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Chinese State Media Publish Sesame Street-Style ‘One Belt, One Road’ Propaganda Video

With the big Beijing One Belt, One Road Summit nearing, Chinese state media have sent out a “Sesame Street”-style propaganda video on Weibo, in which singing children praise the Belt and Road initiative. Many netizens think the video is “awkward.”

Manya Koetse

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With the big Beijing ‘One Belt, One Road’ Summit nearing, Chinese state media have sent out a “Sesame Street”-style propaganda video on Weibo, in which singing children praise the Belt and Road initiative. Many netizens think the video is “awkward.”

Chinese state media spread a promo video on Wednesday in which a group of children happily praise China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) initiative in English, subtitled in Chinese. The clip comes days before the Beijing One Belt, One Road Summit (May 14-15), which will welcome leaders from around the world.


The Belt and Road Song by Fuxing Road Studios posted by whatsonweibo

In the video, fifteen different children sing and dance to a Sesame Street-style song with cartoon graphics of various countries. According to the opening line, the children come from different countries along the Belt Road, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt.

The title of the song is “The Road and Belt is How.” As noted by Sixth Tone, the word ‘how’ here alludes to the word ‘hao 好’, meaning ‘good’ in Chinese.

Mixed with laughter, the children sing:

The belt connects the land
The road moves on the sea
The promise that they hold
Is joint prosperity

We’re breaking barriers
We’re making history
The world we’re dreaming of starts with you and me

The future’s coming now, oh oh oh oh
The Belt and Road is how
We’ll share the goodness now
The Belt and Road is how

Officially announced by the Chines government in 2013, the Belt and Road is an economic initiative focused on connectivity and cooperation between China and the rest of Eurasia, meant to integrate the development strategies of dozens of countries.

The political video was made by Fuxing Road Studios (复兴路工作室), a company that often produces English-language propaganda videos on China’s policies, apparently seeking to appeal to both Chinese and Western audiences.

Quartz magazine wrote in 2015 that with its native English singers and slick productions, Fuxing Road Studios has covered numerous major China-related events, including state leaders’ overseas visits.

In 2015, Fuxing Road made headlines when it launched a curious video about the 13th Five-Year Plan in which American singers paid tribute to China’s latest policies (“Every five years in China, man / They make a new development plan (..) / It’s a huge deal, man! / Like how huge? / Huge!“).

The latest Belt and Road video was shared on Weibo by major state media outlets, including China Daily, People’s Daily, PLA Daily, Communist Youth League, China National Radio, and CCTV.

“What’s the purpose of this video? It’s awkward,” many Weibo commenters said. “It makes me feel like a kid again,” some write.

Many people commenting say they find the use of English in the video somewhat strange. “Why is it not in Chinese?,” a typical comment read: “I would have expected there to be at least a few sentences in Chinese.”

“The Road and Belt is How” is not the only ‘Belt and Road song.’ Another song was shared on social media today with a cartoon clip showing people of various countries dancing together. The video, issued by China News, has an English segment but is mainly sung in Chinese:

Try to try to try to find good friends along the Silk Road / Saluting and shaking hands / We can be good friends / The Belt and Road oh oh / Over land over sea oh oh / It’s three years old oh oh / It joins the world oh oh.”


China News: “The Belt and Road Song” posted by whatsonweibo

Although the second video also received some criticism, it seemed to be appreciated more by Chinese netizens than the Fuxing Road’s children’s song.

– By Manya Koetse

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the founder and editor-in-chief of whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer, public speaker, and researcher (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends, digital developments, and new media in an ever-changing China, with a focus on Chinese society, pop culture, and gender issues. She shares her love for hotpot on hotpotambassador.com. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ed Sander

    May 11, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    Look at their faces … like a group of kittens following a swinging ball.

    Does Fuxing Road Studios actually get paid for all the awkward stuff they release? Couldn’t the budget be used for something more useful … like … making the food chain safer?

    I’d say it’s more damaging to China’s image than supportive.

  2. Avatar

    [主页]

    September 5, 2017 at 1:19 am

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  3. Avatar

    Cepildedetizadora.com.br

    February 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

    Implantado em 1996. Pesquisa Mensal do Emprego – PME.

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China Insight

Pelosi in Taiwan: “1.4 Billion People Do Not Agree with Interference in China’s Sovereignty Issues”

“The Old Witch has landed!”, many commenters wrote on Weibo when Pelosi arrived in Taiwan.

Manya Koetse

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August 2nd was a tumultuous day on Chinese social media, with millions of netizens closely following how Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan. Chinese state media propagate the message that not only Chinese authorities condemn the move, but that the Chinese people denounce it just as much.

Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is all the talk on Weibo, where netizens are closely following the latest developments and what they might mean for the near future of Taiwan and Sino-American relations.

“Today is a sensitive time, as it is said that Pelosi will fly into Taiwan tonight, challenging the one-China principle,” Global Times political commentator Hu Xijin wrote on Weibo on Tuesday afternoon, while Pelosi’s plane was still en route:

“At this time I’d like to tell everyone, that I firmly believe the Chinese government will definitely take a series of countermeasures, which include military actions. The Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of National Defense have repeatedly said they are “on the alert and combat-ready” and will not “sit and watch.” This is the country’s prestige, how could they not hit back? So let’s wait and see what will happen next.”

Tuesday was an extremely tumultuous day on Chinese social media as Taiwan- and Pelosi-related hashtags popped up one after the other, and news and videos kept flooding the platform, sometimes leading to a temporary overload of Weibo’s servers.

Around 20.30, an hour before Pelosi was expected to land in Taiwan at that time, more than half of all the trending search topics on Weibo related to Pelosi and Taiwan as virtually everyone was following the plane’s route and when it would land.

Not long before the expected landing of Pelosi’s plane, footage circulated on Weibo showing the iconic Taipei 101 building with a display of greetings to Pelosi, welcoming her to Taiwan and thanking her for her support.

By Tuesday night, Chinese official channels promoted the hashtags “The United States Plays With Fire & Will Burn Itself by Taiwan Involvement Provocation” (#美台勾连挑衅玩火必自焚#) along with the hashtag “1.4 Billion People Do Not Agree with Interference in China’s Sovereignty Issues” (​​#干涉中国主权问题14亿人不答应#).

Image posted by Communist Youth League on Weibo.

Millions of Chinese netizens followed flight radar livestreams, with one livestream by China.org receiving over 70 million viewers at one point.

On Tuesday night at 22:44 local time, after taking a detour, Pelosi’s plane finally landed in Taipei. About eight minutes later, Nancy Pelosi, wearing a pink suit, stepped out of the plane together with her delegation.

“The Old Witch has landed!”, many commenters wrote on Weibo, where Nancy Pelosi has been nicknamed ‘Old Witch’ recently.

Not long after, Hu Xijin posted on both on Twitter (in English) and on Weibo (in Chinese), writing that Pelosi’s landing in Taiwan opened an “era of high-intensity competition between China and US over Taiwan Strait.” Hu wrote that the PLA is announcing a series of actions, including military drill operations and live-fire exercises in zones surrounding Taiwan from August 4 to 7.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying (华春莹) also posted a series of tweets condemning the “wrong and dangerous path” the U.S. is allegedly heading down, reiterating the same ‘1.4 billion people do not agree’ narrative that was previously propagated on Weibo by official channels: “Making themselves an enemy of the 1.4 billion Chinese people will not end up well. Acting like a bully in front of the whole world will only make everyone see that the US is the biggest danger to world peace.”

Many netizens expressed frustrations over how seemingly easy it was for Pelosi to land in Taiwan despite repeated warnings. “It’s not like I want us to go to war,” one person wrote on Weibo: “But they are getting off too easy. For days we shouted about countermeasures, what kind of countermeasure is this?”

“Even our community guard who makes 1500 a month [$220] does a better job; if he says you can’t come in, you can’t come in,” another blogger wrote.

The majority of commenters do express their dissatisfaction and anger about Pelosi coming to Taiwan, some even writing: “I hope that Taiwan is liberated when I wake up” or “We must unify again, once the Old Witch is gone, we can do so.”

Passed midnight the hashtag “There Is But One China” (#只有一个中国#), initiated by CCTV, picked up on Weibo and received over 320 million views. The post by CCTV that only said “there is but one China” was forwarded on Weibo over 1,3 million times.

“Taiwan is China’s Taiwan,” many people commented.

“I don’t think I can sleep tonight,” some wrote.

Meanwhile, on FreeWeibo, a website monitoring censored posts on Chinese social media platform Weibo, there are some posts casting another light on the Taiwan issue.

“Regarding ‘Taiwan is China’s Taiwan.’ Every person can vote, there’s multi-party rule, and there can be democratic elections. Only then can we talk about a reunification,” one comment said. It was censored shortly after.

For our other articles relating to Pelosi and her Taiwan visit, click here.

By Manya Koetse
With contributions by Miranda Barnes

 

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©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Media

Chinese Internet Company Sina Abruptly Shuts Down ‘Sina Taiwan’ Platform

Sina Taiwan is longer available and has suddenly suspended its operations in Taiwan.

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WEIBO SHORT | Weibo Shorts are concise articles on topics that are trending. This article was first published

On August 2nd, Taiwanese media sources reported that the online Sina Taiwan platform was longer available and had suddenly suspended its operations in Taiwan without prior notification.

Sina (新浪) is the company that also owns (Sina) Weibo. Founded in 1998, it is a leading Chinese Internet company and media platform that operates various localized websites, including Sina Taiwan (sina.com.tw) which was established in November 1998.

Multiple sources, including Taiwanese news site ETToday , reported news of the closure of Sina Taiwan today. According to ETToday, Sina Taiwan’s parent company confirmed the company has suspended its services in the Taiwan market and ceased operations on August 1st due to the company’s “operational strategy.”

Weibo also set up a localized version in traditional characters for the Taiwan market. Earlier today, the Weibo Taiwan site (tw.weibo.com) also seemed to be inaccessible for a while but was accessible again at the time of writing.

On Weibo, the official ‘Sina Taiwan’ Weibo account (@新浪台湾爆头条) posted its last update on July 14.

News of Sina Taiwan’s abrupt closure comes at a time of heightened tensions over Taiwan between China and the U.S. in light of reports of a potential Taiwan visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (more here).

However, although the timing is noteworthy and Weibo users wonder what it means, it is unsure if Sina’s decision is related to this issue. The English-language Sina portal (english.sina.com) stopped updating its homepage earlier this year.

By Manya Koetse and Miranda Barnes

 

Get the story behind the hashtag. Subscribe to What’s on Weibo here to receive our weekly newsletter and get access to our latest articles:

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2022 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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