Authorities in Beijing kiboshed a ‘red’ concert that was due to take place this week at the last minute allegedly due to fears of being tainted by association with the megalomaniacal, autocratic despot
Mao Zedong Bo Xilai, according to Radio Free Asia.
The event’s cancellation sparked widespread speculation that China’s new leadership had no wish to have “red songs” sung for them, because of their now tainted political association with ousted former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai.
Others expressed anger that the largely elderly participants had been snubbed in their attempts to praise the Party and to welcome the next generation of its leaders.
Chinese current affairs commentator Zan Aizong said red songs were now linked in the political imagination with Bo’s own red song and anti-crime campaigns during his tenure in Chongqing, which some have likened to the political campaigns of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976).
It is depressingly ironic that current the leadership is less bothered by the idea that these were the same songs sung by Red Guard zealots and bullies after they were set loose on the population in Mao’s Cultural Revolution, than that they might be seen to be imitating the silly concerts Bo Xilai threw himself in Chongqing.
Chongqing, the largest Chinese municipality, was the epicenter of a Maoist revival campaign under Bo, who along with former police chief Wang Lijun spearheaded an effort to crack down on gangs and corruption and promoted the public singing of nostalgic revolutionary songs reflecting the Cultural Revolution.
But those targeted by the campaigns have detailed torture, forced confessions and wrongful convictions throughout Bo and Wang’s reign in the city.
Bo’s use of neo-Maoist tactics were a particularly despicable form of rank opportunism, given that both he and his father were imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution and his mother was either killed or driven to suicide by the Red Guards.