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An audience watches a short film about the May 4th Movement at The Great Hall Of The People on April 30 in Beijing. Photo: Andrea Verdelli/Getty Images

Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the May 4th Movement, which sparked the rise of many radical Chinese political and social leaders, and is one of the sensitive events this year that has the PRC government locking things down even more tightly than normal.

Why it matters: At the same time, the Party, which controls the official history of the movement, is again trying to harness the legacy of May 4 for its own goals.

What they're saying: On Tuesday, the Party convened a gathering at the anniversary at which Xi Jinping urged patriotism among youth, striving for brighter China (Xinhua):

"The essence of patriotism is having unified love for the country, the Party and socialism, Xi added, urging young Chinese to follow the instructions and guidance of the Party, and remain dedicated to the country and the people.Young people are also urged to establish belief in Marxism, faith in socialism with Chinese characteristics, as well as confidence in the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation ... In the new era, the theme and direction of Chinese youth movement and the mission of Chinese young people, Xi said, are to uphold the leadership of the CPC, and work along with the people to realize the two centenary goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation."

My thought bubble: Be wary of underestimating how many believe in the patriotic and increasingly jingoistic propaganda and Xi's repeated claims that China is closer than it has ever been to national rejuvenation, or of how many sycophants and opportunists there are in a country as large as China which see safety and opportunity in embracing the Party line. 

  • There is also no question that China is closer to national rejuvenation than it has been at any time since the Opium Wars. Omnipresent propaganda based in kernels of truth married to efficient and ruthless security services can be very effective.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: Former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

5 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.