Netizens question Mao image on Cairo Declaration poster

By Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2015-8-17 0:53:01

A poster featuring China's late leader Mao Zedong's image for a new movie about the 1943 Cairo Conference has triggered  questions online over the history of World War II.

The film, Cairo Declaration, is scheduled to be shown on September 3 to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Chinese online users have questioned the move of featuring Mao's image, instead of Chiang Kai-shek, the late Kuomintang leader, in the poster. They question the poster image because Chiang was present at the Cairo Conference, but Mao was not.

"We can't say that Mao had nothing to do with the meeting because the Communist Party of China led by Mao at that time had already become an important force [against the  Japanese army] during the war," Sima Pingbang, a Chinese cultural critic, told the Global Times Sunday.

"However, by featuring Mao, who was not present at the meeting, but excluding Chiang , the poster shows no respect for history nor to Mao," Sima said.

Although the film will be reviewed by China's media watchdog, posters are not. Film publicists are trying to catch attention, which has definitely crossed the line. It might also be used by some people to defame chairman Mao, Sima said.

On December 1, 1943, after meetings in the Egyptian capital, US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, British prime minister Winston Churchill, and former Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek agreed to demand that Chinese territories such as Manchuria and Taiwan should be restored to the Republic of China.

A film staff member on Saturday denied that the poster  was a publicity stunt, according to news website, and added that featuring Mao would pay tribute to the CPC's contributions during the war.

"[The declaration] is the result of the struggles and sacrifices of the Chinese nation. The nation's efforts in the war led to the country's international recognition, and efforts made by CPC members guided by Mao are an important part of them," the staff member said.

He added that  10 more posters featuring other figures including Chiang will be released soon.

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