Consuming The History of the Party: The Consecration of Citizens for Xi Jinping’s New Era

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Abstract

With celebrations of the Centenary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on 1st July 2021, the promotion of official Party History has been prominent, with political education campaigns disseminated via the extensive propaganda and state media apparatuses at the Party’s disposal. Yet there are also, alongside traditional propaganda, different arenas where Party History is being communicated and mediated in increasingly sophisticated forms. These include, exhibitions, events and experiences where citizens have been able to encounter, absorb and immerse themselves in official narratives of the history of the CCP. The term “Red Tourism” (红色旅游) has entered popular use in recent years, describing tourism activities where PRC citizens consume the Party through active participation and experiences at official sites of historical and cultural importance. However, Red Tourism has been a feature of official policy and discourse since 2004 as part of coordinated policy efforts to mediate party history through tourism and historical cultural sites. This article explores these experiential forms of political communication, asking what role they play within the CCP’s propaganda apparatus and how they represent an important and overlooked sophistication of political communication in contemporary China.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCACR Party Watch Annual Report 2021
Subtitle of host publicationPast as Prologue - Study Party History for Xi's New Era
Place of PublicationWashington DC
PublisherCenter for Advanced China Research
Pages81-97
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2022

Research Institutes

  • Institute for Social Responsibility

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