On the eve of the centenary of its founding, the Chinese Communist Party is preparing for a series of ceremonies aimed at praising the legend’s history and honoring those who fill its ranks.
And, for the first time, members of the acronym base received what leaders touted as the party’s greatest honor: the July 1 Medal, instituted by the Central Committee in 2017.
During a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, this Tuesday morning (29) — Monday evening in Brazil—, the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, distributed medals to 29 members of the Communist Party, who he described as “heroes”. of the people ”. “The July 1 medalists come from the people and are rooted in the people,” he said.
Among the recipients were veterans, representatives of ethnic groups, diplomats and an educator: Zhang Guimei, 63, who established China’s first free school for girls in Yunnan.
In red, white and gold, the medal bears well-known Chinese symbols: the sickle and hammer, emblem of the Chinese Communist Party, and the golden five-pointed star, which represents the initials of the country’s flag.
A few days earlier, on Saturday (26), the city of Shanghai hosted the 10th edition of a forum bringing together the descendants of the party’s founders. The event is a kind of devotion to their predecessors, in which their stories are told from oral reports, videos and archival photos. One of the honored was Chen Wangdao (1891-1977), known as the first to translate the “Communist Manifesto” into Chinese.
But the celebrations aren’t just aimed at activists. The activities of the so-called red tourism also reflect the need to rejuvenate the holiday, attracting the interest of new generations. In early June, the Wanda Group, one of the largest real estate conglomerates in the country, opened a Communist Party theme park in Yan’an, where the party’s headquarters were established for ten years in the 1930s and 1940s and where many go in search of patriotic tourism. .
At over a square kilometer, the project cost around 12 billion yuan (9.54 billion reais at current prices), paid for by the owner of the company, billionaire Wang Jianlin, who has already formed the ranks of the army and is a member of the CP. In addition to buying souvenirs that refer to the history of the holiday, it is possible to take photos alongside statues and puppets of Red Army fighters.
At the Shanghai History Museum, the public has until October 7 to visit the “Original Aspirations for a Better Life” commemorative exhibit, a well-known expression of the Chinese Communist Party’s speeches. The exhibition brings together 139 historical objects of the festival, 38 of which are on display for the first time.
The government has also launched a website in Chinese and English that collects information about the centenary, and it is possible to notice a striking feature of the celebrations: many activities are planned in secret. The platform does not provide, for example, what is planned for the next few days.
But movements in metropolitan Beijing indicate what could happen. According to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, Tiananmen Square, or Tiananmen Square, was cordoned off last week and will reopen on July 2. Videos of rehearsals of fireworks and helicopters hovering overhead suggest something big can be expected for July 1.
Roads were also isolated in the north of the capital, near the national stadium, known as the Bird’s Nest, where a big party was held on Monday (28) with around 20,000 people.
The upper echelon of the regime has already said there will be no military parade, and it is still unclear whether the government will make any major announcements, which are expected to be postponed until the next Party convention in 2022.
Smaller activities, spread across 23 Chinese provinces and aimed at local residents, will also be part of the centenary celebrations. There are posters, giant screens in the streets and flowered exhibitions. Last week there was a light show on the Great Wall.
Although the country has passed the measures to fight the pandemic, with accelerated vaccination, only those who have already been immunized against Covid-19 and who present a negative test for the disease carried out two days before the event can participate in the public celebrations. . The country has around 16% of the population vaccinated and as of Monday recorded no deaths from the coronavirus.
The People’s Bank of China, according to an already common practice during celebrations, began issuing commemorative coins last week. In all, there will be nine, three in gold, five in silver, and one in copper. One of the gold coins bears the image of the First Chinese Communist Party Congress in Shanghai.
Those who do not want to go out on the streets can also follow the celebrations from their homes. The government-linked Shanghai Media Group, owner of dozens of channels, for example, this week began broadcasting 100 hours of uninterrupted programming on the history of the Communist Party.
In an attempt to engage not only with Chinese youth, but also with those from other countries, the conglomerate has also launched, on its internet channels, a series of animated videos that explain the history of the subtitle in English, titled “The Party Behind the Change in China”.