...JADE PROPAGANDA

In 1958, when Mao initiated his “Great Leap Forward” in China, state propaganda became an integral tool for steering public thought. During that time, peasants routinely looked to state propaganda to know which opinions were acceptable and which would get them killed. Despite his professed hatred of Mao and all things Red, Kao Shen’s own Supreme Minister of Propaganda seems to be cribbing directly from the old Communist playbook.

 


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BIGGER GUNS
Pictured here is a propaganda visual that’s seen all over Imperial China. Posted on billboards, subways, and on the sides of buses, the art depicts the iconic “tinman” mobile armor piloted by the Emperor’s elite Yellow Banner Men. Above the marching armor gleams the Imperial Seal, shafts of light radiating off it like the sun. This is a visual metaphor that is seen throughout Asia, used to represent the divine light of Heaven. In this instance it portrays the Emperor as having a “mandate from Heaven” to rule China.

Top text reads, “100 Times Vigilant,” while the bottom adds, “Power comes from the barrel of a gun.” This is intended to communicate multiple messages. On one level, this poster acts as a recruitment tool, enticing young men and women with an image of power and regal glory. But also, the art is intended to quash any thoughts of opposition. If power does indeed come from the barrel of a gun, as the poster declares, it also shows that the Emperor’s gun is by far the biggest.

 


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BETTER DEAD THAN RED
For any conquering regime, it is key that the public perceive the prior rulers as deceitful and corrupt. To this end, the Jade’s Ministry of Propaganda mass produced this poster. One of the most commonly seen posters in Imperial China, the text deems the ousted communist party as “demons and monsters.” The subtext then adds, “Communists hide the truth.” The black paint oozing over the old PRC flag serves as a powerful visual to emphasize this point.
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BONE HARVEST
This poster communicates a similar message, but is displayed only in rural and factory communities. Since the dawn of China’s history there has been a rift between farmers and city dwellers. When the nation industrialized this gap widen as ranks of unskilled factory workers began to share the farmers’ resentment. By 2029, this rift became a flashpoint for violence when the Jades urged disenfranchised workers to “strike back at their masters in Beijing.” Under the previous government urban areas thrived and modernized, their residents becoming rich. Meanwhile farm and factory communities starved as job markets dried up for unskilled labor. Also, massive environmental damage ravaged these regions as China’s industrial-base expanded exponentially. The poster’s message is clear: communism’s promise of a proletarian utopia is a hideous lie. The farmer tilling bones before a skyline of smoke belching factories is a direct jab at Mao-era propaganda. The text reads, “Peasants rise up! Be free! Communists hide the truth!"


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FOREIGN DEVILS
If defaming communism is job-one for the Jade Ministry of Propaganda, then vilifying Western business interests is certainly a close second. Before Kao Shen took power, China had been brimming with foreign investment from the West, which in turn triggered a great deal of mixing and mingling of cultures –at least in urban centers. Since the fall of the old PRC government, the Jades have fought hard to purge their land of what Kao Shen describes as “foreign devils” who have “polluted China with barbaric customs and ideas.” This poster specifically addresses the Jade’s seizing of foreign businesses during the revolt. The text proudly states, “Let us cultivate patriotism and progress! Let us build a rich and powerful new China!” Contrasted with the visual of a boot symbolically stomping corporate logos from Germany, Japan, America, and Finland, the message is clear: China doesn’t need foreigners to be prosperous.


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KEWPIE COMMANDO
Throughout Asia there is a long tradition of cherub-like portrayals of children mimicking adult behavior. Pictured here is one such image produced by the Jade’s Ministry of Propaganda. With the text reading, “Serve the People,” it was initially thought this poster was meant as a military recruitment tool. Although further investigation by Allied Intelligence suggests the poster is encouraging adolescent boys to join the “Little Dragons,” an armed youth militia designed to groom boys into future soldiers. Note the boy in the poster is toting the ultra-modern QBZ-95 rifle, made domestically by China’s state-owned, NORINCO Corporation. Since the revolt, NORINCO products have figured prominently in Jade propaganda. Despite the Emperor’s love of Kalashnikovs and the military’s dependence on Russian-licensed hardware, rarely does any Eastern Block weaponry appear in Jade propaganda.


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THE JADE EMPEROR
As far back as the reign of Shih-Huang-Ti, China’s infamous first emperor, every man to carry the mantel of supreme divine ruler of China has had a portrait done similar to the one shown here. The imperial garb, stiff pose, and golden dragon throne are all throwbacks to a painting of Shih-Huang-Ti that was rendered sometime during his rule in 200 BC. Since then every emperor to follow has aped this imagery, and pictured here is General Kao-Shen doing just that.

The reasons for associating himself with the first emperor are many for Kao-Shen. Upon seizing power the general has repeatedly claimed he’s doing Heaven’s work, personally called upon by the gods to “restore China’s once proud and powerful Empire.” For millennia the Chinese have seen the first emperor’s reign as being synonymous with a mythical golden age. By depicting himself as the first emperor, Kao-Shen helps to legitimize his own claims, showing himself bold, regal, and wielding power far and beyond that of mere military leaders and politicians.

Obviously Kao-Shen’s portrait does stray somewhat from those of antiquity.
Note the modern sunglasses and the assault rifle. Although it is unknown why Kao-Shen would choose to be shown this way, experts speculate the sunglasses are something a personal trademark for the man. For almost a century now, smoked-aviator shades have been a staple amongst Oriental military personnel wishing to project an air of intimidation. The South Korean Army actually issues mirrored-sunglasses to its field officers for this precise reason. Much of China’s military elite have adopted this practice. As for the assault rifle, pictured is a Type 03 Carbine, a domestically produced knock-off of a Russian AKS-74. A passionate collector of Kalashnikov rifles, it’s said the Type 03 is Kao-Shen’s weapon of choice, which he’s never without
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To date, Kao-Shen’s imperial portrait can be seen adorning the sides of skyscrapers, dams, and even airships throughout Imperial China. Also, a head and shoulders version of this image appears on the newly minted Jade silver-currency, the Tael.

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