Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • A famous Chinese YouTuber

  • Showcases rural life in China

  • Everyone loves it

  • Especially the Chinese Communist Party

  • Welcome to China Uncensored, I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Modern China can be a chaotic place.

  • Crowded streets. Traffic jamsPolice blocking your camera.

  • Thank Mao there's a way to relax! Retreat to the  countryside. Enjoy the quiet life, the traditional  

  • life of a Chinese farmer, like back in the day...  before Mao totally didn't starve farmers to death.

  • And that brings us to YouTube star Li Ziqi.

  • Li Ziqi's YouTube channel is all about daily  life in rural China. She prepares meals and  

  • other tasks for her and her grandmother  using only the nature that surrounds them.

  • Her channel showcases  homestyle farming and cooking.  

  • She uses homegrown ingredients to prepare  dishes in traditional ways. Think farming  

  • documentary plus reality TV plus cooking  showall in a colorful, quiet lifestyle vlog.

  • Some people have called Li Ziqi the Martha  Stewart of the Chinese countryside

  • Although I don't think even Martha  Stewart plants and picks her own cotton,  

  • so she can turn it into a handmade mattress.

  • I mean, who doesn't love picking cotton!

  • Except obviously half a million  forced laborers in Xinjiang.

  • At any rate, Li Ziqi's videos are  beautifully shot and produced. And  

  • they're hugely popular around the world. She  has more than 27 million followers on Weibo,  

  • China's version of Twitter. And she has  nearly 15 million subscribers on YouTube,  

  • breaking the Guinness world record for  most subscribed Chinese language channel.

  • All of this is great. And I mean that  for real. She makes great videos.

  • But unfortunately, things are  never so simple in communist China.

  • Under China's authoritarian regime, it's not  always easy when you get too much publicity.  

  • Make one wrong move, and you could be  in deep trouble. Like in 2018 when a  

  • live streamer was sent to jail for singing  China's national anthem in a goofy manner.

  • To be fair, I like her version...

  • Bum bum bum, qi lai!”

  • ...at least compared to the official version.

  • Luckily for Li Ziqi, her content is focused  on nature. Her only dialog is with her pets  

  • and her grandma. So she's probably safe  from politically motivated censorship.

  • In fact, Li Ziqi is more than just safe.  

  • Chinese state-run media actively  support Li Ziqi's YouTube stardom.

  • Supporters argue that [Li] has  done more to sell Chinese culture  

  • than the Confucius Institute, the  government-backed soft power promotional  

  • organization with a presence  in more than 100 countries.”

  • Yes, Chinese state-run media absolutely  love Li Ziqi. So much so, that Li was  

  • invited to be the Promotion Ambassador  for China's Communist Youth League.

  • And just in case that wasn't enoughPeople's Daily even co-branded with Li Ziqi  

  • to sell plum snail powder  noodles to her fans in China.

  • Yes. Plum Snail Powder Noodles. Yum.

  • Of course, in many ways it's great  that such a talented person gets  

  • good press and opportunities like this.

  • But it does raise a few questions. Which I'll  get into, after this quick commercial break.

  • Welcome back. The Chinese Communist  Party endorses Li Ziqi's YouTube channel.  

  • And that brings with it some issues.

  • The most obvious one is: How is Li  free to use YouTube, which is banned  

  • in China? The Chinese government hands  out punishments to netizens who access  

  • YouTube through a VPN. Like that guy Lonely  Flywho we did a video about just last month.

  • But Li Ziqi's YouTube channel  somehow gets a free pass.

  • Another issue is, she's allowed to promote  this kind of traditional culturethe kind of  

  • culture Mao tried to wipe out. And she's doing  it at a time when the Chinese Communist Party  

  • wants to promote its Skyscrapers...5G  technology... and high speed trains.

  • The Party has been trying to bury  the memory of laborious farm work...

  • and promote everything modern.

  • But as it turns out, viewers around the world  are actually much more captivated by Li Ziqi's  

  • vivid presentation of China's traditional farm  life than they are by China's modern technology.  

  • The culture the Chinese Communist  Party once tried desperately to destroy  

  • is now what's giving them the  positive attention they crave.

  • And that's why Chinese  state-run media doesn't hesitate  

  • to approve Li Ziqi. Her videos can promote  China's soft power and global influence.

  • At the same time, her videos are in line with  the Chinese Communist Party's new campaign  

  • of rural revitalization, as well as its ideas  ofrejuvenationof the Chinese nation.

  • So Li Ziqi can keep her YouTube channelbecause of her influence outside of China.  

  • Li Ziqi carries out the same agenda as Chinese  state-run media, only better. It's almost as  

  • if her quiet traditional life snippets are  a solution to China's lack of soft power.

  • Soft power has been pretty high up on  the Communist Party's priority list.  

  • Back in 2007, then-Chinese leader Hu Jintao  

  • said, “We must enhance culture as part  of the soft power of our country.”

  • And thatWe will further publicize the fine  traditions of Chinese culture and strengthen  

  • international cultural exchanges to enhance  the influence of Chinese culture worldwide.”

  • According to Joseph Nye, who coined the  termsoft power,” China suffers a soft  

  • power deficit for two main reasonsfirstthe promotion of nationalism, which propels  

  • an assertive approach to conflicts and antagonizes  foreign audiences; and second, China's soft power  

  • does not derive from civil society but from  government sources, which lack credibility.

  • In other words, centralized  government power isn't fun to watch.  

  • When they come out with rap groups who lay down  tracks celebrating the Party's growing military...

  • ...people watch that and think it's garbage.

  • But people enjoy Li Ziqi's videos.

  • The problem is that they don't represent  the life of a real Chinese farmer

  • And they don't represent  urban Chinese life either.

  • It's all an escapist fantasy. Now, although  she's on YouTube, Li Ziqi's content is  

  • mostly for a domestic Chinese audience that she  reaches through Chinese social media platforms.  

  • And it's a burned-out urban audience  that longs to escape to the countryside.

  • They know it's a rural fantasybut that's what they want.  

  • It's a nostalgia for a way of life  that's gone. If all this sounds familiar,  

  • that's because there's a Western version  of this rural escapism called cottagecore

  • I mean, I get it. That's basically  why I play Stardew Valley.  

  • Well, that and my love for Abigail.

  • But the difference is that Li Ziqi's escapist  fantasy is also great for the Chinese Communist  

  • Party. Li's channel and comment section show  the beautiful side of China, and it works in the  

  • Party's favor that this is on YouTube's platformNot only do people outside China get to watch the  

  • wonders of China's traditional lifestyle, but also  anyone in China who uses a VPN to access YouTube  

  • can feel proud of their nation when they see  how well received Chinese culture is worldwide.

  • It's like the Chinese saying, “Yi Shi Er  Niao” 一石二鳥, which literally translates as,  

  • One stone, two birds.” 

  • Why does every culture have a phrase about  killing birds with stones? Who does that?!

  • I guess that's also a way of life that's gone

  • Anyway, the Chinese Communist Party is  having more and more trouble maintaining  

  • a good image around the world. Even  before the 2020 CCP Virus outbreak,  

  • people in many countries have had  increasingly negative views of China.

  • So to fix this problem, the Chinese regime tries  to blur the lines between Chinese culture and the  

  • Chinese Communist Party. This conveniently  fogs up the perception of China as a whole.  

  • China is beautiful, China is peaceful

  • China is definitely not armed with a large  military ready to invade its neighbors!

  • Now, I'm not saying the Communist Party is  directly pulling the strings on Li Ziqi like  

  • a puppet, and I'm not here to discredit  her work. She and her production crew  

  • obviously put a lot of effort into these videos.

  • But the reality is, Li Ziqi doesn't represent  what life is like for most of China's 500  

  • million farmers. Farmers who are mostly  suffering under the CCP's authoritarian rule.

  • And FYI, when the CCP claims poverty has been  eliminated for them. That's simply not true.

  • But life sure is good for Li Ziqi.

  • And now it's time for me to answer a question from  a viewer who supports China Uncensored on Patreon.

  • Ahmad Shumayal asks: “Is OnePlus phone (BBK  Group) also guilty of forced labour of Uyghyurs?  

  • Should we boycott OnePlus as well?”

  • Good question, Ahamad.

  • BBK Group is a Chinese conglomerate. And asChinese companyeven a privately owned onethey  

  • have to do the bidding of the Chinese  Communist Party and the Chinese military,  

  • if they're called upon.

  • For example, if the CCP asks them  to put spyware on their phones,  

  • they would have to figure out a way to do it.  

  • I'm not saying they do. But the US has accused  Huawei of spying on mobile phone users...

  • so it's a realistic possibility  for BBK's OnePlus phones as well.

  • Now I don't know whether or not  BBK Group uses Uyghur slave labor.  

  • But security concerns alone should be enough  to convince you to boycott its OnePlus phones.

  • Thanks for your question, Ahamad.

  • Be like Ahamad and support China Uncensored  on Patreon. Go to Patreon.com/ChinaUncensored  

  • to learn more.

  • Once again, I'm Chris ChappellThanks for watching China Uncensored.

A famous Chinese YouTuber

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US chinese china communist communist party youtube party

The Mystery of Chinese YouTube Star Liziqi

  • 9 0
    zijun su posted on 2021/06/17
Video vocabulary