Once again, in a latest incident where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) imposed its political will on Hollywood, Xi Jinping has, for the whole world to see, inadvertently exposed his own hypocrisy and his ambition to subject the private sector to his totalitarian control.
It was reported by NextShark on May 4 that the Chinese censors had asked Sony and Marvel Studios to delete the Statue of Liberty from the film Spider-Man: No Way Home, saying the scenes were “too patriotic”. Sony rejected the demand and walked away from a potential US$170 million to $340 million in sales.
After a long practice of Hollywood kowtowing to the CCP and sacrificing universal values for the sake of earning more money, Sony’s standing up to the CCP is the inflection point which will finally break the dam that has metaphorically locked Hollywood in the CCP’s grip for far too long. Henceforth, Sony is the first of many more to come who will defy the CCP which is intent on subjugating everyone to its political will.
To most of the people living in the free world, this demand to a film maker may seem ludicrous and incredulous. Yet, the demand highlighted illuminating facts about what the CCP really believes in and what their worldview is. But importantly too, this latest incident again exposed the hypocrisy of both Xi and the CCP.
Released last year in China and to a global audience, the Chinese film Battle at Lake Changjin is a historically inaccurate, revisionist propaganda which aimed to stir up nationalistic sentiments among Chinese and to showcase the superiority of the Chinese fighting forces. This “patriotic” Chinese film received worldwide acclaim and is the second highest at China’s box office.
In spite of it being a very patriotic film, nobody said anything about censoring it. This is classic double standard, with one set of rules which applies to the CCP and the other that applies to anyone who does not toe the party line.
The CCP must realize that there is something that even money cannot buy and, in this case, it is the Statue of Liberty, a universal symbol of freedom. Freedom and democracy, for all their ills, are still values treasure by the majority of humanity. Humans are born free, hoping to live a good and dignified life not shackled by political indoctrination. And humans are certainly not meant to be pawns at the servitude of dictators.
The alternative to the free world is the CCP’s totalitarian regime, which the world can see from the draconian politically-driven Covid-zero policy and harsh crackdowns on private enterprise, most notably in the property, technology and education sectors, that the party’s actions are harming the people’s wellbeing and businesses’ interest.
In other words, Xi is willing to sacrifice China’s economic growth to achieve his political objective, which is and will always be a total control over everything. The expansion of democracy is not something that Xi wants to see as the world witnessed his heavy-handed actions in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and basically all across China. This is also the reason why Xi is fixated on conquering independent Taiwan, a bastion of democracy, which he sees as belonging to the CCP.
To Xi and the CCP, Taiwan is certainly an eyesore but more than that, the free and open Taiwan is a possibility of what Communist China can become, if conditions are ripe for democracy to take root. This is what Xi fears the most, an expansion of democracy in mainland China and this is also why Xi insisted on exerting totalitarian control over everything and everyone, even to the extent of banning Winne the Pooh, which netizens found resembled Xi.
It is important to note that historically, dictators in the mold of Mao, Stalin, Putin and Xi and their totalitarian regimes, did not bring stability and prosperity to their countries. Indeed, the people and economy suffered greatly because of the dictators’ misguided policies that benefited only the dictators themselves. In fact, historically, it is in the free world with free elections, free market, entrepreneurship and innovation, where the most wealth is generated.
It is no wonder then, that the Statue of Liberty, a powerful symbol of the free world, is a target for the CCP censors. Be that as it may, it will be a tragic day for the free world if no one stands up to the CCP in the pursuit of money. Everyone who has benefited from freedom and democracy, including CEOs and investors, should be wise enough not to bet against the free market.
Photo credit: iStock/ pthebanner