As if the brainwashing ditties celebrating the Communist Party’s Second Five-Year Plan or the “Four Comprehensives” weren’t enough, China has unleashed another musical delight – and this time, the genre is rap.

Unlike the previous two songs, “This is China” does not intend to sell any new political theories or promote any plans by the party. Instead, it commemorates the wonders of the “Chi-phenomena” and the Chinese Dream, in an ambitious effort to market the country to the rest of the world.

The song kicks off with a rapper launching a thinly-veiled attack on the foreign media’s portrayal of China, “Regardless of all the prejudice in the past, today I wanna restore the impression you have on my country, China, which have been exactly fabricated by media for a long time.” It then describes how China was almost obliterated by the Second World War: “War is always scary.”

“This is China, we love the country. we the Chi-phenomena,” the chorus goes. “The red dragon ain’t no evil but a peaceful place. The beautiful land with rich culture remain.”

The music video for the song, released on Tuesday, features a series of images depicting Chinese culture – from Sichuan’s “face-changing” opera and lion dance to hot pot and Tu Youyou – placed against a backdrop of a Empire State of Mind-esque hip hop song.


The music video is jointly released by the Communist Youth League of China’s Youth Micro-Studio and CD REV, a rap group from Chengdu, Sichuan, according to the Sixth Tone.

Although the blatant propaganda is nothing new, the video is perhaps refreshing in that it does not shy away from problems that plagued China in recent years, such as pollution (although it quickly dismissed this and compared it with the situation in London and LA in the 1950s), food and drug safety issues such as melamine milk and the expired vaccination scandal.

CD REV. Photo: Handout.

However, in a less diplomatic fashion, it also touched upon the question of Taiwan and the One China Policy, saying that “normal citizens just want us to be united as one cause – we think we’re from one family, the same.”

While the two previous music videos garnered lukewarm responses and were even mocked by netizens, “This is China” seemed to be more positively received by Weibo netizens, with many giving it a thumbs up. One Weibo user commented, “Today, this country still has a lot of problems, it has this and that, but it’s still our motherland. We look forward to her changing bit by bit.”

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.