See Stefan R. Landsberger in Chinese Propaganda Posters, Taschen,
Cologne, Germany, 2011, p. 20: "Even as late as the 1990s, any depictions
of Mao that did not conform to the stylistic dictates of hong,
guang, liang (red, bright and shining) elicited surprisingly
negative responses from the many elderly and even young Chinese I spoke
In Zhezhong Yuyan, the morpheme 光 (guāng) means, among others,
light, ray; brightness, shine, luster; glory, honor; smooth, shiny,
while 亮 (liàng) means bright, light, shiny.
Basically, 中 (zhōng) means middle.
The path in the middle, or the Middle Way, is called "Zhōngdào".
The land in the middle or China is called "Zhōngguó".
Because of this, zhōng has also acquired the meaning of China
('Zhōngcān', for instance, is Chinese food.)
Anything having the catena predicate in the middle (between positivity and
negativity) is 'zhōngxìng', that is, neutral.
For this reason zhōng may also be associated with neutrality or even
In the original language of this poem 中红/光/亮 (Zhōng hóng /
guāng / liàng) may therefore be variously interpreted as the
red / light / bright(ness) of the
Middle (Path) or of the neutral/neutralism or
Of course, the color red is not in the middle of the rainbow, but at one of
Hence, it is certainly not neutralistic to elevate red to a superior color
in some ultimate and absolute sense.
It is something different, however, to see red as (merely) one of
the colors of the rainbow, as an integral part of an inclusive
spectrum of visible colors.
The 'middle' or 'neutral' red is then the red that is treated as neither
superior nor inferior to the other colors of this spectrum.
Just like the 内 (nèi) of 内心 (nèixīn), the
in of inner may be associated with
inclusive or inclusivism.
内 also occurs in
内中 (nèizhōng), one of two
translations used for neutral-inclusive (the other being the much
longer 中包括性的 or