Archive for the Lang Lang 郎朗 Category

“My motherland”, right or wrong? – Lang Lang plays song with anti-US connotations at Obama-Hu state event; w/ song lyrics [China Daily]

Posted in China, China-US relations, DPR Korea, Hu Jintao, Japan, Korean War, Lang Lang 郎朗, Obama, Shanghai, US imperialism, USA on January 30, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Lang Lang’s choice of music for a state dinner in the US was both lauded and chided, although it has evolved to be another folk song about love of country.

My Motherland

Lyrics by Qiao Yu
Music by Liu Chi

A big river has broad billows
Winds sweep the paddy fields on the banks
My family lives on the shore
Accustomed to the whistles of the longshoremen
And to the white sails of the boats
Girls are beautiful like flowers
Lads have broad chests
To create a new world
We waken up sleeping mountains
And change the courses of rivers
This is my beautiful country
Where I was born and grew up
On this vast land
Everywhere has great scenery
Great mountains and great rivers
Every road is wide
When friends come we give wine
But if jackals come
They’ll be greeted with hunting guns
This is my heroic country
Where I was born and grew up
On this ancient land
Everywhere has the power of youth
This is my strong country
Where I was born and grew up
On this warm land
Everywhere has bright sunshine

By Raymond Zhou (China Daily)

Depending on your view, pianist Lang Lang either pulled off a sucker punch or committed a diplomatic faux pas last week.  He played a tune from a movie that has anti-American subject matter at the Jan 19 state banquet US President Barack Obama gave to the visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao.  Even though it did not evolve into a diplomatic skirmish, it created some hoopla on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.

I believe Lang Lang when he explained afterwards he did not know the origin of this song.  Its popularity has far outstripped the movie itself.  While everyone in the Chinese mainland can hum it, relatively few have seen the movie or can immediately connect the “jackals” in the lyrics with the American soldiers fighting in the Korean War, or what we in China call the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea.

The movie Shangganling, released in 1956, experienced a surge in popularity during the post-“cultural revolution” (1966-76) years.  People of my generation are familiar with the plot, a typical war picture, but the song comes at a telling moment, a hiatus in the battle when the soldiers are reminded of the beauty of the motherland, while a few lines refer to “greeting jackals with hunting rifles”.

By Chinese standards the song is quite apolitical and lacks the propaganda vibe of the time.  Rendered by the most popular folk singer of the day, the beautiful Guo Lanying, it was an instant hit and has since become a classic.

As a student, before the bass singer Tian Haojiang became famous at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, he used to moonlight as a piano player at restaurants.  One night a Chinese busboy requested he play the song and afterwards broke down in tears, because he was so homesick.

It is quite possible Lang Lang was attracted to the melody and oblivious to the hidden meaning of the lyrics.

However, he is now in a quandary.  After I tweeted the incident on my Sina Weibo micro blog, I was overwhelmed with responses, which neatly belonged to two camps:  One lauded him for jabbing the Americans with the subliminal message of contempt or enmity; while the other criticized him for making an inappropriate choice.  After his explanation, the first group naturally stopped seeing him as a hero.

The politicization of Lang Lang’s golden oldie reflects more on the mentality of some Chinese, who are accustomed to expressing themselves indirectly.  If you want to criticize someone but cannot do it openly, you may have to resort to overtones, undertones and various figures of speech.  Chinese literary critics and historians have made it an art to pick apart ancient masterpieces and decipher whatever codes may be embedded in them.  For these people, there is no coincidence or over-interpretation.  Every little gesture must be deliberate and conveys something deeper.

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Weighing Hu’s Visit – WW editorial [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, China, China-US relations, DPR Korea, Encirclement of China, George Washington aircraft carrier, Hu Jintao, Japan, Korean War, Lang Lang 郎朗, Liu Xiaobo, Nobel Peace Prize, Obama, Seoul, Sino-Korean Friendship, south Korea, Taiwan, Tibet, Tokyo, US imperialism, USA, Western nations' human rights distortions on January 29, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手


Feb 3, 2011

The visit of the president of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, to Washington has been played up as marking a shift in U.S.-Chinese relations in the direction of new cooperation.  On the one hand, it is reported that President Barack Obama played tough and got concessions on trade and on the question of Korea; on the other hand that President Hu gained recognition on the world stage for China as an equal with the U.S.

From a historical point of view, it is a measure of the development of People’s China, economically and technologically,that the chief executive of U.S. imperialism agreed to a state visit with high honors to its president. After all, Washington tried mightily to destroy the Chinese Revolution before and after it triumphed in 1949.  It kept People’s China, representing one-fifth of humanity, from its rightful seat in the United Nations for almost a quarter of a century.

But from a more recent perspective, what transpired in Washington was basically the granting of $45 billion in contracts by China to U.S. big business in return for U.S. technology transfers to China.  As a concession to U.S. companies, Hu indicated China would allow foreign business to bid on Chinese state contracts to supply technology. China’s present “indigenous innovation” law requires Chinese state enterprises to grant technology contracts only to Chinese companies.

One of the principal strategies of U.S. big business at present is to export its way out of the domestic economic crisis.
This means, among other things, getting more access to the vast Chinese markets.  It is reported that President Obama’s new chief of staff, William Daley — a former executive at JPMorgan Chase bank and a director of both Boeing Aircraft and Abbott Laboratories — wanted to make the summit into a trade session for the top corporations.

A special meeting was held between President Hu and 14 executives of the biggest U.S. corporations, including Lloyd
Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Steve Balmer of Microsoft, Jeffrey Immelt of General Electric (Obama’s new top economic
advisor), and other CEOs of DuPont, Westinghouse Electric, agribusiness giant Cargill, Intel, the Carlyle Group, Dow
Chemical, Coca-Cola and HSBC Holdings.

Boeing, Daley’s former firm, got a $19 billion contract for 200 airplanes.  Immelt’s GE got contracts to develop rail and energy projects in return for technology sharing.  In addition, over the past few weeks China signed $25 billion in contracts with other large firms in 12 states.

The trip culminated with a joint statement filled with generalities and ambiguous phrases about the two governments
working together to improve regional and global peace and stability; non-interference in each other’s affairs; provisions for contacts between the two military commands; scientific cooperation;and so forth.

One issue discussed at the summit was Chinese military development. China has recently developed a missile with a
900-mile range that is alleged to be able to hit a moving aircraft carrier.  It has also developed a stealth fighter plane similar to one employed by the Pentagon.  Adm. Michael Mullen, chair of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and William Gates, Secretary of Defense, have sharply criticized China for improving its defensive forces and have threatened to develop new weapons systems aimed at China.

At the summit President Hu emphasized that China was not a threat to the U.S.  That is certainly true.  China has no
warships off the Atlantic or Pacific coasts of the U.S. or in the Caribbean.  China’s military is one-thirtieth the size of the

In contrast China is permanently menaced by U.S. aircraft carriers, attendant warships and submarines.  The USS George Washington sailed within striking distance of China during the lastcrisis on the Korean peninsula.  The U.S.
Seventh Fleet of the Pacific command has 50 to 60 ships, 600 aircraft and 60,000 Navy and Marine forces aimed
at China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  The Pentagon regards the Pacific as a U.S. lake.

So while China is no threat to the U.S., the U.S. is definitely a threat to China.

As for a “new era” flowing out of President Hu’s visit, there was no mention of any agreement for the U.S. to pullback its naval and air armada from the region.  There was no pulling back by the Pentagon in developing a Tokyo-Seoul-
Washington axis aimed at the DPRK and the PRC.  Nor did Washington agree to stop supplying its Taiwan puppet with
advanced missiles.

There was no pledge by the Obama administration to cease backing the serfowning feudal god-king, the Dalai Lama,
whose historic goal is to break Tibet away from China.  Washington pushed “human rights” for the counterrevolutionary Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, author of Charter 08, which calls for privatizing all of China’s economy and dissolving the People’s Republic.

One harmful concession made by President Hu must be mentioned.  He agreed to put in the joint statement a phrase about “mutual concern regarding the DPRK’s claimed nuclear enrichment program.”  Hopefully this break in solidarity will remain restricted to phrases in joint statements and will not extend to action.

In this connection it is worthy of note that at a state dinner given by the White House for President Hu, pianist Lang
Lang played a famous Chinese song, “My Motherland.”  It was the theme song of a 1956 Chinese movie called “Battle on Shangganling Mountain” (Triangle Mountain) and is universally recognized in China.  It is about the bravery during the Korean War of troops from the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, who fought U.S. “jackals” alongside their Korean brothers and won the battle for the mountain.

Hopefully, the historic relationship depicted in the song and forged in blood between the Chinese and Korean people
will prevail, joint statements notwithstanding.


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“Experience China” Debuts at NYC’s Times Square [People’s Daily]

Posted in China, Hu Jintao, Lang Lang 郎朗, USA on January 19, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Imagine…using imagery of doves to promote your country. Doves and peace characters at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, Shanghai 2010 World Expo, now this. What a change from the multi-dimensionally hostile, jingoist warmongering propaganda that spews continuously from nearly every officially sanctioned media outlet in of my country of birth…the USA. The photo caption indicates that what is termed a “video” in the article is actually a form of commercial. – Zuo Shou 左手 [See page 3 in the photo article for the referenced dove images, link below]

January 18, 2011

A video show about Chinese people made its debut on screens at Times Square on Monday, presenting Americans a multi-dimensional and vivid image of Chinese people.

With China’s traditional red as the theme color, the 60-second video was shown on six screens simultaneously at Times Square with a billboard written “Experience China” on top of the screens. The show highlights Chinese ordinary people and some important figures recognized by the international community, including Chinese pianist Lang Lang, basketball player Yao Ming and Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei, etc.

“The layout of the video is quite smart. I like it,” Charlotte Mcguckin, 18, a high school student in New York, told Xinhua, adding that “everyone (in the video) looks happy.”

“Look, that’s Yao Ming. I can recognize him, and also the female table tennis player standing beside him. She is very famous, ” she said, pointing to the giant screen. “I learned in class that U.S. and China started diplomatic ties from playing the table tennis,” she smiled.

For Si Yaqin, who came to New York with her son for vacation, watching the debut of the video is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “It’s my first time to New York, first time to Times Square,” she told Xinhua. “How lucky I am here to witness this moment. I feel so proud as a Chinese.”

The video is part of the public diplomacy campaign by the Chinese government ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s U.S. state visit. The video will be shown at Times Square 15 times every hour from 6 am to 2 am next day, totaling 20 hours and 300 times a day. It will last till Feb. 14 with a total of 8,400 times of show time.

Meanwhile, CNN also plans to run the video from Jan. 17 to Feb. 13.


Article link:

Chinese pianist Lang Lang holds recital concert in hometown of Shenyang [People’s Daily /]

Posted in China, Lang Lang 郎朗, Liaoning Province, Shenyang, Zhao Benshan 赵本山 on August 31, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

August 30, 2010

Chinese pianist Lang Lang performs during his concert in his hometown, Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Aug. 29, 2010. (Xinhua)

Chinese pianist Lang Lang (L) and actor Zhao Benshan perform during the concert in Lang Lang's hometown, Shenyang, Aug. 29, 2010. (Xinhua)

Full Peoples Daily photo article link here

FROM CRIENGLISH.COM:  “Lang Lang Performs Concert in His Hometown”

Pianist Lang Lang has returned to Shenyang to perform his first concert for his hometown fans.

Chinese pianist Lang Lang stages a concert in his hometown city of Shenyang in northeast China's Liaoning Province on Sunday, August 29, 2010. (Photo: CFP)

Having impressed the classical music world for almost two decades, Chinese pianist Lang Lang returned to Shenyang on Sunday (August 29) to perform his first concert for his hometown fans, reports.

Parents took their children to watch and hear Lang Lang, whose road to success has been eagerly studied by locals.  He played a mixed repertoire of Western and Asian concertos.

Zhao Benshan, one of the country’s best-known comedians who also has roots in Shenyang, played the erhu – a traditional Chinese bowed string instrument – during a duet with Lang Lang.

Lang Lang, 28, left Shenyang to pursue his music career at the age of nine, first at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music and later at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.  He has been hailed by “The New York Times” as “the hottest artist on the classical music planet.”

Lang Lang was recently named Shenyang’s image ambassador by the city municipal government and is committed to publicizing his hometown.

Full photo article link here

Chinese pianist Lang Lang to hold recital concert in hometown – PHOTOS [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Lang Lang 郎朗, Shenyang on August 28, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

August 27, 2010

Lang Lang (R front), a young Chinese pianist, walks out of Xiantao International Airport, in his hometown, Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Aug. 27, 2010. Lang Lang came back to his hometown on Friday. He will hold a recital concert in Shenyang on Aug. 29, 2010. (Xinhua/Ren Yong)

Lang Lang arriving at his hometown airport. (Xinhua/Ren Yong)

Full photo article link here