Friday, January 16, 2009

The CCP's 60 Year Anniversary Gala

The PRC's 60th birthday celebration, to be directed by Xi'an's very own Zhang Yimou, is surely going to inspire incredible amounts of nationalism in China while at the same time weird out the rest of the world.

From The Associated Press:

BEIJING: Movie director Zhang Yimou will follow up his successful opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics by orchestrating a celebration to mark the 60th anniversary of communist China, his assistant said Friday.

Directing the Oct. 1 celebration indicates how firmly Zhang, 57, is embraced by the ruling Communist Party after last year's Olympic opening ceremony that stunned television audiences around the world.

For a time, Zhang was considered a troublemaker and had several of his films banned.

Zhang made his career directing films such as "Raise the Red Lantern" and "To Live," unflinching stories about the hardships during China's turbulent 20th century that were not well received by Chinese authorities.

He later directed less gritty works such as "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers," which made his work available to a wider audience in China and focused more on historical epic.

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Before people outside of China (or Americans specifically) start criticizing this celebration, they should consider the following which is about to occur next week in Washington DC:

An Obama rally from Kansas City, MO, October 2008

Chicago (PTI): U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration on January 20 is expected to cost a whopping $150 million, making it the most expensive in the American history.

Obama's inauguration expenses are likely to be to the tune of over $150 million, overshadowing the $42.3 million spent on George Bush's inauguration in 2005 and $33 million on Bill Clinton's in 1993, media report said.

Part of the spending includes emergency funding announced by the White House on Wednesday to help with the soaring costs.

The costs are likely to go up if it snows during the ceremony, as long-term weather forecast has suggested there are chances of snow on Sunday as well as Tuesday, the day of inauguration.

Further, most of the funding would be to deal with around 1.5 to two million people expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the United States' first African American President, a report in the Guardian said.

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Obama is helping out with the funding of this massive event through private donations, with a huge sum of $50 million, yet it looks like the US tax payers are about to shell out $75 million for his inauguration.

I'm not saying that the US or the incoming Obama administration is ridiculous for wanting a lavish celebration. In fact, I believe the American people deserve to have a celebration for the ages marking such a momentous occasion.

No matter what one feels about contemporary China, this year does marks the sixtieth anniversary of the creation of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese government, one would think, should have the exact same right to throw a celebration as America's does.

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