Communist Propaganda Czar Wants China to Become a Movie Power

Illustration by: Lars Leetaru

Liu Qibao says movies should reflect President Xi Jinping's vision of the "Chinese Dream."

BEIJING – Communist Party propaganda chief Liu Qibao hailed the rapid rise of the country’s film business, calling for China to become a major movie power that reflects the socialist ideal of the "Chinese Dream."

"Film should take the people as its center and socialist core values as a guide, while adhering to social and economic efficiency, increased creativity and building China into a movie power,” Liu told a film forum in Beijing.

LIST THR Reveals Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films

Hollywood is having a spectacular year in China, prompting industry leaders to think of ways to improve Chinese movies and stop the world's second-largest market becoming dominated by U.S. movies. The country operates a quota of 24 foreign movies on a revenue-share basis, but there are moves afoot to widen the quota.

China has adapted many aspects of capitalism and the market economy, but it is still run by the Communist Party, and political leaders will often quote examples of Marxist-Leninist political thinking when making a point.

“China's film development is on a fast track,” said Liu, who is a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party.

Chinese box office rose to $21.6 billion in the first half of this year, of which domestic movies accounted for 48 percent, while foreign movies accounted 52 percent.

PHOTOS Hollywood's 100 Favorite Films

Liu said films should contain more elements of the “Chinese Dream,” an inspirational propaganda slogan often used by Xi Jinping since he became president two years ago.

“We need to use the Chinese Dream as an important topic and root it in the fertile soil of Chinese culture, reflecting people’s struggle for chasing dreams and unite the enthusiasm of building a dream and making it come true,” he said.

He also urged more diverse subjects and creative ideas in film, with more Chinese culture in films and better use of modern technology.

According to the China Daily, the Chinese Dream is to “build a moderately prosperous society and realize national rejuvenation.”

“The Chinese Dream integrates national and personal aspirations, with the twin goals of reclaiming national pride and achieving personal well-being,” the paper reported.

Last month, China Film Bureau chief Zhang Hongsen said the country's film business is at war with Hollywood and needs to dramatically up its game if it is to survive when the quota for foreign-film imports is raised in four years' time.

This week, Transformers 4: Age of Extinction overtook Avatar for the all-time Chinese box-office record.