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Couple Spends Wedding Night Copying Out Chinese Constitution

The romantic gesture is part of a larger loyalty campaign to the country's Communist Party.

19/05/2016 7:43 AM AEST | Updated 19/05/2016 7:46 AM AEST
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Nanchang Railway Bureau/Sohu
Hand copying the Chinese constitution left newlyweds Li Yunpeng and Chen Xuanchi "with fond memories on their wedding night," their employer said.

Most newlyweds spend their wedding night reveling with family and friends. This couple, however, chose to do something totally different.

Seated near a bed adorned with balloons and towel swans, and dressed in a Western suit and a traditional cheongsam, Li Yunpeng and Chen Xuanchi neatly transcribed the Chinese Communist Party constitution.

It's unclear whether the couple wrote out all 15,000 characters of the document, but photos of the romantic affair did show a few sheets of paper with dozens of handwritten Chinese characters on them. One of the sheets appeared to be signed with two red thumb prints in the shape of a heart.

The activity "left the newlyweds with fond memories on their wedding night," the Nanchang Railway Bureau, where Li works as an engineer and Chen a repair shop assistant, wrote on Monday.

Nanchang Railway Bureau/Sohu
The couple's employer, state-owned Nanchang Railway Bureau, has been getting its employees to copy out the Chinese constitution as part of a 100 day loyalty campaign.

Li and Chen's copying out the constitution was part of a loyalty campaign, titled "Hand Copy the Constitution for 100 Days," that the state-owned Nanchang Railway Bureau launched for its employees last month. In its post about Li and Chen's wedding night, the railway bureau also posted photos of neatly transcribed passages from the constitution by other members of its staff.

The constitution-copying sprint comes after the government announced a national education campaign, which emphasizes learning about the constitution, Communist Party rules, and President Xi Jinping's speeches, according to state-run newspaper Global Times.

A WeChat account affiliated to state-run newspaper People's Daily, which goes by the handle "Learn from President Xi Jinping," also urges followers to hand-copy the constitution and display their masterpieces on social media.

Nanchang Railway Bureau/Sohu
The newlyweds seal their transcription of the constitution with two red thumb prints in the shape of a heart.

News about the couple copying out the constitution at their wedding was met with ire and disbelief on social media.

"They're faking it," one user wrote on popular microblogging platform Weibo.

"Middle-aged and under pressure at work? Copy the constitution! Body over-exhausted, muscles aching, and unable to satisfy her? Copy the constitution!" another user mocked. "Copying the constitution has no side effects and is in fact essential for foreplay."

"Didn't the party say it was against the Cultural Revolution?" one user noted. The comment referred to Chinese state media acknowledging that the infamous ten-year movement was wrong and would not happen again, after the country virtually ignored its 50th anniversary.

Nanchang Railway Bureau/Sohu
A handwritten copy of the constitution by a Nanchang Railway Bureau employee, placed between booklets of the Chinese constitution and President Xi Jinping's speeches.

Since his rise to China's presidency in 2013, Xi has attempted to amplify nationalist sentiments and consolidate the Party's power over the country.

Earlier this year, the country's education ministry issued a directive urging all Chinese students in the country and those studying abroad, and across education levels, to dedicate themselves even more to "patriotic education."

Last year, People's Daily released a video featuring foreign students describing Xi as "wise and resolute," "a little bit cute," and the perfect future husband. When the leaked Panama Papers revealed that Xi's relatives owned secret offshore accounts, the Communist Party ordered a media blackout.

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