People flock to 'red' sites in China ahead of Communist Party's 100th anniversary

Updated: May 26, 2021, 04:41 PM(IST)

China's ruling party which is ready to celebrate its centenary this, July marks the anniversary with a PR push that includes office history outings, big-budget movies and carefully constructed media tours.

Let's take a look: 

Mao Zedong's legacy

The Communist party, which celebrates the 100th year of its founding in Shanghai this July, has launched a propaganda blitz lauding its achievements over the past century in nurturing a poor, divided nation eviscerated by war into a global superpower. One of the highlights of this PR campaign is the history; including Mao Zedong's legacy.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Red Holy Land

Thousands of tourists flock each day to the dark caves, in the city of Yan'an which Mao Zedong and his comrades made home. A western Chinese city that bills itself as a "Red Holy Land" , this is where the party hunkered down in 1935 at the end of the Long March to build a revolution.

(Photograph:AFP)

Unfazed by criticism

The pomp ad the grandeur of the celebration, remains unfazed by the criticism from the West, where politicians, experts and business leaders warn of the party's supersized ambitions and decry its human rights record.

(Photograph:AFP)

Boon to tourism

According to officials, the push to study the party's history due to the centenary this year is a boon to tourism in red tourist hot spots like Yanan and Xibaipo. But the trend is not new. Even before the pandemic and this celebration, tourism in Yanan grew consistently, from 40.25 million visitors in 2016 to 73.08 million in 2019.

(Photograph:AFP)

Dark past

While Beijing is quick to point to China's rapid economic growth in recent decades and rising living standards as evidence of the party's enduring value, the government is less than keen, to draw any attention to the past century's darker chapters, including famine, the Cultural Revolution, and crackdowns on resistance movements.

In spite of rallies and protests, discussion of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 continues to be censored on Chinese social media, with China's cyberspace authority last month urging internet users to report "harmful" comments showing "historical nihilism", narratives that go against the party's official history.

(Photograph:Reuters)

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