Demonizing China’s Covid policies is fearmongering

In this insightful article for Global Times, Friends of Socialist China advisory group member Ken Hammond provides an overview of China’s evolving strategy for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic – a strategy that has saved literally millions of lives to date.

Ken also discusses the extraordinary hypocrisy of the Western media’s portrayal of this strategy. For almost three years of Dynamic Zero Covid, “terms like ‘draconian’ were constantly used to criticize China’s measures to control and contain the virus”. Now restrictions have been loosened and “China is denounced for recklessly endangering its people and the rest of the world” – in spite of the fact that “governments in America and Europe have effectively abandoned any efforts to deal with the pandemic over the past year.”

The author makes the important point that this hypocritical reporting is part of a broader campaign of demonization – a reflection of rising anger among the US ruling class as all hopes fade away that China might be subjected to a ‘color revolution’ and become “a compliant, subordinate component of the American-dominated global capitalist order.” Ken opines that the relentless China-bashing is the product of a social class that has come to fear “the loss of the power and privileges they have so long enjoyed based on the extraction of wealth from working people around the planet.”

This demonization campaign creates a dangerous situation, fomenting conflict and standing in the way of the development of cooperation and understanding. People who support peace and progress should firmly oppose the propaganda war on China.

China’s COVID policies have saved millions of lives over the past three years. Yet those policies were attacked by some Western politicians, media pundits, and academics every day. Terms like “draconian” were constantly used to criticize China’s measures to control and contain the virus. China’s achievements in managing the epidemic were unmatched anywhere in the world, yet an ordinary citizen of a Western country can have very little idea of that given the relentless demonization of China to which they are regularly exposed.

Now, in the context of new scientific understandings of the latest variants of the virus, and in an effort to balance the ongoing need to protect the lives of the Chinese people with the goal of carrying forward the development of their economy, a new set of policies and practices is being implemented, relaxing many of the restrictions and controls which have been used over the last three years. One might expect that this would be welcomed in the West, yet quite the opposite has been the case. 

China is now denounced for recklessly endangering its people and the rest of the world, even as governments in America and Europe have effectively abandoned any efforts to deal with the pandemic over the past year. Well over 1.1 million people have died in the US. The same media voices, like the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, or The Guardian, which railed against China’s so-called “oppressive” COVID policies, now spout a steady stream of condemnation of China’s efforts to pursue a more flexible, adaptive COVID policy package.

Continue reading Demonizing China’s Covid policies is fearmongering

Islamic scholars impressed by development and religious freedom in Xinjiang

The following Global Times article is based on an interview with Emirati scholar Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, chairman of the World Muslim Communities Council, following a recent delegation he led of more than 30 Islamic figures and scholars from 14 countries to Xinjiang Province.

Outlining the motivation for the visit, Al Nuaimi points out that there is gross misrepresentation of Xinjiang – and of the situation of Muslims in China generally – in the mainstream media. “I thought it’s very important for the Muslim world to understand what is happening in the Xinjiang region, as seeing is believing.”

Al Nuaimi stated that Muslims in China enjoy freedom of religion, and noted that a Muslim and Chinese identity coexist comfortably. He also spoke highly of the constantly improving standard of living in Xinjiang.

Countering the narrative of Chinese “concentration camps”, Al Nuaimi talks about his visits to technical colleges on this trip and on a previous trip in 2019. He speaks favorably of these colleges, saying they play an essential role teaching training and preparation for the job market. “I am an academician. I visited most of the universities in North America and Europe and their colleges and technical centers. They don’t have this for their youth. I wish that what we have seen today was available in all countries.”

He concludes by urging the people of Xinjiang to ignore the slanders hurled by Western politicians and journalists. “They criticize China because they want to slow or undermine your achievements and your development.”

Led by Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, chairman of The World Muslim Communities Council from the UAE, a delegation including more than 30 Islamic figures and scholars from 14 countries visited Northwest China’s Xinjiang region starting on January 8. They went to mosques, the Xinjiang Islamic Institute, bazaars and many other places to communicate with local residents and religious groups in Urumqi, Altay and Kashi and to get a better understanding of the region’s development and protection of religious freedom.

On the last day of their visit in Kashi, Al Nuaimi was interviewed by Global Times reporters Liu Xin and Fan Lingzhi (GT). He shared his views on the current situation in Xinjiang and the smearing campaign led by a small group of countries to attack China on Xinjiang-related issues. 

GT: We’ve noticed that this is not your first visit to Xinjiang. Are there any specific reasons for you to make this trip?

Al Nuaimi: When I visited this region in 2019, I was with a small delegation from the UAE only. I thought it’s very important for the Muslim world to understand what is happening in the Xinjiang region, as seeing is believing. This is why I invited many colleagues from different countries to come and join the visit. I can see the difference and the development that’s happening here.

Yesterday we visited the old town in Kashi. We saw the market, we saw the people on the street, we engaged with them. We saw how people are enjoying a lifestyle, enjoying the development and you can see their happiness and their smiles.

Continue reading Islamic scholars impressed by development and religious freedom in Xinjiang

Human rights crisis as US Covid cases surpass 100 million

The following article, written by FoSC co-editor Carlos Martinez for CGTN, compares the rising hysteria in the Western media over China’s Covid situation with its near-total silence in relation to the ongoing public health crisis in the US. The US has just surpassed 100 million Covid cases; its Covid death toll exceeds 1 million; and its average life expectancy has dropped to 76.4 years – the lowest since 1999. What’s more, as a result of centuries of systemic racism, the impact of this crisis is multiplied for the black, Latino and indigenous population. The media prefers to sensationalize the wave of Covid cases in China – as a form of deflection and diversion, and as part of the generalized campaign of China-bashing. People should be awake to this tactic, and refuse to be fooled by it.

While the United States is failing to provide global leadership in such areas as ecological protection and the pursuit of peace, it has established itself as something of a COVID-19 trailblazer, with by far the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

This week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. surpassed 100 million. Somewhat surprisingly, this milestone received precious little attention in the Western media, which appears to be far more interested in the evolving COVID-19 situation in China. A Washington Post editorial on December 20 went so far as to claim that “China’s new COVID nightmare could become a global catastrophe.”

Any sentient being would be hard pressed to miss the hypocrisy. The corporate media in the West has, for the last three years, loudly denounced China’s dynamic zero-COVID policy, labeling it as “authoritarian” and “unsustainable.” Now that China’s health authorities have adjusted the strategy in accordance with changing circumstances – the far lower pathogenicity of the dominant Omicron strain, the high level of vaccination, and the improved understanding of how to effectively treat symptoms – all of a sudden U.S. journalists and politicians are concerned for the people of China.

As the veteran Chicago-based education specialist and campaigner Michael Klonsky points out: “The common thread running through all these media stories is that the imperialist mind in the West knows what’s best for China’s health and wealth and has that country’s best interests at heart.”

Continue reading Human rights crisis as US Covid cases surpass 100 million

Covid in China: Western propagandists look set to be disappointed again

The following article by Indian commentator Maitreya Bhakal, originally published in the Global Times, addresses the latest round of Coming Collapse of China hysteria in the imperialist media. Bhakal observes that, having relentlessly mocked China’s dynamic Zero Covid strategy for the last three years, the West is now hoping beyond hope that the lightening of Covid restrictions will trigger a massive public health crisis which will in turn foment widespread dissatisfaction with the Communist Party of China-led government. In these hacks’ fantasy world, the ensuing instability could deliver a mortal blow to Chinese socialism.

Bhakal concludes that the West’s journalists and politicians are destined for frustration: “As with many of their other predictions, whether China’s economy that’s been collapsing for thirty years, or the Communist Party that will be overthrown any time now, Western propagandists look set to be disappointed again.”

If there’s one quality that defines Western civilization, it is racism. Western culture is often filled with bigotry and intolerance.

Few things demonstrate this better than the West’s propaganda around COVID-19.  After all, people generally don’t die in China like the way they do back home. Children aren’t shot in schools, civilians aren’t randomly killed by the police, and drug deaths and violent crime are extremely rare. As a result,  any event that causes Chinese deaths is warmly welcomed by Western propagandists.

As usual, all of this is blamed on China’s political system. Western propaganda is as one-sided as it is lazy: anything wrong in China – from an initial setback against a new disease, to bad weather – is always blamed on China’s supposed “authoritarianism.”

Today, almost three years into the pandemic, Western “democracies” lie devastated. China has four times the population of the US, and its COVID death toll is about 5,200. So far, America’s death toll is 211 times higher, Britain’s 37 times higher, Italy’s 34 times higher, Germany’s 30 times higher, Spain’s 22 times higher, and Canada’s 9 times higher. All these “rich” “democracies” are at the forefront of criticizing China on “human rights”, but they can barely provide their own populations with the most basic human right: the right to live.

So much for the superiority of “democracy.”

Last month, China witnessed a few small-scale protests. The aims and political persuasion of the protestors varied. Some had genuine questions on the direction of China’s COVID policy. Some were protesting local lockdowns in their localities or cities. Some were university students. Some were Westernized liberals. Others were Western propagandists and provocateurs – Western “journalists” or “NGO workers” or “English teachers”, who somehow always seem to materialize at Chinese protest sites. 

Continue reading Covid in China: Western propagandists look set to be disappointed again

Our cold warriors say they know what’s best for China as US covid deaths top 1 million

In this commentary on his Edu/Pol blog, veteran US progressive campaigner Mike Klonsky takes issue with the extraordinary hypocrisy of Western news reporting on the Covid situation in China. Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, the media has, successively: 1) accused China of hatching Covid in a Wuhan lab; 2) attacked China’s dynamic Zero Covid for being authoritarian and/or ineffective; 3) cried copious quantities of crocodile tears over the recent loosening of restrictions, predicting this shift in strategy could result in millions of deaths.

As Mike points out: “The common thread running through all these media stories is that the imperialist mind in the west knows what’s best for China’s health and wealth and has that country’s best interests at heart.”

John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, has stated that the US stands ready to help China in its hour of need. Meanwhile, “US missile cruisers and nuclear submarines, sail into the South China Sea and the White House proclaims that China is enemy number one.” Not to mention the fact that the US is hardly in a great position to be advising other countries on how to manage the pandemic, given that over 300 people a day are still dying from Covid in the US.

Mike concludes with the apt proverb: “Physician, heal thyself.”

Whether it’s about the war in Ukraine or the cold war targeting China, it’s getting harder and harder to distinguish authentic news reports from the cold war propaganda produced daily by western intelligence agencies and willingly regurgitated by compliant reporters and news agencies.

Case in point: The continuing misleading and contradictory stories about China’s battles with Covid. They began, of course with Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that Covid was hatched in a Chinese lab. DT even coined the racist term Kung-flu as an anti-immigration dog whistle.

Then, with Biden, came the next two years, of continuous churn about China’s so-called Zero-Covid strategy which was mocked in the west, but was apparently successful in keeping that country virtually Covid-free while the virus was killing more than a million people here at home.

Not only was Zero-Covid supposedly to blame for China’s and Wall Street’s economic woes, but we were told that the recent anti-lockdown street protests (not unlike those in the west) could even lead to the downfall of China’s President Xi. Instead, the protests actually led to a shift away from Zero-Covid and towards a loosening of many government restrictions.

Continue reading Our cold warriors say they know what’s best for China as US covid deaths top 1 million

Why Chinese “debt trap diplomacy” is a lie

This useful and comprehensive article by Amanda Yee, originally published in Liberation News, discusses the accusation that China is engaged in “debt trap diplomacy”; that it imposes predatory loans on countries of the Global South with a view to taking control of their resources.

Amanda details the most-cited putative examples of this phenomenon – the Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka and the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda – and in both cases demonstrates incontrovertibly that the accusations of “debt trap diplomacy” are false. There is not a single case of China pressuring countries to take unsustainable loans; nor does China use national assets as collateral. The author points out that, in fact, China’s loan conditions are typically far less onerous than those of the West, and that the infrastructure projects it invests in “are determined by the recipient country, not China, based on their own economic and political interests.”

It’s the IMF and World Bank loans, not China’s, that are “granted on conditions of privatizing public sectors, gutting social welfare programs, and trade liberalization to enrich Western capitalist interests.” Thus a debt trap does exist; it was invented by, and continues to be used by, the imperialist powers. Accusations of China employing “debt trap diplomacy” are sheer projection and New Cold War propaganda.

U.S. politicians and corporate media often promote the narrative that China lures developing countries into predatory, high interest loans to build infrastructure projects as part of its Belt and Road Initiative. As the story goes, China anticipates that the borrowing country will default on that loan, so that it can then seize that asset in order to extend its military or geostrategic influence—evidence of China’s so-called colonizing of the Global South.

The concept of Chinese “debt trap diplomacy” finds its origins in a 2017 academic article published by a think tank in Northern India describing China’s financing of Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port. The concept was then picked up by two Harvard graduate students in 2018, when they published a paper accusing China of “debtbook diplomacy” and “leveraging accumulated debt to achieve its strategic aims.” This paper was then widely cited by media publications, the idea of Chinese “debt traps” seeped into Washington and intelligence circles, and a short time later, by November 2018, a Google search of the phrase “debt trap diplomacy” generated nearly two million results.

By now the “debt trap diplomacy” accusation has become a bipartisan one: both the Trump and Biden administrations have peddled it, and it’s been further advanced by organizations such as the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, and corporate media outlets like The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Hill

In one egregious instance, BBC News even edited an interview with Deborah Bräutigam—a scholar known for her work challenging the validity of the Chinese “debt trap diplomacy” myth—to only include her explanation of the myth itself, omitting all evidence she cited against it, leading listeners to believe that Bräutigam was, in fact, claiming the concept was true. 

Problems with the “debt trap diplomacy” myth 

Generally, there are three problems with this “debt trap diplomacy” myth.

The first problem is that this myth assumes China unilaterally dictates Belt and Road Initiative projects to lure other countries into taking on these predatory loans. In reality, Chinese development financing is largely recipient-driven, through bilateral interactions and deals. Infrastructure projects are determined by the recipient country, not China, based on their own economic and political interests.

Continue reading Why Chinese “debt trap diplomacy” is a lie

Analysis of China’s three-year Covid-19 strategy and beyond

In this article, originally published by CGTN, Keith Lamb situates the reaction of the western press to the recent and ongoing modifications made by China to its dynamic zero Covid policy in the context of its coverage throughout the last three years of the pandemic. Basing himself on his time spent in China, he explains that he saw for himself how western reporting was inaccurate; how China would be damned by them no matter what it did; and that it would be foolish for China to take advice from such media and the class it serves.

Keith further notes that China has spent the last three years developing antidotes and modernizing its health service. This has created the basis for the recent changes, which have “already been pounced upon by the corporate media who now, making an abrupt turn, warn that opening up will endanger public health. In light of lockdown propaganda, equated with human rights abuse, this concern for China’s health is just a continuation of using the media to delegitimize China to Western domestic audiences and stir up class divisions in China.”

My time in China during the COVID-19 outbreak taught me three things about transnational corporate media reporting on China. First, reporting was inaccurate regarding events and sentiments on the ground. Second, no matter what China did, it would be damned by these media. Third, considering the inaccuracy and malice it would be foolish for China to take advice from these media and their class interests.

In regard to China’s COVID-19 policy, the corporate press exaggerated minority disgruntlement to convey a totality of an undemocratic hellscape to Western audiences. Lockdowns though implemented organically before they became official policy were presented using an “oppressing human rights” narrative.

Regarding human rights, the U.S. with its laissez-faire policy, favored by transnational capital, lost over one million lives to COVID-19. China has a larger population, denser urbanization, a developing healthcare system, and a family structure where three generations often live under one roof. Had China opened up early, when the virus was most virulent, its death toll could have been higher than the U.S.’s.

If China, urged on by the corporate media, followed the U.S. example then this press, full of schadenfreude, would have vilified China’s governing system which could have faced a crisis for valuing market interests above the democratic interest to protect all life. Ironically, transnational interests would have further leveraged misunderstandings, concerning China’s socialist market economy and the nature of class contradictions in the developmental process, to depict China’s system as aping imperialism.

Continue reading Analysis of China’s three-year Covid-19 strategy and beyond

The left should resist the propaganda war against Beijing

The following Morning Star editorial highlights how absurd it is for ordinary people in Britain to blindly accept the dominant anti-China narrative, pointing to the impressive progress China has made in improving people’s lives at a time when Britain has been suffering under a brutal austerity and neoliberal free-market fundamentalism.

For example, while wages have consistently fallen in real terms over the last decade in Britain, in China they have been increasing at a rate of 10 percent per year. Meanwhile, while “China is developing mass rapid transit systems and leading the world in green technology,” Britain is “actively degrading its transport network and subsidising fossil fuel profits.”

The purpose of this relentless propaganda against China is to build public support for the New Cold War. The article concludes: “It is time socialists adopted greater scepticism towards our rulers’ claims about China. They are aimed at enrolling us in the defence of US and British imperialism — and undermining our systemic challenge to capitalism at home.”

Rising prices, falling living standards, a government in turmoil although united around its anti-union, anti-democratic and anti-environment agenda — but at least we don’t live in China.

That’s been the message of an amplifying propaganda discourse against Beijing in the run-up to its 20th Communist Party congress, which opened today.

Read Martin Wolf or Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times, and China’s economic policies are disastrous, even if they have delivered (as Rachman notes) “thousands of miles of new motorways and high-speed rail over the past 20 years” and made “Western executives sigh in envy at China’s ability to plan for the long term.”

British workers, who have endured more than a decade of falling pay, might envy China’s record (average wages have risen at over 10 per cent a year since 2010, leading the median wage to rise from 37,147 yuan in 2010 to 97,379 in 2020, a 162 per cent increase).

Of course, it is from a poorer base. But China’s GDP grew by 120 per cent between 2010 and 2020. So wages have outpaced GDP growth in China, while in Britain wages flatlined even while the economy was growing.

Continue reading The left should resist the propaganda war against Beijing

Manufacturing consent for the containment and encirclement of China

The following detailed article by Carlos Martinez explores the escalating propaganda war being waged by the imperialist powers against China. Carlos notes that “propaganda wars can also be war propaganda”, and that the torrent of anti-China slander has a clear purpose of manufacturing broad public consent for the US-led New Cold War.

Carlos shows how the propaganda model described in Herman and Chomsky’s classic work Manufacturing Consent has been updated and enhanced using modern communication techniques, and how it is being applied today against China, in particular in relation to the allegations of human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Carlos introduces the most frequently-hurled slanders on this topic and debunks them in detail.

The author concludes that this propaganda campaign is serving to “break the bonds of solidarity within the global working class and all those opposed to imperialism”, and that all progressives must resolutely oppose and expose it.

If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. (Malcolm X)

The Western media is waging a systematic and ferocious propaganda war against China. In the court of Western public opinion, China stands accused of an array of terrifying crimes: conducting a genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang; wiping out democracy in Hong Kong; militarising the South China Sea; attempting to impose colonial control over Taiwan; carrying out a land grab in Africa; preventing Tibetans and Inner Mongolians from speaking their languages; spying on the good peoples of the democratic world; and more.

Australian scholar Roland Boer has characterised these accusations as “atrocity propaganda – an old anti-communist and indeed anti-anyone-who-does-not-toe-the-Western-line approach that tries to manufacture a certain image for popular consumption.” Boer observes that this propaganda serves to create an impression of China as a brutal authoritarian dystopia which “can only be a fiction for anyone who actually spends some time in China, let alone lives there.”[1]

It’s not difficult to understand why China would be subjected to this sort of elaborate disinformation campaign. This media offensive is part of the imperialist world’s ongoing attempts to reverse the Chinese Revolution, to subvert Chinese socialism, to weaken China, to diminish its role in international affairs and, as a result, to undermine the global trajectory towards multipolarity and a future free from hegemonism. As journalist Chen Weihua has pointed out, “the reasons for the intensifying US propaganda war are obvious: Washington views a fast-rising China as a challenge to its primacy around the world.” Furthermore, “the success of a country with a different political system is unacceptable to politicians in Washington.”[2]

Continue reading Manufacturing consent for the containment and encirclement of China

Chinese ‘imperialism’ in Hong Kong concerns US Media; Puerto Rican, Palestinian colonies, not so much

We’re pleased to republish this article from 2020 by Joshua Cho, originally published in FAIR, about the startling hypocrisy in the media coverage of Hong Kong, particularly when compared to the coverage of Puerto Rico and Palestine. There was a storm of articles about the national security law in Hong Kong, with numerous Western media outlets describing it as an example of “colonialism” – ignoring the rather important fact that Hong Kong is part of China. Meanwhile, these same media outlets participate in a conspiracy of silence around the very real colonialism of the US against the people of Puerto Rico and the Israeli state against the Palestinians.

The article has lost none of its relevance in the period since its original publication.

When China passed a national security law for Hong Kong on June 30, criminalizing terrorism, secession and subversion of the Chinese government, as well as collusion with foreign governments, massive condemnations resounded all over Western media.

Vox (5/21/20) described it as an “official death sentence” for the “one country, two systems” model of governance in Hong Kong. Business Insider’s headline (7/1/20) described China’s national security law as having “killed Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in less than a year.” The Washington Post (7/3/20) ran an op-ed mocking China’s actions as “nothing less than imperialism with Chinese characteristics.” The Atlantic (7/1/20) described Hong Kong as a “colony once more,” equating the Chinese government with previous British and Japanese “overlords in a distant capital” making “decisions on Hong Kong’s behalf.”

Of course, while Western media describe the national security law as something China “imposed” on Hong Kong, these same outlets rarely if ever present the “one country, two systems” model of governance in Hong Kong as something that was imposed on China by British imperialism, when London refused to unconditionally return the former colony to China. Hong Kong was violently seized from China with the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, after the British waged a war to impose the opium trade on China, causing about 90 million Chinese people to develop an addiction by the end of the 19th century.

Continue reading Chinese ‘imperialism’ in Hong Kong concerns US Media; Puerto Rican, Palestinian colonies, not so much

Press TV’s record countering disinformation against China

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Press TV, on July 2, 2022 an extensive interview was carried out by the Tehran-based channel’s anchor and producer Kaveh Taghvai with Arnold August of Montreal, and journalist Elijah Magnier of Marseille, France. We are pleased to reproduce extracts from the special anniversary edition of the Spotlight programme of Iran’s Press TV that deal with China. August focused on the impressive Press TV pushback against US-led disinformation regarding China, such as “genocide” in Xinjiang, Hong Kong protesters, Taiwan, the “authoritarian” rule of the Communist Party of China. Also dealt with were the Press TV coverage of the China-Iran twenty-five-year cooperation agreement, BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative.

China-based journalists respond to Western media attacks

In the video embedded below, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong interviews CGTN’s Li Jingjing and China Daily’s Ian Goodrum on their insights into the Western media’s attacks on China-based journalism and anyone who stands up to anti-China narratives. Of particular note is Li Jingjing’s personal experience of being slandered by three different Western news outlets (The New York Times, AP, and the Daily Beast) in a span of less than six months.

How two US athletes effortlessly subverted information war against the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Our Co-Editor Danny Haiphong, in a piece originally published on The Chronicles of Haiphong, deftly takes down the malicious coverage of the Beijing Winter Olympics by the US media, from the overtly white supremacist to the supposedly liberal and progressive. He shows how two honest US sportspeople, Tessa Maud and Aaron Blunk, without making any overtly political comments, but simply by telling the truth and honestly relating their own experiences, have rendered a great service to the cause of peace and friendship among peoples. As Danny notes: “Humanizing China represents a direct threat to the New Cold War agenda.”

Few events have been more politicized than the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. New cold warriors and atrocity propagandists led by the United States did everything in their power to generate popular support for a full boycott of the Games. NED-backed organizations formed a coalition for the cause, the corporate media engaged in a full-scale “China bad” propaganda blitz, and the political establishment got busy crafting several pieces of legislation to respond to the so-called “China threat.” Their efforts failed. To save face, the U.S. implemented a non-consequential “diplomatic boycott” that found support from only a handful of junior partners in the West.

However, failure didn’t put an end to the U.S.-led information war at the heart of the boycott campaign. American and Western mainstream journalists attending the Games have used the opportunity to intensify the spread of anti-China propaganda. Chinese American skier Eileen Gu has been repeatedly targeted for choosing to represent China. Her decision triggered an intense backlash rooted in racist attitudes which are prevalent across the U.S. political spectrum. Eileen Gu was repeatedly labeled a traitor to the United States and even The Nation, a so-called “progressive” media outlet, was willing to publish an article citing a literal white supremacist organization just to defame her.

Continue reading How two US athletes effortlessly subverted information war against the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

Danny Haiphong and Richard Medhurst explode anti-China myths

In this detailed interview with independent journalist Richard Medhurst, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Danny Haiphong explores the intense anti-China propaganda surrounding the Beijing Winter Olympics. Danny connects this propaganda to the broader context of the US-led New Cold War, being waged in large part to contain China and to prevent the emergence of a multipolar, democratic system of international relations in which the US can no longer maintain its political and economic hegemony. Danny and Richard specifically address the accusations around cultural genocide in Xinjiang; Eileen Gu’s decision to represent China at the Olympics; the so-called disappearance of Peng Shuai; and China’s Zero Covid strategy.

Bigotry Unbound: the US media’s anti-China propaganda blitz

We are pleased to republish this article from US novelist and journalist Eve Ottenberg, originally carried on Counterpunch, in which she exposes how the racist, anti-communist, and at times downright fascist anti-China propaganda of important sections of the US media fuels both murderous racism at home and the danger of catastrophic war abroad.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans mushroomed over the past two years. According to the Guardian, they jumped 567 percent in San Francisco since 2021, and you don’t have to look far to find out why. The main reason is, quite simply, incessant China-bashing in the mainstream media.  This propaganda campaign was kicked off by Trump in his last year in office with absurd, dangerous and bombastic claims that China, perhaps deliberately, caused covid. The anti-China hysteria spread like measles. Now the American right-wing deploys Nazi tropes against the Chinese – a repulsive example was a January 25 Washington Times article headlined “Chinese Communist Party Termites Are Everywhere in the U.S.” With Nazi poison like this circulating through red-blooded American veins, can war fever be far behind?

Meanwhile news industry giants, many serving as pentagon mouthpieces, are totally onboard with this media blitzkrieg. One of the most atrocious instigators is the New York Times. Take its so-called coverage of China’s superior covid policies, “reporting” so slanted you could roll a truckload of innuendos down it.

Unlike the incompetent, murderous, free-market, anti-public health non-system in the U.S., which has killed 900,000 people in a population of 330 million, China, population 1.4 billion, has contained covid deaths to a mere several thousand. These statistics reflect very poorly on our vaunted capitalist arrangement. Indeed, many Americans have been shocked by the comparison of their inept, homicidal health care scheme to communism’s stellar success. So, in jumps the Times January 13 with a crude philippic, trashing China for saving lives from the virus and, drumroll… you got it, suggesting China’s Zero Covid policy can be compared to the Holocaust.

Continue reading Bigotry Unbound: the US media’s anti-China propaganda blitz

The US Left’s China exception: the case of Dave Zirin

We are very pleased to publish this important article by our co-editor Danny Haiphong, originally published on The Chronicles of Haiphong. Using the Beijing Winter Olympics as his starting point, Danny outlines how even some of the most respected voices on the American left have a tendency to drop their progressive values when it comes to China. Danny identifies this as the China Exception. Whilst doubtless a play on the concept of American Exceptionalism, the phenomenon identified and analysed by Danny can also be seen in other imperialist countries, not least in Britain.

I like Dave Zirin. I really do. Zirin is one of the few journalists who analyzes sports from a leftists perspective. His work generally brings a refreshing take on the ways race and class impact one of the most widely consumed areas of popular culture. This article is not a polemic of Zirin’s body of work but rather a demonstration of a troubling trend.

With that said, Zirin and his colleague Jules Boykoff at The Nation have repeatedly demonstrated what I call the China Exception on the American Left. The China Exception is the tendency for even principled left activists and journalists to make critical concessions to the U.S. establishment on the question of China. Those who commit to the China Exception repeat the subtle yet dangerous aspects of the U.S.’s New Cold War propaganda while claiming to be opposed to a “hot war” with China. The conclusion is always that is bad and doesn’t deserve solidarity from the American Left—not even in the form of concrete opposition to U.S. aggression.

Continue reading The US Left’s China exception: the case of Dave Zirin

Eileen Gu doesn’t care what you think – and no one else should, either

We are pleased to republish this article by Ian Goodrum, originally published in China Daily on 9 February 2022, comprehensively exposing the stark hypocrisy of those criticising Eileen Gu (Gu Ailing) for choosing to compete for China in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Since she was 15, Eileen Gu (Gu Ailing) has had a target on her back.

The US-born freestyle skier of Chinese heritage announced in 2019 she would be competing for the People’s Republic at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, a decision met with enthusiasm in China — for obvious reasons — but intense animosity on the other side of the Pacific. On social media, vile comments flooded in calling her every name under the sun. Gu was ungrateful, they said, and had spurned the country they felt was entitled to her labor.

That already venomous response shifted into overdrive this week, when Gu, now 18, won gold in women’s freeski big air. Her miraculous run included a career-first 1620 in competition, barely edging out her nearest opponent and sending her name into the stratosphere.

Continue reading Eileen Gu doesn’t care what you think – and no one else should, either

Book review: Uyghurs – to put an end to fake news

We are pleased to republish this summary of the French-language book, ‘Uyghurs: To put an end to fake news’, reviewed by Roger Keenan on the website Marxism-Leninism Today. Written by Maxime Vivas, a writer, journalist and former postal worker, the book refutes new cold war propaganda and presents the true situation, based on the author’s research as well as his travel to Xinjiang.

The United States government is ratcheting up a cold war against China.  The Biden administration’s  agreement to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, its decision to create a new department in the CIA aimed at countering China, and its recent decision to impose a diplomatic boycott on the Chinese Winter Olympics are just three recent signs of the aggressive posture taken by the U.S. in the new cold war.   A key part of the new cold war is a tidal wave of ideological attacks on China aimed at showing that China is a threat—to human rights, democracy, women’s rights, labor rights, and American security.   All of this is geared to justify American belligerence toward China and generate support for this belligerence and a frightened public’s willingness to pay for it.  (Recently the Senate passed a bill previously passed by the House calling for $768 billion appropriation of Defense Department, $24 billion more than either Biden or the Pentagon sought.)  A centerpiece of this ideological offensive that the mass media amplifies on a daily basis is that China is committing genocide against its Moslem Uyghur minority in the Xinjiang autonomous region.

Even though  most politicians, as well as the general population,  have no idea who the Uyghurs are, where Xinjiang is on a map, what Chinese policy toward the Uyghurs is, or even how to pronounce Uyghur, they buy the idea of Uyghur genocide.    The widespread ignorance makes Maxime Vivas’s book  so valuable.  Vivas not only provides a primer on the Uyghurs and Xinjiang, but also explains the Chinese policy in Xinjiang, and makes a forceful argument that the charge of genocide is of apiece with other lies like those about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that serve to justify American imperial belligerence.

Continue reading Book review: Uyghurs – to put an end to fake news

Justin Podur: Why comparing Chinese Africa investment to Western colonialism Is no joke

We are very pleased to reproduce this article from FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) in which Justin Podur dissects a recent broadcast by South African comedian Trevor Noah, which made facile claims that China was colonising Africa. Whilst not hesitating to acknowledge shortcomings and mistakes, Podur presents a detailed refutation of Noah’s claims and, in so doing, draws apt comparisons between China’s contributions to Africa’s development and the truly murderous and rapacious history of imperialism and colonialism on the continent.

“Why China Is in Africa” (12/16/21) is a question Trevor Noah took up last month for Comedy Central‘s Daily Show. As with many of the topics taken up by the Daily Show, the issue is no joke: China has a large and growing economic presence in many African countries. The China/Africa deals cry out for analysis: Are they different from the deals on offer from Western countries like the US, Britain or France?

Post-independence Africa’s economic relationship with the West has been mediated through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Funding for projects comes with a range of conditionalities; when Western loans come due, the IMF demands painful cuts to health and education programs as the price of refinancing. In the past, the IMF has taken outright control of African governments. At other times, the US has sponsored coupsassassinated leaders and fomented civil wars on the continent.

Continue reading Justin Podur: Why comparing Chinese Africa investment to Western colonialism Is no joke