Daily Drip

China Channels Iconic ’70s Coke Ad for Belt and Road Remix


Are you excited about the Belt and Road Initiative? Not particularly? Well that’s one key difference between you and China’s State media outlets, who have just rolled out another hot new music video extolling the benefits of overland and maritime trade routes — this time channeling the timeless TV spot “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.”

The original ad was so popular, the song was re-recorded and became a hit record in the US and UK

The video (link in Chinese) comes to us from People’s Daily, marking the five year anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, a massive trade infrastructure project that aims to connect participating countries across Eurasia via a “new Silk Road.” As you might expect, it features a lot of smiling young people, and lyrics about their love for the project. Here’s a taste:

I’d like to tell the world a truth, and keep it in my heart 

Community of shared future for mankind’s coming true

It’s the Belt and Road, what the world wants today

Watch it on QQ here (we’ll update with a YouTube link as soon as someone rips it, which we’re guessing won’t take too long):

It’s not the first Belt and Road music video we’ve covered here. Who could forget Kazakh heavy fusion group Nan Band’s painfully catchy rap-rock diddy “The Belt and Road, Sing Along”?

This OBOR-Themed Rap-Rock Earworm Won’t Leave Your Head

We’re relatively certain that all these catchy tunes and smiling young folks are just a smokescreen, to take our eyes off the real issue. And that issue is that, in the phrase Belt and Road, “road” refers to ocean-going trade routes, while “belt” refers to land-based trade routes. Who let that one slide?? Obviously “road” should refer to actual roads on land, and the far more abstract “belt” should be used for the ocean. Let’s have these conversations. Stay woke.


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Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a US-based writer, producer, multimedia artist, and former associate editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school to train at the Shaolin Temple but now uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan

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