Stories surrounding dismissed former Chinese political star Bo Xilai never end. While foreign media are busy solving the mystery of Bo Xilai, Gu Kailai and Neil Heywood, media in China have been busy chanting loyalty oath, which, not surprisingly, reminds many of Cultural Revolution, a time when people need to pledge loyalty to Mao if they don’t want to be smashed. The irony, as one netizen 我敢横刀立马 pointed out, is that “One cannot use Cultural Revolution methods to prevent another Cultural Revolution,” – Bo’s fall officially started after Prime Minister Wen Jiabao slammed Bo’s Mao-style policies as potentially “repeating Cultural Revolution.”
Below is a list of loyalty-pledging headlines from 20 municipal governments across China. No translation is needed here because they all express the same 4 themes: 1) we firmly support the correct decision by CCP Central Committee; 2) We won’t spread rumors, nor will we believe in any; 3) the people welcome CCP Central Committee’s decision; and 4) the decision demonstrates rule of law.
And of course there are also the entire PLA and Armed Police Force, as well as the entire Chinese population, who also pledged loyalty to CCP. While the entire Chinese population is too large a sample to check, Chinese netizens, at least, find an easy way to make the oath, that is, to match “firmly support CCP Central Committee” to ancient Chinese poems, a common way used by Chinese netizens to start an internet meme.
Below are some samples of netizens’ creations. No need for translation, either, because the first halves are all excerpts from ancient Chinese poems, and the latter halves are all the same sentence “firmly support CCP Central Committee.”
The list can go on and on – some of the “Support CCP decision” news on Sina Weibo are literality filled with such poems. But not only poems, the sentence is found to be so catchy that it pretty much goes well with anything, such as “What should I do if I get pregnant accidentally? Firmly support CCP Central Committee, “ “Firmly support CCP Central Committee, I want to eat hotpot tonight ” or “You jump, I jump. You firmly support CCP Central Committee, I firmly support CCP Central Committee. ”
“You know, just like how people used to blend words from Mao’s Little Red Book in every sentence they say during Cultural Revolution,” explained 三卯.
Others, however, didn’t see anything funny at all in the chanting. “We’re back to a time when everybody needs to pick a side. The fall of Bo hasn’t taken us farther, but closer to another Culture Revolution,” said 博格郑甫弘. 困境囚徒 echoed by saying, “The Cultural Revolution by an individual was over. Another Cultural Revolution by a party just started.” 清水草榻 wend further, “Firmly support CCP…doesn’t it sound like Cultural Revolution 3.0? Mao’s is 1.0 and Bo’s is 2.0.”
Many think that the central government is now doing exactly what they accused Bo Xilai of doing, repeating Cultural Revolution. As 家有双龙 said, “They said they bring down Bo because of his Cultural-Revolution-like policies. But they are practicing Cultural-Revolution mindset, too.” “The past few days feel so much like Cultural Revolution. Look at these headlines. They remind me of the time when everybody ‘firmly supports CCP’s decision to dismiss Deng Xiaoping,’” commented 人在江湖唱歌谣. 今日每年有 expressed anger, “These ‘firmly support’ news are even worse than Cultural Revolution because it was exactly the same people who said China needed to deepen political reform in order to avoid another Cultural Revolution a few days ago. Do these loyalty oaths mean political reform or one step forward to democracy? Absolutely no!”
And whoever think that these netizens are over reacting, take a look at the Taobao ad below.
“Yalin Home Fabrics Flagship Store. We firmly support CCP Central Committee’s decision regarding Bo Xilai. Spend 400 in our store and you can 100 back. To satisfy the people!”