Chinese TV Switches Off Entertainment for WW2 Anniversary Celebrations

China Patriotic H 2015
AP Images/Invision

State broadcast authorities order temporary ban of popular shows like 'The Voice' and 'Idol' in favor of events celebrating China's role in forcing Japanese surrender.

China's eight top satellite TV channels will suspend the broadcast of all entertainment programs from Sept. 1 through 5 as the country commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

Popular reality shows such as The Voice of China, Dad, Where Are We Going? and Up Idol, as well as some soap operas, will make way for programs about the war, which is known here as the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

China will hold a series of events to commemorate the WW2 victory, including an enormous military parade on Sept. 3.

The parade will be the first time China has invited troops of other nations to participate in a military parade, and will feature a giant procession of soldiers, rolling tanks and aerial displays over Changan Avenue, a 10-lane east-west thoroughfare stretching through Beijing.

Satellite broadcasters in Jiangsu, Hubei, Zhejiang, Beijing, Shandong, Tianjin, Anhui and Dongfang, as well as the state broadcaster China Central TV (CCTV) will suspend the broadcasting of all entertainment programs during the period.

"We will also air classic TV dramas themed on the war at 10 pm every night. We will also provide commentary in news programs and make special plans for the anniversary," a staff member at Hunan TV told the Sichuan-based West China Metropolis Daily newspaper.

Xu Jifeng, a deputy director of Zhejiang TV, said the station has been airing stories on war history since August and will broadcast classic TV dramas themed on the war on prime time starting August 25, to "set the tone."

The Cairo Declaration, a historical film depicting a milestone event during World War Two, will also debut on Sept. 3, the day of Beijing's military parade.

The poster for the movie has drawn scorn from some critics because it depicts Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong, even though he did not attend the conference covered in the film.