Date published: September 5, 2011
Journal code: NEAM
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has been riding the promotion circuit since his latest book, On China, was released on May 17 by Penguin Press. The release was timed to precede the 40th anniversary (July 9, 1 97 1 ) of his secret trip to China that is credited with opening relations between Communist China and the United States. It also, coincidentally, was well timed for exploitation by the Chinese Politbüro for the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China (July 1 , 1 92 1 ). As is to be expected, the 608-page tome has been showered with adulatory reviews from the Kissinger-adoring mainstream media. "Nobody living can claim greater credit than Mr. Kissinger for America's 1971 opening to Beijing. ... A fluent, fascinating . . . book." - the Wall Street Journal. "Fascinating, shrewd." - the New York Times. "From the eminent eider statesman, an astute appraisal on Chinese diplomacy.... Sage words and critical perspective." - Kirkus Reviews.
A few reviewers have chided Kissinger for his fawning admiration of Mao, Chou, and Deng, and his silence on, or whitewashing of, me horrendous record of mass murder, torture, genocide, and human-rights abuses carried out by China's various communist leaders over the past six decades. However, few China watchers or media commentators have criticized, or even noted, Kissinger's participation in the Chinese Communist Party's (CPC's) huge, weeks-long propaganda extravaganza commemorating the 90th anniversary of the institution of Mao Tse-Tung's murderous regime.
During the lead-up to the communist celebration, Kissinger was in Beijing the last week of June as a star participant in a global summit sponsored by the Chinese think tank China Center for International Economic Exchanges (CCIEE). However, his most outrageous act of collaboration with the Communist Party's propagandists may have been his attendance at the Chongqing "Red Song Gala" with top Communist officials. Chongqing formerly Chungking) is one of China's largest and most important cities, and its Party leader, Bo Xilai, is viewed by many as the person most likely to be China's next leader. While playing host to Kissinger, Bo Xilai also presided over the massive song-anddance spectacle, which was adorned with a plethora of red flags and a massive hammer and sickle, the worldwide symbol of communism. The Chongqing concert, which began with the song "Follow the Communist Party," was replicated all across China, as CPC officials have attempted to reinvigorate Party enthusiasm. Song and poetry contests, plays and operas - with children and adults in Red Guard uniforms and Mao-style blue pajamas - have been staged in attempts to stir up pro-communist sentiment. The CPC's Xinhua News reports that "The most widely-sung red songs include 'East is Red,' 'Without the Communist Party, There is No New China,' and 'Sing a Folk Song to the Party.'"