Li Guangman: Why did Chinese self-media writers’ articles cause worries about “Cultural Revolution 2.0”-BBC News

September 13, 2021 by archyde

8 hours ago

Image source,CNS

Recently, self-media writer Li Guangman wrote an article saying that a “profound revolution” is taking place in China. The article was reposted by many official media and aroused widespread attention from the outside world. Some people worry that the “Second Cultural Revolution” is about to come.

When this article was published, the Chinese authorities were further strengthening their control over private enterprises and cultural fields. Some experts told BBC Chinese that anxiety about these control measures has triggered people’s associations with the “Second Cultural Revolution.”

This article is entitled “Everyone can feel that a profound change is underway! “The article was originally published by author Li Guangman on his personal WeChat public account and Weibo. He took the recent policies of the Chinese authorities as an example. For example, when the listing of Ants was suspended, the Chinese Communist Party took anti-monopoly measures, proposed “common prosperity” and “three distributions,” as well as a series of rectifications in the entertainment industry, saying that “China is undergoing major changes. A profound change is taking place in the economic, financial, cultural, and political fields, or it can be said to be a profound revolution.”

“Revolution” says

“This is a return from a capital group to the masses of the people. This is a change from capital-centered to people-centered. Therefore, this is a political change. The people are becoming the main body of this change again. People-centered changes will be discarded,” the article said.

Li Guangman used to be the editor-in-chief of Central China Electric Power News. He believes that this change will make the capital market no longer a paradise for capitalists to get rich overnight, and the cultural market no longer a paradise for “babies” stars. News and public opinion will no longer be a position to worship Western culture. “Red returns, heroes return,” Bloody regression”.

The article was reposted by many media directly controlled by the government, such as People’s Daily Online and, and received high attention from the society. Some commentators said that the article resembled a big-character poster during the “Cultural Revolution” period, and compared it with the “Comment on the New Historical Play “Hai Rui Dismissed from Office” written by the CCP “Pen Shan Zi” on the eve of the “Cultural Revolution”. Yao Wen has always been regarded as the fuse of the “Cultural Revolution.”

The Weibo comments on Li Guangman’s article have mixed praises and criticisms for him. Sina Weibo user “Youyoubao Ma” commented: “Against the Cultural Revolution language! Oppose incitement to language, oppose movement!”

But he also got the support of some netizens. “Miami and Shanghai View the World” left a message: “Li Guangman, all Chinese people with conscience and patriotism support you!!! Let the enemies inside and outside tremble in front of us!”

Concerns of Cultural Revolution 2.0

Chinese independent scholar Chen Daoyin believes that Li Guangman’s articles aroused public concern about the “Second Cultural Revolution”, not because of the “big character poster” style of the article itself, but because the public opinion effect was amplified by the widespread reposting of the Chinese official media.

On August 11 this year, Chinese leader Xi Jinping presided over the tenth meeting of the Central Finance and Economics Committee and emphasized “common prosperity”. He said that “common prosperity” is the essential requirement of socialism, and we must persist in promoting common prosperity in high-quality development. The term “common prosperity” also sparked discussion. Some commentators questioned whether the Chinese authorities would “go back” and return to the era of “eating a big pot of rice.”

In recent months, the Chinese authorities have introduced a series of measures to strengthen supervision and rectification of private enterprises. In terms of culture, Chinese artist Zhao Wei was banned from the “fan circle” culture. Minors were restricted from playing games, and it was stipulated that young people under the age of 18 could play games for a maximum of 3 hours per week, and only on weekends and holidays. ; Strictly crack down on paid make-up classes outside of primary and secondary schools.

Li Guangman: Why did Chinese self-media writers’ articles cause worries about “Cultural Revolution 2.0”-BBC News

Image source,Getty Images

Chen Cheng, a political science professor at the State University of New York at Albany, told BBC Chinese that, on the one hand, some related phenomena such as the “rice circle” culture and teenagers’ indulging in online games do have some chaos and problems that need to be supervised; on the other hand, there are also some problems. Many people questioned whether the policies and measures introduced were too big a blow, and even caused a serious or even fatal blow to cultural innovation and diversity.

“It is this anxiety that caused some associations with the “Cultural Revolution”,” Chen Cheng said.

She believes that these worries can be understood, but it is too early to conclude that this will be another “Cultural Revolution.”

“The “Cultural Revolution” is a mass movement in many senses. Although there are political figures in the general direction, many behaviors in the Cultural Revolution are unorganized and unruly bottom-up group behaviors,” she pointed out. “For various reasons, Mao (at the time) even encouraged the Red Guards to bypass the government and bypass the party organization to carry out a “revolution.” In Mao’s own words, “the more chaotic the better.” In contrast, the Xi government’s policy is to strengthen the CCP’s self. All aspects of top-down control. Under such a general direction, the Chinese government will not and cannot tolerate group behaviors that are close to anarchy similar to the “Cultural Revolution”.”

Chen Cheng also said that it is necessary to pay close attention to how these policies will be implemented in the future, and how strict they are. To a certain extent, this may cause a chilling effect in the cultural field. In the long run, “this is not an issue for China’s development of soft power. Good thing.”

Will the Cultural Revolution come again?

It is worth noting that Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times, who is famous for promoting nationalism, criticized Li Guangman’s article, saying that it is misjudgment and misleading to promote a “profound revolution” in China.

Hu Xijin argued that China has recently introduced a series of market supervision measures aimed at regulating the market, correcting and preventing the brutal growth of capital and various side effects brought about by it, promoting common prosperity while accelerating economic and social development, and strengthening the construction of fairness and justice. The improvement of social governance and the improvement of a higher level is not a “revolution.”

“Old Hu came into contact with many people in the system due to work reasons. Whether in meetings or in private, I have never heard of the political trends described in the above article appearing in China.” Hu Xijin said. Regarding the dispute between Li Guangman and Hu Xijin, there are voices from outside who believe that this is a “internal fighting” within the Communist Party of China.

Chen Cheng pointed out that “discussions” like Li and Hu are actually not uncommon.

“When the CCP introduces some policies, it often observes social feedback. If the negative opposition becomes louder, they will also make some adjustments. Li Wen and Hu Wen can be regarded as a kind of temptation. On the one hand, it reflects the determination to rectify the culture (Li Wen), on the one hand it also shows a certain degree of flexibility (Hu Wen).” She said.

Li Guangman: Why did Chinese self-media writers’ articles cause worries about “Cultural Revolution 2.0”-BBC News

Image source,Getty Images

Chen Cheng believes that it is impossible to make the conclusion that “the internal struggle is fierce” from this matter alone.

Chen Daoyin said that the “Cultural Revolution” needs to meet four major conditions: leader Xi Jinping has a sense of crisis that is “beyond power”, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has organized forces against Xi Jinping; political, economic, and cultural elite alliances have broken down; and the populization of the bottom people.

He believes that the current China only has the fourth point, and the other three points have not yet been seen.

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my