China’s state news agency Xinhua has released a music video to promote President Xi Jinping’s new political theory after an earlier musical effort introducing the 13th five-year plan was widely mocked.

The new clip features cartoon characters rapping Xi’s “Four Comprehensives” strategy: comprehensively building a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively rule the country by law and comprehensively tighten party discipline.

“Follow me, four comprehensives, four comprehensives…” the catchy tune repeats again and again as a middle-aged man and a little girl perform cheesy dance moves.

The song “is not brainwashing at all”, Xinhua said when it released the song on social media site Weibo.

Users on Weibo mock the “Four Comprehensives” song. Photo: Weibo screenshot.

However, this fresh attempt to make Chinese politics cool was again not well-received among netizens. Many called the song “disgusting” and “stupid” while others simply marvelled at the fact that they were allowed to comment under the video.

Last October, Xinhua posted a song called “Shisanwu”, the Mandarin term for “13th five-year plan”, in a mixture of English and Chinese. The song received a mixed response on social media, although most of the comments about it on Weibo have since been deleted.

A long history of numbers in slogans

Chinese Communist Party leaders are known to have a fixation with numbers when constructing their political theories and slogans. Chairman Mao Zedong in the 1930s talked about “three magical weapons” in seizing political power. Reformist leader Deng Xiaoping’s most famous theory was summarised as “Four Modernisations”. Of course, he also invented a formula for capitalist Hong Kong and Macau to return to China called “One Country Two Systems.”

Communist Party slogans with numbers. Photo: HKFP.

Former president Jiang Zemin rolled out “Three Representatives” claiming the party represents “advanced productivity”, “culture” and “people’s interest.” Jiang’s successor Hu Jintao gave an “Eight Dos and Don’ts” order to party members. Besides “Four Comprehensives”, Xi also presented his compatriots with a list of “Eight New Rules” for cadres and “Seven Don’t-talk-abouts” for teachers and professors.

Vivienne Zeng

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.