Anti-Japanese war drama pulled in China

PHOTO: Weibo/LeitingZhanjiang

BEIJING — An anti-Japanese war-themed drama series has been cancelled in China after receiving criticism for being “too far removed from historical facts.”

Concerns among Chinese authorities that the “excessive entertainment factor” of such dramas is problematic are thought to be behind the move.

Leiting Zhanjiang (Lightning general), which depicts young soldiers of the Communist Party’s Eighth Route Army fighting the Japanese military, was first aired on Nov 3 on a regional Chinese network and online.

Questions circulating on the internet included comments about soldier’s hairstyles being styled even though the story takes place during wartime and members of the Eighth Route Army sleeping in a luxurious villa.

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The People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, published a critical article online on Sunday (15 Nov), saying history should be handled with compassion and respect, not frivolity and irresponsibility.

According to the online edition of Ming Pao, a Hong Kong daily, the regional station stopped broadcasting the drama on Monday and it has now been taken off the internet as well.

A number of unrealistic anti-Japanese dramas have been created in the past, including one in which a martial arts expert tore a Japanese soldier in two by hand.

In July, Chinese authorities issued a notice urging broadcasters not to broadcast dramas that defy common sense and reason and interpret history in an amusing way.