"Made in China" ban dropped

Songstress Ai Jing (艾敬) released a greatest hits collection last week that includes "Made in China", a song that failed to pass the censors when it first came out in 1998. Ai, whose music career lingers in the shadow of her 1992 breakout hit "My 1997", told a press conference last week "I've always believed that 'Made in China' could surpass 'My 1997'. Although this has dealt a mortal blow to my musical life, keeping me silent for many years, I have never altered my faith in music. Living in a foreign land, I found pride in being Chinese; this 'Made in China' is something genuine that has withstood the test."

Why was it banned in the first place? In the words of the Mirror:

What are the relevant domestic examination standards, then? This reporter learned from an industry insider that some examinations are directed at lyrics, while others result in bannings purely because of music video scenes - there are too many reasons.

But one unwritten rule is that lyrics that are too obscure or depressing are easily banned; scenes that run to the absurd, frightening, or sexy are also susceptible to banning. Blamed for the banning of Ai Jing's song can be placed on the fact that her work was too bold for that time and was not accepted.

The lyrics in question:

I'm made in China / they say that China's backward / I'm made in China / they say that China's getting better / In my life growing up here / My ideals were viciously torn apart by reality / It was only when I left and looked back / That I found that I really loved my country / I love you China

Oh, Mother, I can't choose / Even if you still aren't good enough / I don't want to be a deserter but I'm not cut out to be a hero / I don't want to be sacrificed

Sensitive enough to be banned? Or, as they've been interpreted when she's sung them live the last few years, a sign of the hope and vitality of China's youth?

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There are currently 4 Comments for "Made in China" ban dropped.

Comments on "Made in China" ban dropped

There is another song from Ai Jing has a '89' in its title, and the some lyrics can be interpreted in interesting way, too. That song was not banned but maybe had drawn some attention of officials to her.

Strangely, i first encountered this artist's singing in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

That is true, Chinaguy, but that song was on her 1995 album, and she was able to release another in 1996 before Made in China came out. Who knows what the censors were thinking?

I followed the link to the lyrics. Not sure if it is the original or the sanitized version, but I like it a lot. I thought it captured my sentiment pretty accurately.

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