Bo Xilai

Singalong sweeps across the nation

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 July, 2011, 12:00am

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A mass singalong of leftist songs initiated by Chongqing party boss Bo Xilai swept across the country yesterday as the Communist Party marked it 90th anniversary, along with other events including a red games in Gansu celebrating the Red Army's Long March.

In Shanghai, the authorities arranged for more than 13,000 people to join a red singalong on Thursday night outside the site where the first congress of the Chinese Communist Party convened 90 years ago.

In Wuhan, Hubei province, nearly 140 performances and events were organised as part of the city's red song campaign. In the city centre, the authorities pieced together a party flag using more than 20,000 flowers.

Meanwhile, Bo launched a public counterattack on mainland scholars who strongly criticised Chongqing's mass red song campaign, saying it was neither leftist nor a return to the Cultural Revolution, municipal government mouthpiece the Chongqing Daily reported yesterday.

He told a group of artists who joined the city's red song campaign from across the country that 'the accusation is sheer nonsense'.

'I believe anyone who is clear-headed will have a correct conclusion towards our campaign,' he said, adding that red songs were good for the country and its people.

A 100,000-strong rally was organised in Chongqing on Wednesday to sing revolutionary songs to celebrate the party's 90th anniversary. Former US secretary of state Dr Henry Kissinger was a guest.

In Gansu, the authorities organised a national red games in which contestants were required to compete in events replicating scenes from the Red Army's Long March in the 1930s, including 'blowing up blockhouses', using a carrying pole to transport materials and throwing fake grenades. Referees had to wear Red Army uniforms.

A red-theme movie, The Founding of a Party, an epic about the Communist Party starring many well known actors, has fallen short of box-office expectations, only reaching a quarter of its targeted receipts after two weeks in mainland cinemas.