Chinese Government Releases Pro-China Documentary Online

China National Image Campaign

Last week we saw New York’s Time Square taken over with that 60 second pro-China advertisement courtesy of the Chinese Government. Even now it is still playing at various times every hour on the big screens in the heart of NYC.

China New York Times Square

A week later, the next stage of the Chinese Government’s campaign to revamp the image of China in the West has rolled out with a 15 minute (well technically 18min) documentary promoting the wonders of China and its people from various “perspectives”.

The documentary is titled “角度篇” (Jiǎodù piān) or in English “Perspectives” and you can watch it on Youtube / Youku below:

On Youtube

Part 1

Part 2

On Youku

The documentary will be sent out to embassies and consulates around the world. It will also be played at various events promoting Chinese tourism.

Having watched the video a couple of times, I found that it certainly tries to be honest and open about China’s internal conflicts and the difficulties it faces.

Of course, the more controversial areas such as freedom of speech etc were not covered per se, but I did not find the contents of the video to be creating a completely misleading image of modern China.

Yet one must not forget the source of the vnideo ad its intentions, so I ask you:

Does this video promote real China? Or is it just pure propaganda?

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  • Wondering

    I’m not sure why the US allows these ads to be run–guarantees of free speech for US citizens is one thing, but shouldn’t the line be drawn at propaganda from a foreign government? We can’t sell our freedom for advertising dollars!

    • USS Arizona

      After all, the US is a Capitalist-first, Freedom-second country. We will sell ANYTHING for dollars.

    • Tommy

      You could say they are selling all Chinese products as a whole–promoting the country as a brand. Buy Chinese, etc.

      Of course, if they really wanted to improve their image they wouldn’t imprison a blind lawyer who exposed forced sterilizations–four years in prison for “disrupting traffic and destroying property.”

  • Bo Wang

    lol, these ads are such bullshit.

  • Phoenix

    they sort of touch on some problems, but with a lot of positive spin bullshit, such as the “we must be environmental stewards” or the “migrant children have their own educational deal” bits. the country is not doing enough on either issue, and is even actively contributing to them as problems.

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  • jump

    Slick. Probably done by a US PR firm :) Nobody beats the Americans in propaganda.

  • Ethan JRT

    Two thoughts:

    1. Some of that “positive spin bullshit” is great to hear in official propaganda. When laying blame for problems at the feet of an official body, it’s useful to have that body’s own words to level against it. Here’s how it works: “I was in the Chinese embassy last month and saw a phrase that really touched me: ‘We must be environmental stewards.’ Now let’s examine whether the Chinese government has lived up to that claim. Do you call ____ environmental stewardship? Do you call ____ environmental stewardship?” Etc.: largely rhetorical, but embarrassing; can also serve as a rallying cry in other types of situations. In sum, that sort of positive spin, when it comes in the form of a commitment or the staking out of a moral claim, gives activists a certain amount of leverage.

    2. I was shocked at the talk of democracy and noticed a few discrepancies in the Chinese, so I translated the part about politics and the law – as well as last series of wishes for China’s future – from Chinese into English and compared it with their own English version. More similar than I had thought, but there were four major discrepancies, which I note below:

    1. “Expanding Democracy with Stable Authority” (theirs)
    “Democracy, With Authority” (mine)

    Sounds nicer in their translation, doesn’t it?

    2. …”after all, before flourishing nationally, free elections must begin at the village level.” (theirs)
    “It is from Chinese society’s vastest, lowest level that democratic elections must be tried.” (mine)

    National-level democracy sounds like a pretty set goal in their English version; the Chinese sounds more, shall we say, tentative.

    3. [from the part about how law is replacing former practices:]
    “personal relationships” (theirs)
    “the longtime way of ‘getting on in the world’” (mine)

    The latter sounds to me more euphemistic, less charged with blame.

    4. [from the good wishes for China at the end, right before “Go China!”]
    “China, More prosperity” (theirs)
    “More and more powerful” (mine)

    I’m sure that this last discrepancy was no error. After all, part of the reason for this whole PR campaign – especially the Times Square ad – is no doubt to project a friendly face after a year of diplomatic knuckle-cracking by the Chinese government.

  • ezekiel

    It’s interesting this.
    Especially that they’ve been buying media in the US for this.
    However if America wanted to buy media time in China to air a 45 minute infomercial about how great it is to live in ‘democratic’ and ‘free’ America I’m not sure if they’d find they could do so.
    China can’t really have it both ways – using free media abroad but not giving it at home – or maybe it can….

  • Finn

    me and my girlfriend want to move to china from denmark. can any pleace tell me the rules for buying an apartment or what is neded to come into china.

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