China has its MTV moment

Has the communist party been serving magic mushrooms in the stir-fry at the annual party meeting this week?

Because it looks like China’s propaganda machine is having its MTV moment.

As the party meets this month to devise its 13th five-year plan, which will lay out what the country hopes to achieve economically for the next five years, Xinhua the country’s state-run news agency has released a slickly-produced psychedelic music video saying, “If you wanna know what China’s gonna do, best pay attention to the shisanwu,” the Chinese words for “13-five,” an abbreviation for the new roadmap.

Image from new Chinese government video

Image from new Chinese government video

It’s an it’s an interesting way to draw attention to petty dry subject matter, though one wonders who it’s directed at. The theme is a chirpy folk song sung in English by four cartoon characters on top of a Volkswagen microbus, reminiscent of the characters of the Scooby-Doo cartoon, only one character looks like David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character and another is a black man with an big afro that reminds us of Sly and the Family Stone. We’re wondering how well the VW is going over in light of its recent scandal.

During the three-minute video the four characters travel through a green and fuchsia dreamscape with giant lily pads, the Great Wall, disembodied lips and even the MTV spaceman.

The singers with noticeably American voices display a humor aimed at young people saying that song’s among the contributors to the five-year plan: “There’s doctors, bankers and farmers, too, and even engineers who deal with poo!” For reals.

In a style similar to Monty Python, even President Xi Jinping makes an appearance followed by a Albert Einstein and a mannequis sporting a teddy bear head.

The video is attributed to the Animation Studio, which has a history of producing glossy clips for China’s ruling Communist party aimed at foreign audiences.

Here’s the link to the video:



Categories: Asia Unhedged, China

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