A screenshot of the "Shisanwu" music video released by Xinhua News Agency's Twitter account on Oct. 27, 2015.
BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) -- A music video about China's "Shisanwu" (the 13th Five-Year Plan) has gone viral among both Chinese and foreign audiences (and thanks to the video, I don't have to put a large paragraph of background information to explain the jargon here).
As you know, the video was first released by Xinhua News Agency's Twitter account (@XHNews). After receiving several questions on social media about who made the video, Xinhua secured an exclusive interview with the head of the team that produced the clip and several other videos about President Xi's visits to foreign countries.
Following is a Q&A answering your questions about the video:
Xinhua (X): As the "Shisanwu" video has gone viral, people realize they almost know nothing about the crew producing it. Would you introduce your team?
Team (T): There are five of us with an average age of a little older than 30. Our educational backgrounds vary, from journalism to computer science, from diplomacy to philosophy. One team member majored in ethnic minority literature. What we all have in common is that our own jobs involve dealing with foreigners and we want to tell them more about China.
X: So does the video specially target a foreign audience?
T: Nowadays, due to the development of China, what matters to the Chinese people also matters to foreigners, and what foreigners are interested in also attracts the Chinese. There is little difference between "in" and "outside".
X: Why did you choose the topic of "Shisanwu"? And why did you decide to write a song for it and make a video in this style?
T: The 13th Five-Year Plan, which is the guideline for China's development in the next five years, is significant to people at home and abroad. We did a little research and tried to understand what they may want to know. However, it's difficult to elaborate on such a huge topic in a short video, so we chose to explain one of the most complicated concepts in the simplest way, writing a song. And we used a collage of images to make it fun.
X: What message do you expect the audience to receive from the video?
T: Making the "Five-Year" plans is a unique form of governance for the Communist Party of China and Chinese government, which is considered one of the important reasons for China' s sustainable development. And the process of making it is also a good demonstration of the policy-making process in China, so-called "democratic centralism". We tried to explain them.
A screenshot of the "Shisanwu" music video showing the animated images of four singers.
X: Who do the voices belong to? People found the animated images of the four singers look like certain pop culture icons. Is this true?
T: (Laughing) Who do you think they look like? The actual singers are 4 native English speakers who are currently working in Beijing. They have a band and perform during their spare time.
X: Why did you leave out the "Shisanwu" translation? It's going to be the latest catchword, did you imagine the effect this would have when you did this?
T: There is no such single word in English and it's impossible to dedicate lengthy text to explain it, so we tried a shortcut, just like "lianghui" (meaning "two sessions", referring to the annual sessions of the National People's Congress and The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference). We hoped the word, in Mandarin pinyin, would leave an impression in people's minds, but to tell you the truth, we didn't expect it to make such a big one. Oh, it also rhymes perfectly with "engineers who deal with poo"! (Laughing)
X: Do you think what you produce is propaganda?
T: I prefer the word "communication".
X: Why did you choose to release the video via Xinha's social media accounts?
T: Your Twitter account has over three million followers and what you post is also fun. And we are also working with leading domestic video streaming websites.