Patriotic ‘flash mob’ gears up for 70th anniversary - SupChina
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Patriotic ‘flash mob’ gears up for 70th anniversary

In the last two years, both Donald Trump and Chinese state media have adopted the term fake news as a term of abuse for accurate reporting which they do not like. But Chinese state media has a long history of co-opting such words in this way. For example, Global Times and China Daily regularly use the word viral to mean “a piece of propaganda heavily promoted by state media.” And of course there’s democracy, which in Chinese officialese means “Shut up and listen to the Party, you ignorant lumpen proletariat.”

With the approach of October 1, National Day, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic, here comes a new term:

Flash mob, which Wikipedia defines as “a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression.”

Here’s Xinhua:

Passengers and staff members of Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station take part in a flash mob in east China’s Shanghai, Sept. 17, 2019. Participants chorused patriotic songs during the flash mob as a way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Aside from this “flash mob” story, there’s not much about the 70th anniversary party in English from Chinese state media. But there’s plenty in Chinese. Here are three stories prominently placed on Xinhua’s Chinese home page today:

Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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