Bo Xilai

Bo Xilai paints Chongqing red

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 March, 2011, 12:00am

Chongqing Cable TV dumped all commercials this month and switched to short propaganda clips promoting the city's image and the 'public good', the Chongqing Evening News reported yesterday.

It was reported the revamp would enhance 'red culture', a campaign promoting Communist Party values established in mid-2008 by municipality party secretary Bo Xilai .

The report said Chonqging Cable TV would try to become a leading television channel serving the public interest.

This is the latest political manoeuvre by Bo, who last month ordered the municipality's major television networks to replace popular drama series shown between 7pm and 11pm with red culture programmes celebrating the Communist Party.

There are also more programmes on news and current affairs, culture and propaganda to enhance Chongqing's image, morality and family values.

Chongqing is now the only mainland city where major local networks have no entertainment programming during prime time.

Bo's moves are widely seen as part of an intensified push for a seat on the Politburo Standing Committee at next year's party congress.

Previously, Bo organised tens of thousands of people to join him in singing red culture songs, telling revolutionary stories and circulating Maoist mottos.

In another campaign likened to the policies promoted by Mao Zedong during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), Bo called on 750,000 university students in the nation's most populous municipality to work with workers, farmers and soldiers for at least four months of their four years at university. He said participants in the scheme would gain social experience.

He has also embraced new media, launching a microblog last year and using it to promote his revolutionary image and political views.

To the surprise of observers at home and abroad, Vice-President Xi Jinping praised Bo for the red culture campaign and a clampdown on triad bosses and their friends in government in a high-profile, three-day visit to Chongqing early last month. Xi and Bo are considered dominant members of the 'princelings', a group of descendants of high-ranking party officials.