Event to commemorate Mao's birth changed to New Year gala

By Liu Sha Source:Global Times Published: 2013-12-12 2:03:01

An event scheduled on December 26, originally intended to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Mao Zedong's birth, has been changed to a New Year's gala, ticket agents confirmed on Wednesday.

The event, originally billed "Reddest is the Sun and Dearest is Chairman Mao," has been changed to "Singing for the country - New Year Gala." The poster for the event, showing Mao, has changed to the Great Hall of the People, where the gala will be held.

All performances to commemorate the 120th anniversary should be approved by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said a notice published on yanchupiao.com, a Beijing-based ticket agency, under the gala's poster.

The show's organizer, allegedly Beijing-based Huanyu Xiongdi Media Company, according to the Guangzhou-based Nandu Daily, only received the notice recently and did not have enough time to wait for approval from the CPC publicity department.

At the same time, a 100-episode TV series entitled Mao Zedong was due to be shown in December, Hunan Television reported. But People's Daily reported Tuesday that China Central Television will now broadcast a series about martial Nie Rongzhen in that slot.

"The authorities don't want the commemorations for Mao to be high-profile," said Wang Zhanyang, director of the Political Science Department at the Central Institute of Socialism.

"Some regional conservative people and officials with vested interests want to restrain reform by falsely promoting some of Mao's most conservative thoughts, which is not what the Party follows," Wang said.

In a tour to Hunan Province in early November, President Xi Jinping said the celebrations for Mao's anniversary should be solemn, simple and pragmatic.

Shaoshan in Hunan, Mao's birthplace, has spent some 2 billion yuan ($327 million) on 12 projects for the anniversary, the Xiangtan Daily reported.

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