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been an important tool of the Republic of China government since its inception in 1912. It
also was an important tool in legitimizing the Kuomintang controlled Republic of China
government that retreated from China to Taiwan in 1949. Propaganda during the Republican Era
of China, 1912-1949
Because the national government of this time was weak, it was difficult for any censorship
or propagandistic measures to be carried out effectively. However, a bureau was set up to
control the production and release of film in China. Also, newspapers unfavorable to the
central government could be harassed at will. Propaganda of this time was directed against
the Communists and the Japanese.
 Propaganda of the Republic of China on Taiwan, 1949-Present
A propaganda poster invoking the famous quote of Song dynasty patriot Yue Fei
A propaganda sign on Kinmen facing Mainland China proclaiming "Three Principles of the
People Unites China"
One tool of the main tools for disseminating propaganda in Taiwan has been the Government
Information Office and the various media properties controlled by the Kuomintang and the
government. Besides controlling commercial TV and radio stations, there also exists a police
radio station that often broadcast "educational" plays with propagandistic value and a film
bureau. After the Kuomintang fled to Taiwan, propaganda through public education in Taiwan
was an important tool in creating a Chinese national identity among Taiwanese, and preparing
the people for "a counter-offensive" against the PRC. Although the government is now
democratic, the legacy of authoritarian rule has created a confusion of identity in Taiwan,
with many adults having grown up thinking that the ROC was going to launch a
"counter-offensive" against the PRC and with Mandarin becoming the most common language.
Previously, the people were educated in the evils of the Communists, and the good of the
Nationalists, with many Taiwanese remembering lore taught in elementary school on the wisdom
of Chiang Kai-shek.
The Kuomintang also published numerous publications following their retreat to Taiwan,
including the Free China Journal. It's popularity soared as the editors and writers analyzed
political situations at the time, sometimes even advising or criticizing the government in
Occasionally, the ROC has attempted to spread propaganda in PRC-controlled areas, usually in
the form of leaflet drops over coastal provinces, calling for the locals to rebel against
CPC rule, accompanied by promise that the ROC will one day liberate the mainland. This
proved to be ineffective and after several years was largely discontinued.
A propaganda poster in the Taipei MRT sponsored by the MJIB reading "Maintain Social
Today, a democratic Taiwan has passed a law to abolish the Government Information Office and
replace it with a National Communications Commission, styled after the FCC in the United
States. The Kuomintang still controls many media properties, though its influence is much
less than before. Ironically, the Kuomintang is today the more pro-China leaning of the two
main political parties in Taiwan. The GIO today still provides some subsidies for films, but
for cultural rather than political reasons. Most films in Taiwan today are Hollywood movies
and theaters are all commercially run for-profit enterprises.
 Famous Propaganda Songs
* Five Flags of the Republic
* How Great is Our China!
* China Stands Heroically in the Universe
* The Song to the Auspicious Cloud National Revolutionary Song
* National Anthem of the Republic of China
* National Banner Song
* March of the Volunteers
* 800 Heroes Song
* Dadao March
* On Songhua River
* Guerillas' Song
* Marshal Training Soldier Song
* The Plum Blossom
* Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Song
* Taiwan Is Good
Propaganda in the People's Republic of China refers to the PRC's use of distributing
information to the general public.
While in the Western world the word propaganda bears negative connotations, the Chinese word
"xuanchuan" (Chinese characters: ??), which is liberally translated as propaganda, actually
means to broadcast or to spread (information), with no negative connotations that would
imply bias or untruthfulness. This explains why many English speakers would consider the use
of such a term as an outright acknowledgment of the biased nature of Chinese propaganda,
although the term can in fact be used in politically neutral contexts. This is congruent
with the pre-WW1 usage of the term in Western Europe, which also does not connotate
deception. For example, Chinese "propaganda" has also served to raise public awareness about
the law, the need for common courtesy, the importance of embracing science and technology,
the need to take preventive measures against SARS and AIDS.
In the realm of the arts, the theory of socialist realism that was adopted by the USSR and
the PRC of Mao Zedong explicitly states as its goal the education of the people in the
objectives and the meaning of the ideology of communism. One of the official goals of the
1966-76 Cultural Revolution in the PRC was "to transform literature and art."
The CPC Central Propaganda Department (pinyin: Zhonggong Zhongyang Xuanchuan Bu, Chinese
characters: ???????), together with the state censorship organizations, which include the
General Administration of Press and Publication (pinyin: Xinwen Chuban Zongshu, Chinese
characters: ??????), the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (pinyin: Guangbo
Dianying Dianshi Zongju, Chinese characters: ????????), and the State Council Information
Office (pinyin: Guowuyuan Xinxi Bangongshi, Chinese characters: ????????), oversee all
printing for consistency with official political doctrines under detailed regulations, such
as the "Regulations Regarding Strengthening the Administration of Publications Describing
Major Party and National Leaders" (1990), which states in part:
The publication and distribution of these types of books and essays must be solemn and
discreet. The description of historical facts must be accurate, and the point of view must
conform with the spirit of the Party's "Decision Regarding Certain Historical Problems,"
"Decision Regarding Certain Historical Problems Since the Establishment of the Party" and
related Party documents. All responsible agencies and publishing units must strictly guard
against violations, and anything that does not conform to the above mentioned requirements
may not be published and distributed.
Both the PRC and the Republic of China government, now located on Taiwan, formally claim to
be the sole legitimate government of all China, but neither, in formal contexts, accept the
other as a legitimate government or that either Taiwan or mainland China is a sovereign
country separate from the other. As such, both have adopted a set of political terminology
to refer to the other side, its government, and civil and military offices and officials.
Within the PRC, this policy is strongly adhered to by the government and
government-controlled media. For example, as a result of the fact that both the ROC and the
PRC adhered to the One-China policy, the PRC is commonly referred to in both Taiwan and the
PRC as dalu (simplified Chinese: ??; traditional Chinese: ??; pinyin: dàlù) meaning
"mainland", or the continent; sometimes, as in Hong Kong, it is also referred to as neidi
(simplified Chinese: ??; traditional Chinese: ??; pinyin: nèidì) meaning "interior
territory". In both cases, the terms are used to avoid describing the PRC as "China" and the
ROC as "Taiwan", as is commonly done in English. When Taiwan joins international
organizations, China forces Taiwan to participate under names other than "Republic of China"
or "Taiwan", such as Chinese Taipei or " Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Kinmen and
Matsu", in order to avoid describing Taiwan as a country.
The history of communist propaganda in China predates the establishment of the PRC, and it
has since manifested itself in various forms, such as songs, paintings, posters, and films.
China Central Television has traditionally served as a major national conduit for televised
propaganda, while the People's Daily newspaper has served as a medium for print propaganda.
Propaganda produced by the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Communist
Party of China of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) has been disseminated through
state-controlled print and electronic media, and the CPC has made prolific use of the
Internet as a means of distributing propaganda to both Chinese citizens and foreigners in
the modern age.
A poster during the Criticize Lin Biao, Criticize Confucius campaign. It reads, "The
criticism of Lin and Kong (Confucius) is a matter of prime importance to the country and
Political scientists believe that propaganda in the PRC is being utilized by the CPC to
nurture the development of Chinese nationalism and of loyalty to the PRC, the CPC, and the
Beijing government in general. Many also believe that the PRC government, having embarked on
a program of capitalist-style economic reform and modernization in the late 1970s, is keen
to use propaganda to portray the CPC as a nationalistic and patriotic party, rather than
simply as a party that builds socialism or implements Marxism-Leninism in China, since these
have largely been abandoned in practice and thus can no longer serve as effective bases for
loyalty to the regime. Common themes in the new nationalistic propaganda of the PRC include
the lionizing of the CPC's People's Liberation Army and its individual soldiers for their
exploits and sacrifices during the 1937-1945 Second Sino-Japanese War and the allegedly
seamless unity of the nation's 56 officially recognized ethnic groups.
In previous decades, PRC propaganda was crucial to the formation and promotion of the cult
of personality centered around Chairman Mao Zedong. It also served as a useful tool for
mobilizing popular participation in national campaigns such as the 1958 Great Leap Forward
and the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution. Following the death of Mao in 1976, propaganda was used
to blacken the character of the notorious Gang of Four, which was seen as responsible for
the excesses of the Cultural Revolution. Past propaganda also encouraged the Chinese people
to emulate selfless model workers and soldiers such as the famous Comrade Lei Feng, suicidal
Chinese Civil War hero Dong Cunrui, self-sacrificing Korean War hero Yang Gensi, and Dr.
Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor who assisted the Communist Eighth Route Army during the
Second Sino-Japanese War. It also praised Third World revolutionaries and close foreign
allies such as Albania and North Korea while vilifying both the United States "imperialists"
and the Soviet "revisionists" (the latter of whom was seen as having betrayed
Marxism-Leninism). One of the most famous propagandist who went sidetracked was Zhang
Zhixin. Her loyalty to the party as well as opposition to the ultra-left, singled her out to
severe punishment. But her story provide a good example of how propaganda are delivered.
During the era of economic reform and modernization that was initiated by paramount leader
Deng Xiaoping, propaganda promoting "socialism with Chinese characteristics" was
distributed. The later reign of President Jiang Zemin saw the creation of propaganda
demonizing Falun Gong as a cult and promoting his "Three Represents" theory. One of the most
controversial event was the Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident of 2001.
In later years the Internet has played a key role for the CCP to spread propaganda to the
Chinese diaspora. PRC-based Internet sites are a leading source of Chinese language and
China-related news for overseas Chinese. The Internet is an extremely effective tool for
guiding and organizing overseas Chinese public opinion, according to Anne-Marie Brady. She
cites an example of the role of the Internet in organizing popular protests by overseas
Chinese in 2008 against the perceived bias of the Western media in its coverage of unrest in
Tibetan areas in March 2008 and, a month later, in organizing a series of worldwide
demonstrations in support of China during the Olympic torch relay.
"These protests and the later demonstrations were genuine and popular, which shows the
effectiveness of China’s efforts to rebuild positive public opinion within the Chinese
diaspora, but it should be noted that they received official support, both symbolic and
practical."There was no compulsion for overseas Chinese not to attend the rallies, but
those who did were given free t-shirts, souvenirs, transport, and in some cases
accommodation, all courtesy of local embassy officials and China-based donors. These
demonstrations successfully drowned out the protests of human rights groups.