At the height of D.C.’s shutdown insanity, Chinese state news organisation Xinhua published an editorial that shocked many Westerners by calling for a “de-Americanized” world.
However, that may not have been the only bit of soft power on show from China. A mysterious video called “How to Make Leaders” that compares China’s political system to that of the U.S. and the U.K. has appeared — and it may be linked to the Chinese government.
The video tells the glorious tale of how President Xi Jinping had to climb through the Communist Party’s 85 million membership to become top leader.
By contrast, Barack Obama needed a “glib tongue” and “unending flow of greenbacks,” the video says, comparing the presidential competition to “American Idol.”
The U.K. doesn’t get too much better, with David Cameron’s rise to 10 Downing Street compared with Susan Boyle’s Britain’s Got Talent appearance.
The cartoon doesn’t directly criticise U.S. or U.K. democracy but seems more focused on defending Chinese democracy.
Here’s how the cartoon ends:
“Many roads lead to national leadership whether by a single ballot that gets the whole nation out to vote or by a meritocratic screening that requires years of hard work like the making of a kung fu master. As long as the people are satisfied and the country develops and progresses as a result, it’s working.”
So, who made the video?
James T. Areddy of the Wall Street Journal points out that a number of commenters on the Weibo video cartoon is state propaganda. “Obviously this is made by some official (source). There is no sarcasm at all,” one comment quoted by Areddy says.
Writing in the Times of London, Leo Lewis says that the production company behind the cartoon ( On the Road to Revival) is unheard of, but unnamed propaganda experts believe the video was produced by the government to “change the old-fashioned, stiff methods of propaganda and reach a wider international audience.”
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