‘The Red Dragon Ain’t No Evil’: Communist Rap Touts the ‘Real’ China

A Chinese rap group has released a song alleging to show the world the “real” China, claiming that its businessmen and “vaccination issue” are the nation’s biggest problems, while praising the Communist Party’s crushing gun control measures and asserting that all Chinese and Taiwanese reject the idea of Taiwanese sovereignty.

The song, called “This is China,” asserts that it means to prove to the world that “the red dragon ain’t no evil” and the Chinese “don’t want to be disputants.” It is a nation full of “young men like us, aspiring and friendly” whose major affliction is “the spy, the traitor, the liar, and the money-making jerks.” “People are too busy with business,” it laments.

China is a “developing country,” the rap asserts, because of the destruction taking place during World War II. But now, “we can use apps to pay in nearly all the situations,” the song celebrates, “[and] we have tight gun control laws.”

As for Taiwan, “for normal citizens, we just want us to be united as one,” a dubious claim in light of polls showing that 72 percent of Taiwanese ages 20-29 support full independence.

The rap group, CD Rev, has previously released anti-American, Chinese nationalist anthems. Their last single, “The Force of Red,” accused international media of being “punk ass white trash fuckers” and disparaged “Uncle Sam,” while dismissing the Republic of Taiwan as “at most a county.” The video, though made by an independent band, has gone viral on China’s Weibo social media platform after the Chinese Communist Youth League shared it.

Despite this, its rappers allege they are not members of the Chinese Communist Party, and seek only to improve China’s image abroad. “This is a song for Westerners to understand China,” Wang Zixin, a band member, said in an interview. “We want Westerners to know that Chinese know our problems and we are trying to make a change.”

“This is China” is the latest in a string of rap singles endorsed by the Chinese Communist Party with pro-China, nationalist messaging. In May, the government released a song called “Marx is a Millennial,” designed to inspire young Chinese people to read Karl Marx and engage with communist literature. “I saw my faith, don’t even ask why / You are my Venus, my dear Marx,” the song’s lyrics proclaimed.

That same month, the government released a military promotional video featuring a rap song called “Battle Declaration.” “There are always missions in soldiers’ minds, enemies in their eyes, responsibilities on their shoulders, and passions in their hearts. There could be a war at any time. Are you ready for that?” the lyrics state, over simulated footage of air force and navy missions by Chinese soldiers.

In an attempt to make Chinese President Xi Jinping more popular among young people conversant in Western music culture, the government released a rap song in December 2015 titled “The Reform Group is Two Years Old.” The song celebrates the foundation of the anti-corruption “reform” group that weeded out hundreds of Chinese politicians, sentencing them to prison on corruption charges. The song refers to the president as “Big Daddy Xi” and features such lyrics as “Rule the party strictly! Govern the country by law… Streamline the administration and delegate power to lower levels and unleash energy.”


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