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China's cartoon explaining its five-year plan is catchier than most pop songs

China's five-year plans are usually pretty serious affairs. They lay out the country's ideas for economic development and are sometimes used to introduce groundbreaking political changes (for example, Deng Xiaoping announcing plans to open up the country's markets in 1978). However, for the latest five-year plan, Chinese news agency Xinhua has decided to advertise it as light-heartedly as possible, publishing a cheery three-minute cartoon featuring American-accented singers, jingling guitars, and the chorus: "If you wanna know what China’s gonna do, best pay attention to the shí sān wǔ."

It's actually a pretty effective earworm, with shí sān wǔ the name for the 13th five-year plan in numerical format. The video also features a number of recognizably Western cultural icons, including a VW Camper Van, Albert Einstein, and a Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie. It's mostly propaganda, of course, with the lyrics focusing on the impressive amount of planning that goes into the shí sān wǔ, but it's interesting that Xinhua is targeting an audience outside of China. As the Financial Times notes, the real context of this year's five-year plan is a slowing economy, an anti-corruption purge, and a "ham-fisted intervention in financial markets," but that's a little trickier to turn into a cartoon.