Chinese propaganda has a long and checkered history in the country.
But the country’s most infamous poster has been banned by the Chinese government, after a court in Beijing found it to be “unlawful and unconstitutional.”
The posters are seen by many Chinese as an attempt to stifle the popular protests against President Xi Jinping, whose crackdown on political dissent and the “Great Firewall” has led to a massive decline in online activity in recent years.
While China is still seen as the most repressive country in the world, it has also made some notable strides in the last few years, including an anti-corruption drive and a massive campaign against counterfeit goods, as well as a crackdown on the use of social media to spread propaganda.
However, since its inception in 2014, Chinese propaganda is banned in most of the country, with a handful of exceptions.
The poster that sparked this ban is a poster for the documentary “The Truth.”
The poster depicts a group of women holding up signs that read “Beware of the Communist Party,” and features footage of women being beaten by police.
The posters were reportedly created to support women’s rights in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and in 2015, China banned them altogether.
“The Truth” director Xu Wei told Buzzfeed News that he felt compelled to make the posters, which he described as “an attempt to fight the government’s propaganda campaign,” after seeing a poster on the internet that had been posted.
“I was shocked, and I thought: ‘If you’re going to make this poster, then you need to make it illegal in China,’ ” Xu said.
“It was really shocking to see the poster and the idea that it was illegal.
It’s so shocking that it would be outlawed in a country that has a history of being one of the most free countries in the Western world.”
“What I’m really proud of is that I can say I’ve made a difference in China’s social and political discourse,” he added.
When contacted by BuzzFeed News, the director of “The Righteous Mind” said he did not wish to comment on the poster, but that he was still trying to make sense of the situation.
“When you’re a Chinese citizen and you see something like that, it’s just so distressing,” Xu said, adding that he hoped his film would serve as a deterrent to other Chinese citizens.
In China, propaganda posters are also considered “political propaganda” under the countrys new political law, which comes into effect in April.
While this law prohibits the dissemination of propaganda in public places, it also allows the government to ban any poster it deems “inappropriate” or “politically incorrect.”
Xu told BuzzFeed News that the poster he created was created to “show how the propaganda is spreading.”
“It’s a film about the Great Firewall, and it’s about how the government is trying to control and suppress information, and how people are trying to create their own reality,” he said.
Xu said he felt he had to make a film that would be “politicized” in China, “so that people will be more likely to come and say, ‘No, this isn’t what I want to hear,’ ” he added, adding, “I feel like I have to show the reality of the Great Wall and how it’s being used to suppress dissent and freedom of speech.”