The anniversary of the Peoples’ Republic of China, or National Day, has officially arrived.  In a few hours, pomp and circumstance will flood Chinese cities and towns, and even the bastion of American fly-ness — the Empire State Building — will mark the 60th by glowing red and yellow tonight.  In Beijing, the PRC’s military will parade their warheads, and patriotic, if not tacky, Chinese youth will sport their “Great Hall of the People” buzzcuts.

As customary with China, the more meticulous the facade, the more calculated the interior.  Last spring, Paramount Leader Hu Jintao released a list of National Day coverage rules to Chinese media outlets.  These “five points” include placing emphasis on “the leading position of the Chinese Communist Party” and “the strength of the socialist system.”  The China Media Project not only dissects the implications of these “five points,” but also outlines the conforming methods used by Chinese media outlets to field the propagandist orders.  Lest we forget the 60th National Day is not the only historic Chinese anniversary in 2009.

The stringent control of media and art is notoriously linked to Mao’s uprising and founding of the PRC.  BBC’s audio slide show, “Art and politics in China,” concisely covers the breadth of Chinese propaganda and art over the past 60 years. Katie Hill, Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Chinese Art at the University of Westminster, explains the decade-by-decade transformation of Mao’s image from benevolent leader, to mythical center of a cult of personality, to icon.


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