Another group of writers and film makers induced political angles to their narratives and tried to address questions of Chinese identity and its role in the modern world. Such artists were actually encouraged by the CCP, quite contrary to the Western media portrayal of a heavily censored Chinese society.
Of course, the CCP leadership can still improve in certain areas. While it allowed free artistic expression, it had shown intolerance toward public debate and demonstration on issues of grave concern. A chief example of the party’s failings was its suppression of the student demonstrations in the now infamous Tiananmen Square in 1989. Earlier, in 1981, the party Central Committee adopted a lengthy ‘Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of Our Party’ since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China, which was an earnest attempt at introspection, something that even many democratic governments fail to do. This is a true reflection of an increasingly forward looking leadership that had evolved expediently according to the demands of the wider society. The new breed of leaders also seems to have learned from the excesses committed during the suppression of the ‘cultural revolution’ and its aftermath. They acknowledge that the 1981 Resolution
“underwrote a shift of authority within the CCP from a single leader to a collective leadership and set stringent limits on what professional historians could write about the Communist period. Bodies such as the Central Party History Research Office, the Central Documentary Research Office and the Central Party School determine the official line on any historical question; and if they wish their work to be published, professional historians must abide by these correct formulations.” (Dickson, 2006)
Many economists project China to be the economic superpower of the world in about twenty years’ time. Consistent with its growing stature are a world leader, its leadership is bent on improving its image within the international community. Human rights and freedom of expression are two areas that must be high on the party agenda, if it is to rectify the damage done to its reputation internationally. But the signs so far have been positive. The very fact that the rest of the world chose Beijing to host the next Olympic Games should be seen as a statement of faith on China. Its young leaders should make the most of the goodwill generated and continue on the path of progress and prosperity.
Chinese Communist Party, (2006, November 1). Daily Post (Liverpool, England), p. 20.
Dickson, B. J. (2006)., The Chinese Communist Party in Reform. Pacific Affairs, 79(4), 672+.,
Hilton, I. (2006, February 20). Karl, China Needs You: Just When It Seemed It Was All over for Marx, the Chinese Communist Party Has Had a Spectacular Change of Heart, Writes Isabel Hilton., New Statesman, 135, 28+.
Smith, S. (2003, December)., Coming to Terms with the Past: China., History Today, 53, 43+.