By Steven Jiang and Jessie Yeung, CNN
For a decidedly atheistic political organization, the ruling Communist Party in China likes to talk about its origins in religious terms.
In party literature and state media, former revolutionary bases are referred to as “holy sites,” and the almost compulsory visits to these places by the base are intended to “baptize” members into the Communist “faith”.
âMao once said that the people are our God,â Wang Dongcang, professor at the Communist Party’s China Executive Leadership Academy in Yan’an, said on May 11. âWe believe in leading the people to a better future.
CNN joined more than two dozen international media outlets on a recent government-sponsored media tour of Yan’an and Xibaipo, two renowned “red sites” where the nascent Communist Party grew in size and strength before emerging victorious of a bloody civil war. take control of mainland China in 1949.
As the Communist Party counts down to its 100th anniversary in July, strengthening the “red genes” of its 91 million members has become a top priority under Xi Jinping, the current party leader and the most powerful leader. powerful in the country since Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic.
In a series of quotes published recently by the party’s official magazine, Xi called on members to “make good use of red resources, inherit red genes, and pass the red country down from generation to generation.” And the âred sitesâ are assuming an increasingly central and lucrative role in his campaign.
In Yan’an and Xibaipo, crowds of visitors – some in revolutionary clothes – crowded into the former residences of communist leaders, the auditoriums of previous party congresses and countless exhibition halls.
Crowds of party members renewed their oaths of admission – “be ready at any time to sacrifice everything for the party and the people, and never betray the party” – in a ritualistic manner, while the schoolchildren received lectures open air on why history chose the Communists to rule China.
There is also a lot of money in the growing popularity of âred tourismâ. In Yan’an alone, more than 73 million visitors flocked to the city of more than 2 million people in 2019. An airport has opened in the once-economical backwater, which now features rows of new hotels and even a billboard advertising an upcoming Starbucks.
On these “red sites”, however, the thorniest topics – internal struggles and purges in the upper echelon, and ruthless mass political campaigns dating back to the early days of the party – are hardly ever discussed.
Historians at the Communist Party Academy in Yan’an insist that they do not ignore the party’s failures in their teaching, but quickly add that even the darkest chapters – like Mao’s Cultural Revolution which lasted for a decade – which critics claim has claimed millions of lives – must be seen through the prism of the “party quest to build socialism” in China.
“The twists and turns in this quest are understandable,” Professor He Hailun told reporters, echoing Xi’s strong rejection of what the party sees as attempts to discredit the Chinese political system by focusing on the leaders’ past mistakes. communists.
On all the sites we visited, a clear message emerged. The rejuvenation of China is due to two strong men: Mao and Xi. Anything else in between is hardly mentioned.
When asked whether the propaganda around Xi contradicted the measures put in place by the party after Mao’s death in 1976 to avoid another personality cult, Wang, Yan’an’s teacher, suggested that the Communist Party was like a peach – it could only have one core.
âIt would be a mutation if a peach had two cores,â he said.
- Japanese Naomi Osaka was $ 15,000 fine for skipping a media session after his straight-set victory at Roland-Garros.
- A team of Australian scientists discovered a curious “chocolate” tree frog in New Guinea.
- Hong Kong’s Tsang Yin-Hung became the fastest woman to Everest ladder – reach the top in less than 26 hours.
- Meanwhile orbiting the earth, a spacecraft carrying supplies, equipment and propellant successfully docked with China’s under-construction space station Tianhe.
China’s affairs: old debate opens new wounds
China still cannot figure out how to contain the global commodity boom.
Today, a decades-old interview between a controversial Chinese politician and a prominent US economist sparked a debate over whether Beijing is partly responsible for the soaring steel costs, coal and other materials needed to fuel its infrastructure-focused stimulus package.
163.com, a major news site owned by NetEase, published a 1988 conversation Thursday evening between former Secretary General Zhao Ziyang and Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winner who helped shape the modern market economy.
In the text, Zhao told Friedman that China has inflation issues and asked for advice on how to continue with free market reform.
The website has not explained why it is now posting the conversation, which is already public outside of China. But, for some, the timing was remarkable: Zhao was notoriously kicked out of political leadership after opposing the use of force during the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989, which happened two years ago. 32 years old Friday. Zhao’s name is generally considered taboo in China.
The conversation on the private news website drew some 27,000 responses, debating the merits of a reformed, free-market approach to solving economic problems, versus Beijing’s often heavy top-down methods.
This topic quickly revolved around China’s new environmental policies. Power outages across the country have bothered millions of people in recent months, and commentators have questioned whether Xi’s relentless drive to become carbon neutral by 2060 is limiting their energy supply.
As commodity prices remain volatile and coal continues to be a lightning rod problem, the government is committed to keeping costs under control.
On Monday, the government revealed that manufacturing activity in the country slowed down somewhat in May compared to a month ago due to soaring raw material costs. It remains to be seen how long this lasts.
– from CNN Business
The Chinese town of Yuxi in southwestern Yunnan province received surprise visitors last week: a group of 15 wild Asian elephants, according to the Chinese state tabloid World time.
“It was around 10 p.m. and I was still in my store,” local resident Jia told the Global Times on Friday. “I heard some noise in the street and I looked outside – wow, the elephants!”
The herd had walked for 40 days from their original habitat in Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, more than 400 kilometers (about 248 miles) south of Yuxi, according to local authorities. The herd included nine adults, three teenagers and three calves, said outlet managed by the state Xinhua.
Their trek is unusual given the scarcity of food for elephants north of their usual habitat, conservationists say, but one of the main reasons could be environmental degradation and habitat loss.
In recent decades, the Asian elephant population has nearly doubled since 1976, as many forests have been replaced by human settlements and farmland. The traditional elephant migration corridor has been cut, fragmenting and isolating herds on increasingly small plots of land.
This means that many elephants are forced to search for food in agricultural areas, resulting in an increase in man-elephant conflict over the past 10 years. Local residents report that their crops have been eaten, houses damaged and even cattle attacked like cows.
Authorities said friday they worked on the gradual return of the herd to their original habitat, with a police escort and 228 vehicles deployed to facilitate the journey.
But the only way to prevent a future exodus of elephants is to restore their habitats and protect natural resources, said Zhang Li, a wildlife biologist and professor at Peking Normal University. according to the Global Times.
âThe traditional buffer zones between humans and elephants are gradually disappearing, and the chances of elephants encountering humans naturally increase dramatically,â Zhang said.
Quoted and noted
âAttempts by the Australian media to drive a wedge between China and New Zealand may reflect their desperation over the prospects for Sino-Australian trade. “
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