won't work [for us]. It's not even worth a try. But the experience is certainly interesting."


Dmitry Kiselyov (Source: Rg.ru)

 

[1] Vesti.ru, October 24, 2021.

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