Animated rap video lauds China's key reform group

A screen grab of the animated rap video showing Chinese President Xi Jinping and his quote, "There is no turning back if an arrow is released", referring to the reforms.
A screen grab of the animated rap video showing Chinese President Xi Jinping and his quote, "There is no turning back if an arrow is released", referring to the reforms.PHOTO: CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION

Move a reflection of Beijing's engagement in 'innovating, improving propaganda online'

BEIJING • China's state broadcaster has released an animated rap video lauding a key reform group ahead of its second anniversary, another reflection of Beijing's engagement in "innovating and improving propaganda online" championed by President Xi Jinping, the media reported.

The video, titled The Leading Group For Comprehensive Reform Is Two Years Old, was posted on the website of China Central Television (CCTV) last Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

This clip came after another animated video released by Xinhua in October which explains China's five-year plan.

The CCTV animation, which runs for about three minutes, extolled a long list of achievements by the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms, a high-powered committee founded and headed by President Xi, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

"The group is two years old; it has done quite a lot. Tigers, flies, big foxes, CATCH CATCH CATCH CATCH!" the song goes, using metaphors to refer to corrupt officials.

  • Verse from the rap

  • 2015, Let's look at the reform group;

    It improves economy, enriches people and enhances (government) services;

    It has to cut the red tape and delegate power to lower levels;

    Must believe in the government;

    Let hands that're not supposed to reach out stay unmoved, let the market rule;

    They're determined to fight corruption, they're keen to beat ferocious tigers in particular;

    Rule the party with harshness, rule the country by law;

    People are full of joy and hope.

IMPORTANT TASK

To manage online propaganda well is a long-term task.

PRESIDENT XI JINPING, urging officials to be creative in using the online platform to cultivate "socialism's core values"

Apart from the anti-corruption campaign, the clip also raps about the group's market-oriented reforms, anti-pollution efforts, and reforms in education and medical care. Several sound bites from Mr Xi are mixed in, accompanied by a cartoon image of the Chinese leader.

At one point, Mr Xi says, "There is no turning back if an arrow is released", referring to the reforms.

His pledge to "turn people's wishes into our actions" is also featured in the clip.

An introduction to the video posted on the website said the reform group has held 19 meetings and reviewed 102 reform documents since its establishment on Dec 30, 2013.

The leading group, which has spearheaded Mr Xi's signature anti- corruption programme, also defines policy on issues such as reform of the economy, legal system and state-owned enterprises, the SCMP said.

The cartoon marks another attempt by state media to promote major policies through music and animation, Xinhua said.

On Oct 27, Xinhua released a three-minute music video on Twitter to promote the country's latest five-year plan. In the video, four cartoon characters with American accents sing about the plan as they play guitars and dance on top of a retro Volkswagen van.

In October 2013, Beijing released an animation clip introducing China's top leadership. The five-minute clip featuring Mr Xi and his predecessors grabbed the headlines and drew more than one million views in two days.

However, it is not clear how many times the latest video has been shared from CCTV's website, as such statistics are not displayed. But it received only lukewarm reviews after being posted on Sina Weibo, China's popular microblogging service.

The video reposted by the service provider on Monday had, until last night, garnered only 45 likes and been shared fewer than 70 times.

Mr Xi's government has attached greater importance to online propaganda since he came to power in 2012.

"To manage online propaganda well is a long-term task," he told the reform group in a meeting last year, urging officials to be creative in using the platform to cultivate "socialism's core values".

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2015, with the headline 'Animated rap video lauds China's key reform group'. Print Edition | Subscribe