Chinese couple spend wedding night writing out communist doctrine

Photo of a Chinese couple on their wedding night Image copyright Nanchang Railway Bureau
Image caption The couple, named as Li Yunpeng and Chen Xuan, are both employees of the Nanchang Railway Bureau

Pen, paper and the Chinese constitution aren't typically words associated with a wedding night. But according to reports in China, it's how one couple chose to spend their first night of marital bliss.

The newlyweds were left with "fond memories of their wedding night", after transcribing the 15,000-character Chinese Communist Party constitution by hand, according to an online post by the Nanchang Railway Bureau.

Image copyright Nanchang Railway Bureau
Image caption The symbol on the bed reads "Double Happiness", which is a common Chinese symbol of marriage

Li Yunpeng and Chen Xuan, both employees of the organisation, were pictured writing the document on a desk near a bed covered with red balloons and white folded swans. The bride is pictured in a traditional wedding dress, with red symbolising good luck in Chinese culture.

The image has since gone viral on social media, with netizens and online commentators alike weighing in.

'You've been duped'

It was all part of a national education campaign launched in March to "copy the constitution for 100 days", according to reports by the Global Times.

And according to The Paper, state-owned Nanchang Railway Bureau had been encouraging all their employees to participate in the campaign, writing a few pages every day.

The organisation said it would showcase outstanding examples, and that handwriting the constitution had now become "part of everyday life".

Image copyright Nanchang Railway Bureau
Image caption The Nanchang Railway Bureau showcases selected transcriptions done by its employees

In a blogpost on the People Daily website, known as the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, one commentator pointed out that given the daily requirement of copying 150 characters, it would only take "a few minutes" for the couple to have copied the document on their wedding night.

But he questioned why the bride and groom chose their wedding when there were "365 other days to choose from".

A report has also surfaced on the blog page of Phoenix Chinese News questioning the authenticity of the pictures.

Image copyright Nanchang Railway Bureau
Image caption The couple is pictured hand copying out a part of the Chinese Communist Party Constitution

In the original blogpost, the article points out that the bride's red nail polish can be distinctly seen in the photo. The groom is also pictured wearing a watch despite the main picture clearly showing him with no accessories on his wrist.

Image copyright Sohu
Image caption An online commentator asked why the newlyweds chose their wedding night when there were "365 nights" to choose from

In this image, the bride is distinctly pictured with no nail polish, prompting the post to question if the pictures were staged.

The post has since been reposted on popular Chinese social media site Weibo.

Image copyright Weibo
Image caption The headline of the Weibo post reads: "There's photographic evidence: You've been duped!"
Image copyright Weibo
Image caption In this Weibo post, the user asks if the couple is "learning, or acting"

In a post, a user states that there are too many discrepancies in the pictures, with the couple writing on a rectangular table in one picture, and a circular picture in another. He sums it up by asking whether the couple are "learning, or acting".

Image copyright Weibo
Image caption Copying out the Chinese communist party constitution in such a situation was "contrary to common sense", said the Beijing News in a Weibo post

A Weibo post by the Beijing News also stated that copying the constitution under such circumstances was "contrary to common sense".

Persisting with 'Marxist ideas'?

Image copyright Nanchang Railway Bureau
Image caption Citizens are meant to copy all 15,000 characters of the Chinese Communist Party constitution
Image copyright Sohu
Image caption Among tracts copied out would be this section calling on people to "strengthen the core values of socialism, persist with Marxist ideas and established the shared ideals of China's socialism with special characteristics"
Image copyright Sohu
Image caption This section states the "leaders of the Chinese Communist Party have developed a modern culture of socialism" and were "building the spirit and civilised nature of socialism, implementing rule of law and governing with morality, and raising the nation's quality of thought, morality science and culture"

Since taking over in 2012, President Xi Jinping has attempted to consolidate the Party's power over the country. He has also pledged to "disseminate modern Chinese values", as well as deepen reforms in the cultural system.

The General Office of the CPC Central Committee called on "party committees at all levels" to implement the writing campaign, according to the state news agency Xinhua.

It also added that the campaign should target party members with "wavering confidence in communism and socialism with Chinese characteristics, as well as those who advocate Western values, violate Party rules, work inefficiently or behave unethically."

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