Keywords: Chinese political cartoons, censorship, propaganda.
In an attempt to map down the dynamics between Chinese political cartoons and institutional power, this short introduction discusses the role of the Chinese artists who were active during the Chinese civil war, the war of resistance against Japan and the cultural revolution. Since their first appearance in Shanghai's newspapers at the beginning of last century, Chinese political cartoons became increasingly popular, playing an important role in some of the most tragic moments of Chinese history. China today is experiencing new and totally different historical and economical phase. Old fashioned propaganda tools still maintain their formal importance but are being gradually traded for more subtle and yet more effective means of persuasion.