Tom Phillips “Cultural Revolution concert fuels China power struggle rumours” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/10/cultural-revolution-anniversary-show-power-struggle-rumours-mao-china
Jude Blanchette*7, a Beijing-based scholar who is writing a book about the influence of Maoism on contemporary China, said the identities and motivations of the show’s promoters was a mystery. “There are tonnes of rumours flying around right now,” he said.
Blanchette described claims that the spectacular was an attack on Xi as “tenuous”, but added that it was also unlikely that the president had backed the event: “I can’t imagine that he could have supported it knowing that the reaction was going to be this intense.”
More likely was that the organisers had misread the political climate and failed to anticipate the backlash a Cultural Revolution-themed concert would cause, he said.
“Given the climate now ideologically, given this resurgence of party history, given some of the dog-whistle signals Xi Jinping has given about the role of the party and the way that the neo-Maoists have interpreted those, I can see how someone overzealously thought that they could get away with a concert redolent of Maoist past glories and the Cultural Revolution, clearly misjudging the level of controversy that the [period] still has for so many.
“Cockup over conspiracy makes sense to me.”
Blanchette said the row was a reminder of the long shadow the Cultural Revolution continued to cast over today’s China.
“Fifty years later it is the single most controversial episode in modern Chinese history. It is the most divisive moment,” he said. “There are two really entrenched, highly politicised sides on this issue. There are people who felt intense, searing pain, who felt like the party’s effort to sweep this under the rug [denied them] an open, honest historical reckoning [about the Cultural Revolution].
“And, on the other side, you have a highly motivated and organised populist group who thinks that the party’s attempt to sweep this under the rug was the original sin of the Deng [Xiaoping] era. It’s when they first sold out Mao Zedong and his revolutionary vision.”
The latter group was now on the offensive following the Tiananmen Square show, Blanchette said. “A month ago things were quiet on the Maoist front in terms of historical remembrance. Now it has clearly, clearly picked up.”
“Show glorifying chaotic decade offends public” http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/981796.shtml
*1:See Nectar Gan “‘Whole world should unite to defeat the American invaders and their lackeys’: controversy sparked online by ‘red songs’ at concert in Beijing” http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1941686/whole-world-should-unite-defeat-american-invaders-and
*3:Mimi Lau “‘It’s a trap’: daughter of revolutionary warns China’s Communist Party over concert featuring Cultural Revolution songs” http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1942971/its-trap-daughter-revolutionary-warns-chinas-communist
*6:Wang Xiangwei “Political winds raise red flags over Cultural Revolution-style gala” http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1942545/political-winds-raise-red-flags-over-cultural
*8:See http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20120619/1340122652 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130830/1377790787 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20120627/1340723349 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20121006/1349459034 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20121013/1350097719 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130214/1360779561 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20130830/1377790787 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20131230/1388408774 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20141226/1419614765 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150227/1424971793 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20150720/1437363583