By Maurits Elen
Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed his concerns on Monday about the Westernization of the Chinese culture, and called for greater efforts to strengthen China’s cultural influence worldwide. The remarks are the latest in a growing series of attempts by the Communist Party to
control promote Chinese culture.
His comments were published in Seeking the Truth, a magazine by the Communist Party:
”Hostile international powers are strengthening their efforts to Westernise and divide us. We must be aware of the seriousness and complexity of the struggles and take powerful measures to prevent and deal with them.”
“The overall strength of Chinese culture and its international influence is not commensurate with China’s international status. The international culture of the West is strong while we are weak. Ideological and cultural fields are their main targets.”
The Communist Party has invested over 45 billion yuan, roughly 7 billion US dollars, to increase its influence in the Western media market. China Daily, Xinhua, and CCTV are now represented in both the US as the UK.
In the last year alone, we’ve seen China lease multiple billboards over Times Square in New York, an undeniable push for Chinese brand recognition in America (however confusing those brands may be for onlookers.)
The control by the Chinese government over the domestic Internet and media market spans from banning Western-style talent shows and advertisements during television dramas to blocking entire websites.
Hu continues that it is Chinese cultural expansion that will ultimately lead to influence and competitive advantage abroad:
‘Many countries, especially Western powers, are attempting to expand their influence through cultural hegemony, and China must deepen and promote its own values of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China needs to strengthen its cultural values as it faces possible challenges from the West.
In a globalized world in which people are exposed to many ideologies and values, the country with the most cultural influence will gain a competitive advantage.”