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'I will aim for Mao's Status.'

'I will aim for Mao's Status.''I will aim for Mao's Status.'
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Interview

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BIG IDEA| ‘There on the gate was Xi Jinping, Chinese president and party general secretary, in a gray Mao suit. Just below his feet was the portrait of Mao Zedong, also dressed in a gray Mao suit.’
‘To the 70,000 people in Tiananmen Square watching the Xi-Mao juxtaposition, Xi was sending a message: I will aim for Mao's status.’

For the 70,000 people gathered in Tiananmen Square on July 1 to celebrate the Chinese Communist Party's 100th anniversary, a highly symbolic scene took place in front of their eyes.’

  • ‘There on the gate was Xi Jinping, Chinese president and party general secretary, in a gray Mao suit.’
  • ‘Just below his feet was the portrait of Mao Zedong, also dressed in a gray Mao suit.’
  • ‘When Xi raised his right hand at the end of the ceremony, the gesture was an exact replica of Mao statues standing across the country.’

‘The visual effects projected an allusion in the eyes of the people there:’

  • That sometime in the future Xi was going to rise to a status on par with Mao, the founding father of the People's Republic of China.’

‘Interestingly, while the crowd witnessed the Xi-Mao juxtaposition, folks at home watching TV did not.’

  • ‘Cleverly, state-run China Central Television used the sea of small five-star red flags waved by the cheering crowd to cover Mao's portrait beneath Xi.’

‘The Xi-Mao overlap was likely a trial balloon floated in front of a limited audience to gauge public opinion.’’

  • ‘The question at hand is simple: Is the country ready for a more powerful Xi?’

‘It is unusual for Xi to choose a gray Mao suit.’

  • ‘At military parades at home and banquets overseas, Xi has always worn a blackish Mao suit.’

‘This time, the fade to gray made Xi clearly stand out.’

  • ‘Premier Li Keqiang and former President Hu Jintao, who stood on either side of Xi, wore ordinary dark suits and red ties during the ceremony. It looked like a highly choreographed one-man show.’

‘To the 70,000 people in Tiananmen Square watching the Xi-Mao juxtaposition, Xi was sending a message:’

  • ‘I will aim for Mao's status.’
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THE BIG IDEAS