Olympic Ceremony Reflects a Political Agenda

August 11, 2008 8:57 pm Last Updated: August 12, 2008 12:29 am

As the dust settles on Beijing's Olympic Opening Ceremony and subsequent mixed reactions from the press, a pair of Chinese scholars provide The Epoch Times with valuable insights and observations of the ceremony, criticizing its distortion of tradition and culture—and false image of harmony and strength staged by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Guo Quan, a former associate professor at Nanjing Normal University in China,
questions the relevance of the Opening Ceremony's content, claiming it revealed a strategy to politicize the Olympics, serving only to praise, whitewash—and misrepresent—the true nature of CCP authority.

Guo added that characteristics of the ceremony were very similar to government-organized celebrations and programs shown on mainland TV, which are full of state propaganda. Guo said that the pageantry really had nothing to do with the Olympics or sports, or the expressed Olympian spirit of freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights.

Liu Junning, a researcher at the Institute of Chinese Cultural Studies at the Chinese Academy of Arts, said that the Opening Ceremony reflected the regime's practice of feeding the public’s desire for prosperity and harmony through superficial make-up.

Liu questioned the motivation behind the event's portrayal of harmony. "I am not sure if this is to echo the Olympics [tenets] or Hu Jintao's recent ‘Harmonious Society’ campaign."

Harmony and Dictatorship – A Contradiction


Liu points out that the superficial portrayal of harmony attempted by the CCP directly contradicts reality, as China is filled with conflict and crises. The very nature of disharmony in China is rooted in the authoritarian dictatorship practiced by the CCP. Dictatorship and harmony are contradictory—and therefore would never coexist.

Guo Quan says that the CCP is using the appearance and surface form of China's rich tradition and culture to consolidate its political power, resulting in the culture's destruction. "When the core and spirit of tradition and culture are neglected," says Guo, "it is in fact being used to destroy tradition and culture."

This manipulation and use of China's vast traditional culture was a change in technique for the CCP. "Because the tactics of the Cultural Revolution do not work, no one will believe them," Liu says. "The CCP recognizes the convenience of traditional culture as a political tool, since there is plenty inherited from history and known by the [Chinese] public."

Guo added that the Party culture of China's communists, and traditional Chinese culture, are fundamentally different—opposite and incompatible. The CCP has been heavily playing the card of nationalism/patriotism, portraying opposition to CCP actions as intent to harm China. 

Guo Quan criticizes film director Zhang Yimou—head choreographer of the Olympics' opening show—for facilitating CCP propaganda aimed at Chinese and international viewers, with every element of the show hand-picked by China's Central Propaganda Department.

Guo Quan, born in 1968, is the Chairman of the China Xinmin Party, former associate professor in the Literature Department of Nanjing Normal University, Editorial Board Chairman of the Journal of the School of Chinese Language and Culture at Nanjing Normal University, and joint researcher at the Nanjing Massacre Research Center.

Liu Junning, former researcher of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and visiting scholar at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. He is currently a researcher at the Institute of Chinese Cultural Studies of the Chinese Academy of Arts.

Read Chinese Article at: http://news.epochtimes.com/b5/8/8/9/n2221878.htm