Xi’s Gotta Have It: Rewriting the History of the Reform and Opening Era at the National Museum

Last week, the museum re-opened its doors to great fanfare as the enormous lobby and main galleries were transformed into a glittering celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Reform and Opening Era.

Or at least that’s what was promised in the banners on the museum’s steps. Once inside, it was immediately apparent that this was all about one man: Xi Jinping. Everywhere you look, Xi’s smiling face and benevolent paunch stare down from videos and photos.

The very mini-model of a modern massed military. Or, as I like to think of it, “The View from Taiwan.”

Deng Xiaoping (you may know him as “the guy most responsible for kicking off the Reform and Opening Era and keeping it going”) gets shunted to a corner display. Xi’s predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao also have their respective nooks, but as the giant jumbotron and center stage exhibit make painfully clear: This is a total Xi Show.

Essentially, feckless sycophants have taken the Reform and Opening period, one of the most significant moments in Modern Chinese history, and turned it into the equivalent of a Xi Jinping dick pic.