China Unveils its ‘Soft-power’ Campaign: Canonize Confucius, No Mention of Mao

The Globe and Mail reports on the Chinese government’s effort to use the Olympics as a means to recreate the national image:

At the glitzy show that China will unveil to the world at the opening ceremonies on Friday, it is Confucius again who will be exalted.

Leaks from rehearsals suggest there will be no mention of Mao or any other Communist, but plenty of ancient dynasties, calligraphy, painting, giant scrolls and a quotation from Confucius about the pleasure of welcoming “friends who visit from afar.”

The long-awaited opening of the Beijing Olympics, the biggest event in China’s recent political history, will help define China’s emerging self-image as it shifts into a new era of power and pride on the global stage.

Reaching deep into its pre-revolutionary history, China is increasingly drawing on the patriotism of its people, a patriotism based not on ideology but on the glories of China’s ancient culture, bolstered today by the technological and military prowess of an economic superpower.

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