Source: Global Times Published: 2019-11-14
The biggest birthday party the world has ever seen is being held this year as nearly 1.4 billion people across China are marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China with a year-long celebration.
To mark this historical moment, a China-foreign co-produced documentary aired on China Central Television and National Geographic channels around the world on Wednesday.
The 44-minute documentary, World's Biggest Birthday Party, was co-produced by the China Intercontinental Communication Center (CICC) with support from the National Geographic Channel and UK's Meridian Line Films.
"Stories about China have been an important source of inspiration for our work. The rich history and culture of China has been continuously providing a bounty of material for our creations," said Pei Yiqun, senior vice president of Walt Disney Company China (National Geographic is operated by Disney), at a launch ceremony for the documentary held on Tuesday in Beijing.
Pei also noted that they wanted to bring in National Geographic's storytelling experience to tell China's story in an international way that could reveal the real China to the world.
Rather than focusing on major events, the documentary looks back on the past seven decades through a dozen stories of ordinary people who have made extraordinary contributions. Tang Yutong, a martial arts student at the reputed Shaolin Temple, expresses his pride at performing in the 70th anniversary parade on October 1 at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Li Guowei, a chef from Sichuan Province in Southwest China, known for its spicy food, decides to create a dish that brings together flavors across the country. A two-year-old toddler, You Ruiyi, and her family celebrates her birthday, which she shares with the country, as the military parade for the 70th anniversary plays on the TV.
"The show begins with a farmer in Panjin [Northeast China's Liaoning Province] who has a big smile on her face," said Ding Gang, a senior fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.
"Starting the film with a story related to agriculture does much to reveal the changes that have taken place throughout the country over the past 70 years," he explained. "Farmer, rural areas, agriculture, these words were closely related to toil and poverty in the past, and were a major component of the PRC, which was built from scratch 70 years ago. Yet now, they have become the basis for the happy life of 1.4 billion Chinese people," Ding said.
"We are trying to bring the freshest messages, the liveliest images and the most touching stories of China to the world," remarked Jing Shuiqing, vice president of CICC.
Jing also spoke highly of the efforts they undertook to boost the integration of media for the show. In addition to airing on broadcast channels, the documentary is also available on Chinese streaming platforms such as Bilibili, Youku, iQIYI and Kuaishou.
Ding Gang is a senior editor with People's Daily, and currently a senior fellow with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China.