As the movie “The Wandering Earth,” China's first major science fiction blockbuster, has become tremendously popular at the box office, Chinese official news agencies scrambled to praise the movie, saying that it reflected Chinese President Xi Jinping’s vision for “community of common destiny,” Although the film is based on an ethnocentric view that a Chinese man saves the world, critics point out that China is even using SF movies as a tool for political propaganda.
With the popularity of the film, there has been unprecedented media attention surrounding the film. Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported that the movie has become a “unique cultural phenomenon during the Chinese New Year holiday” and it is a “reflection of Chinese values and imagination.”
People’s Daily of China posted an article that said “The only man who could save the world was Chinese” on its official social media account. In another article, it wrote, “What is noticeable in The Wandering Earth is China’s leading role in global governance,” and "the film shows enormously confident mindset of a great power.” The article also pointed out that the movie reminds it of “the current trade war between China and the U.S.” and that the release of the film was well-timed. According to the article, the film reflects Chinese values, which put importance on global cooperation, unlike the U.S., which only cares for its own interests.
"Although China plays a pivotal role (in saving the world), the film did not forget to include (the roles played by) other countries," Pengpai News also spoke highly of the film. "This film shows a deep and grand historic thesis of a community of common destiny based on humanity that transcends boundaries of states.”
“The rise of Chinese SF movies in the past several years is closely related to the development of science and technology in China,” CCTV reported. “(Achievements of China in space science such as) manned space flight and lunar probe have increased and fueled Chinese people’s passion for SF.”
After CCTV reported about the movie’s phenomenon, one Weibo (Chinese version of Twitter) user wrote, “(This movie is) the most important propaganda tool for a community of common destiny.” Meanwhile, a picture of a movie ticket with the sentence “Only the Communist Party can save the world” printed on it was posted on Weibo, causing a stir online.
Wan-Jun Yun email@example.com