Global Times interview with Carlos Martinez

What follows below is the full text of a written interview of Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, conducted by the Global Times.

The interview deals with a wide range of issues, including the New Cold War on China, the nature of Chinese socialism, the Belt and Road Initiative, capitalist versus socialist democracy, and anti-China propaganda in the Western media.

An abridged version was published in the Global Times on 31 August 2023.

Could you please briefly introduce yourself to us? When did you start to study China? And what made you start to be interested in the country?

I’m an author and campaigner from London, Britain, with a longstanding interest in the socialist countries and global anti-imperialism. My first book, released in 2019, was about the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union. I was involved in setting up the No Cold War campaign in 2020, and the Friends of Socialist China platform in 2021.

There were two main motivations for me to start studying China. The first comes from being a Marxist and wanting to understand how socialism is constructed in the real world. The second comes from being anti-imperialist and anti-war, and wanting to understand China’s role in the development of a peaceful and multipolar world.

The more I study China, the more I realise how poorly it’s understood in the West. In recent years, the anti-China propaganda in the media has been increasingly intense, corresponding to the rise of the US-led New Cold War. Many people have this absurd idea of China as some sort of authoritarian dystopia that’s intent on taking over the world. Many people believe the media’s disgraceful slanders about the suppression of human rights in Xinjiang, and so on.

China is misunderstood even on the left: lots of people believe that, because China uses market mechanisms, or because there are some very rich people in China, that it can’t be socialist any more. But then how do we explain China’s achievements? China has raised living standards beyond recognition; it’s become the world leader in renewable energy; it’s gone from being a poor and backward country to being a science and technology powerhouse; it’s leading the global shift to multipolarity; its life expectancy now exceeds that of the US. All this is historic and unprecedented progress, on a scale which has never been achieved by any capitalist country. Why on earth would the left want to attribute these successes to capitalism rather than socialism?

Continue reading Global Times interview with Carlos Martinez

Aymeric Monville: Report back from Xinjiang

We are very pleased to publish below the report by the progressive French academic Aymeric Monville of his recent (August 2023) trip to Xinjiang. The report responds directly to the obscene anti-Chinese propaganda that has been raging for several years in the Western media regarding ostensible human rights abuses against China’s Uyghur population.

Aymeric describes his visits, along with the writer Maxime Vivas, to Kashgar, Urumqi and assorted villages. The picture he paints is dramatically different from the stereotype found in the Western media of a dystopian nightmare characterised by brutal repression and cultural genocide.

Arriving at the Kashgar bazaar in the middle of the night, I found it to be a profusion of light, joy, song and happy people in the streets. In particular, the sight of young women on scooters, their hair blowing in the wind, gave me an impression of great freedom.

He notes that, if the whole thing had been somehow staged for his benefit, it would have been a remarkable feat of organisation: “an absolute record for a Hollywood production involving literally thousands of people”.

Of particular note is the account of a visit to a de-radicalisation centre – what would be described in the Western media as a “concentration camp”:

In fact, it was a school where young people who had not committed any crimes but had been influenced by jihadism were taught not only Mandarin so that they could integrate into Chinese society, but also the constitution and a trade. They can play sport, winning table tennis competitions for example, and can go home at weekends. Recognising the basic characters 图书馆, I realise that this is the school library and ask to enter. I also asked to be shown books in Uyghur as well as Mandarin, which was done. I was also assured that the pupils’ Muslim faith is respected and I have no reason to doubt this.

The report includes an interesting discussion of the Uyghur language – its origins, widespread use, and connection to Uyghur culture – as well as various observations on the everyday activities and living conditions of the Uyghur people. There is no evidence of any “cultural genocide”; indeed massive efforts are made to protect the diverse cultures of the region. Monville points out that, if religious fundamentalist separatists were allowed to succeed in their aims, this cultural diversity would come under serious threat: “We can be sure that Uyghur culture in all its diversity, like that of the other ethnic groups living in the region, would have been very much at risk of eradication.”

The report is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the truth about Xinjiang. We hope it will be widely disseminated.

Aymeric Monville, born in France in 1977, is the author of several philosophical and political essays. In English, he has just published “Neocapitalism according to Michel Clouscard” (foreword by Gabriel Rockhill). He is deeply involved in the fight against anti-Chinese propaganda, and has published essays in France such as “The Ramblings of the Antichinese in France” and “China without Blinkers”.

I am back from Xinjiang, where I spent several days in the company of the writer Maxime Vivas, some of whose books I have had the honour of publishing. We visited Kashgar, a town close to the Afghan border with a 92 percent Uyghur population; then Urumqi, the capital with a population of over 2 million; and finally the new town of Shihezi, developed in the 1950s by the bingtuan (兵团), peasant-soldiers sent by Mao Zedong to develop pioneer areas so as not to have to compete with the local population for water in this semi-desert region. Not forgetting a diversion to sublime Lake Tianchi, to the east of the Celestial Mountains.

Xinjiang has around 25 million inhabitants in an area three times the size of France, but only 9.7 percent of the territory is inhabitable, so I think that this visit to the major urban centres and the main roads used to reach them gives me a sufficiently representative overview to be able to talk about this region with more authority than many French journalists who have never been there, certainly not recently, and particularly since the slander campaign orchestrated by Mike Pompeo and the CIA from 2019.

It was my first visit, and the third for Maxime Vivas.

Having long understood that the campaign about the alleged “genocide of the Uyghurs”, the “genocide in progress” (according tothe French daily Libération) or the “cultural genocide”, the forced sterilisation of women and so on, which has even been voted on by the French National Assembly, is nothing more than a copy and paste of the same campaign that took place ten or fifteen years earlier on Tibet, I was obviously expecting to meet many Uyghurs living in perfectly decent conditions. Nevertheless, I was struck by the relative prosperity of this remote region of China. Arriving at the Kashgar bazaar in the middle of the night, a few hours late, I found it to be a profusion of light, joy, song and happy people in the streets. In particular, the sight of young women on scooters, their hair blowing in the wind, gave me an impression of great freedom and made me think of what their fate would be on the other side of the Afghan border, where they would lose all their rights. We asked people in the street to pose for photos with us. Everyone, including the women, happily participated.

Continue reading Aymeric Monville: Report back from Xinjiang

NYT publishes hit job on anti-war activists; solidarity must be the answer

In the following article, published by Workers World, John Catalinotto exposes the agenda behind the now notorious August 5 article carried by the New York Times purportedly exposing a number of organisations in the United States and elsewhere that stand for peace, against the new cold war, and for constructive relations with China, as agents of the Chinese state and communist party.

Many of these organisations have apparently been funded by Roy Singham, former owner of a software consultancy, who has evidently been following a well-trodden path of wealthy Americans, namely devoting a portion of his fortune to bodies and institutions that share his personal convictions and interests. The only thing that is exceptional, and to the ruling class unacceptable, is that Roy’s personal convictions and interests happen to be those of peace, anti-imperialism and socialism.

Following the publication of the Times story, Marco Rubio, the arch-reactionary Florida senator and a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, has written to US Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding that the Department of Justice investigate whether Roy and nine named organisations are complying with the terms of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), an anti-democratic law that has historically been used to target a range of progressive people, including leading figures struggling for African-American liberation and Irish freedom.

In his Workers World article, John explains how, over decades, the New York Times, a house journal of the US ruling class that grandiloquently claims to be the repository of “all the news that’s fit to print”, has, liberal pretentions notwithstanding, touted for every US act of aggression, from Vietnam through Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and others, to Ukraine and China today. 

John makes the important point that the attack triggered by the New York Times article is but the latest salvo in a neo-McCarthyite wave that has already targeted others, from the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP), its Chairman Omali Yeshitela, and the organisations that work in the white community under its leadership, the African People’s Solidarity Committee and the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, to numerous Chinese Americans, from prominent academics and scientists to a Boston hotel worker and union activist. As John notes:

“It’s important to include all these attacks, because the movement must respond in a united way. An attack on one is an attack on all.”

Once in a while, the New York Times runs an article that reveals what this media conglomerate really represents.

People often call the Times “liberal.” That’s because it seems to oppose some of the most reactionary politicians, like president #45, and gives ample opinion space to diverse voices.

When Washington mobilizes for war, however, the Times doffs its liberal cloak and exposes itself as a loudspeaker for U.S. imperialist interests. That’s what it did Aug. 5, running a front page hit job on progressive organizations and on a donor to these causes. The verbal attack replayed 1950s McCarthyism.

Though the article had clear political goals and lacked hard evidence, the Times disguised it as investigative journalism. Four Times’ reporters produced propaganda aimed at repressing voices that oppose Washington’s preparation for war, in this case war with China. It’s important in the context of the Aug. 5 article to be conscious of the fact that the Times pays these journalists to write —  and to follow editorial “guidelines.”

Continue reading NYT publishes hit job on anti-war activists; solidarity must be the answer

Report: Online launch of The East is Still Red

On Sunday 13 August 2023, Friends of Socialist China, the International Manifesto Group, Midwestern Marx and Critical Theory Workshop jointly held an online book launch for Carlos Martinez’s The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century.

Speakers included Carlos Martinez, Ben Chacko (editor of the Morning Star), Chen Weihua (China Daily EU bureau chief), Amanda Yee (writer and podcaster), Dan Kovalik (author of NICARAGUA: A History of US Intervention and Resistance), Sara Flounders (author of SANCTIONS – A Wrecking Ball in a Global Economy) and Charles Xu of Qiao Collective. The event was chaired by Professor Radhika Desai.

In Carlos’s introduction, he focused on debunking the notion that China has become an imperialist country, describing this as a powerfully demobilising idea at a time when we should be uniting the broadest possible forces against the US-led New Cold War. Carlos posed the following questions about China: Does it seek to dominate foreign markets, land, labour and resources? Does it use its economic strength to dictate policy or assert hegemony over poorer countries? Does it go to war in pursuit of its economic interests? Does it engage in regime change, destabilisation, unilateral sanctions and economic coercion, in pursuit of its economic interests?

Carlos argued that the answer to all these questions is a resounding no. He pointed out that China has not been involved in a war in over four decades, and does not have a global infrastructure of military bases or troop deployments. He also pointed out that China does not engage in regime change, destabilisation or unilateral sanctions, and has never used its economic strength to dictate policy or assert hegemony over poorer countries. He contrasted this with the record of the US and its allies – a record of military, economic and political imperialism.

Ben Chacko pointed out that it is crucial to develop a better understanding of China at the current time, in the context of rising US hostility and an emerging New Cold War. Highlighting the Biden regime’s extreme inconsistency in its China policy – on the one hand saying that it wants a cooperative relationship, and on the other hand undermining the One China Principle and escalating attempts at containment and encirclement – Ben noted that the US isn’t at all sure of its ability to actually win a Cold War against China. As such, it is making preparations for a potential hot war on China, which would clearly be disastrous for humanity.

Continue reading Report: Online launch of The East is Still Red

Richard D Wolff: The fatal contradictions of China-bashing

This short essay by Marxist economist Richard D Wolff assesses the frenzied China-bashing that the US political and media mainstream is currently engaged in. Wolff observes that the wave of sinophobic propaganda is designed to “provide convenient cover” for US attempts to militarily intimidate and economically strangle China.

Additionally, scapegoating China provides a convenient way for the US ruling class to deflect criticism of a vicious neoliberal capitalism that has working people experiencing a chronic decline in living standards. “Scapegoating China joins with scapegoating immigrants, BIPOCs, and many of the other usual targets. The broader decline of the U.S. empire and capitalist economic system confronts the nation with the stark question: whose standard of living will bear the burden of the impact of this decline?” As long as China can be blamed for all problems, the US government can continue with its program of austerity, deregulation and inflation.

The author points out that antagonizing, and decoupling from, China could prove to be highly detrimental to the US economy. He calls on people to “see through the contradictions of China-bashing to prevent war, seek mutual accommodation, and thereby rebuild a new version of the joint prosperity that existed before Trump and Biden.”

This article was originally published in Asia Times.

The contradictions of China-bashing in the United States begin with how often it is flat-out untrue.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the “Chinese spy” balloon that President Joe Biden shot down with immense patriotic fanfare in February did not in fact transmit pictures or anything else to China.

White House economists have been trying to excuse persistent US inflation saying it is a global problem and inflation is worse elsewhere in the world. China’s inflation rate is 0.7% year on year.

Financial media outlets stress how China’s GDP growth rate is lower than it used to be. China now estimates that its 2023 GDP growth will be 5-5.5%. Estimates for the US GDP growth rate in 2023, meanwhile, vacillate around 1-2%.

China-bashing has intensified into denial and self-delusion – it is akin to pretending that the United States did not lose wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and more.

The BRICS coalition (China and its allies) now has a significantly larger global economic footprint (higher total GDP) than the Group of Seven (the United States and its allies).

China is outgrowing the rest of the world in research and development expenditures.

The American empire (like its foundation, American capitalism) is not the dominating global force it once was right after World War II. The empire and the economy have shrunk in size, power and influence considerably since then. And they continue to do so.

Putting that genie back into the bottle is a battle against history that the United States is not likely to win.

Continue reading Richard D Wolff: The fatal contradictions of China-bashing

Reality in Xinjiang belies US propaganda

In the second article carried by the US newspaper Workers World regarding the recent visit by Workers World Party and International Action Center members to China as part of a delegation organised by the China/US Solidarity Network, Sara Flounders, who is also a member of our advisory group, reports on their visit to Xinjiang, where the group gathered footage for a forthcoming documentary that aims to show the reality of life in the autonomous region, which has been a major propaganda focus of the US-led new cold war on China.

Having visited the regional capital of Urumqi and the ancient city of Kashgar, as well as the countryside, small towns and villages, Sara writes: “Torrents of US media reports had told us to expect cities under martial law, military forces of occupation and heavily armed police on every corner…Coming from the New York City area, I expected a police force of at least equal size. The New York City police force is the world’s eighth-largest armed body. On our return, reports of ‘Stop and Frisk’ programs centered on Black and Brown youth dominated the media…

“What we saw in Xinjiang was vibrant cities…full of tens of thousands of tourists, along with the local population of many nationalities. Huge and colorful marketplaces and bazaars, almost all of them run by Uygur families, stretched for many blocks. Busy subway lines crossed the cities. Everywhere we saw food markets brimming with inexpensive produce. Restaurants,  cafés,  and street food stalls were packed with local people. In the evenings, the streets were full – not silent and ominous.”

Outlining the region’s social progress in health, education and other areas, Sara notes: “The illiteracy rate in Xinjiang has fallen to 2.66%, lower than the country’s impressive 2.85% national average. At the time of the 1949 Chinese Revolution, illiteracy was 80% throughout China and more than 90% in Tibet and Xinjiang. Today 97.51% of small children are in preschool programs. Some 98.82% of the youth are enrolled in senior high schools in Xinjiang.”

In Kashgar, she reports that the 15th century Idkah Mosque can house up to 20,000 worshippers. “It is only one of the numerous Islamic centers and mosques, which we saw while walking the city streets and in several villages. Tall, slender minarets and dome-shaped roofs seemed to be a part of every block.”

No wonder, therefore, that, in stark contrast to the harsh sanctions imposed by the US government: “No Arab or Muslim countries have joined in the US rewriting of history and its targeted attacks on China. This is because these countries know that the US government is responsible for 30 years of massively disruptive wars, sanctions, drone attacks and targeted assassinations in a series of Muslim countries, including Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan.”

Sara’s article is republished below.

U.S. propaganda is powerful. Responding to an increase in U.S. attacks on China, a delegation was organized by the China / U.S. Solidarity Network, which then visited China from May 11 to May 31.

One focus of the trip was a visit to Xinjiang (pronounced Shinjaang) province to gather video footage and interviews that give a more realistic picture of this vast and quickly modernizing, multiethnic region. Footage for the documentary, currently named “Voice of Xinjiang,” focuses on an area with 4,000 years of history, which is at the center of the ancient Silk Road that today is a major hub in China’s ambitious Belt and Road trade program.

The Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR) is a vast arid, mountainous and high-desert region in China’s far northwest. Xinjiang has significant oil and mineral reserves and is currently China’s largest natural gas-producing region. The province — although the largest in geographic area, covering one-sixth of China’s total land mass — is sparsely populated, having only 2% of China’s 1.4 billion population. Of Xinjiang’s population of 25 million, 60% belong to 13 ethnic minorities.

Continue reading Reality in Xinjiang belies US propaganda

John Pilger: The coming war – time to speak up

This powerful and wide-ranging essay by the Australian journalist John Pilger, originally published in Consortium News, decries mainstream journalists’ role in building support for the US-led Cold War against China and NATO’s proxy war against Russia.

The author notes that leading Australian newspapers have been hyping up “the looming threat” of China and calling on the Australian government to bolster the country’s military defences. Essentially this is a thinly-concealed marketing campaign for the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal. Pilger states bluntly – and correctly: “There is no threat to Australia, none.” However, “China-bashing draws on Australia’s long history of racism towards Asia,” and much of the Australian public finds it all too easy to accept an anti-China narrative, no matter how transparently idiotic.

Turning to the United States, and the Obama-Clinton Pivot to Asia that initiated the now-escalating New Cold War, Pilger assesses the claims that this ‘pivot’ was a response to a serious threat:

There was no threat from China; there was a threat to China from the United States; some 400 American military bases formed an arc along the rim of China’s industrial heartlands, which a Pentagon official described approvingly as a “noose.”

The article compares today’s war by media with the techniques used by the Nazis, as described by a Nuremberg prosecutor in 1945:

Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically… In the propaganda system… it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.

Pilger concludes by demanding that journalists report the truth; that they expose – rather than amplify – the cynical lies that are used to justify the military murder of millions.

In 1935, the Congress of American Writers was held in New York City, followed by another two years later. They called on “the hundreds of poets, novelists, dramatists, critics, short story writers and journalists” to discuss the “rapid crumbling of capitalism” and the beckoning of another war. They were electric events which, according to one account, were attended by 3,500 members of the public with more than a thousand turned away. 

Arthur Miller, Myra Page, Lillian Hellman, Dashiell Hammett warned that fascism was rising, often disguised, and the responsibility lay with writers and journalists to speak out. Telegrams of support from Thomas Mann, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, C Day Lewis, Upton Sinclair and Albert Einstein were read out. 

The journalist and novelist Martha Gellhorn spoke up for the homeless and unemployed, and “all of us under the shadow of violent great power.” 

Martha, who became a close friend, told me later over her customary glass of Famous Grouse and soda:

“The responsibility I felt as a journalist was immense. I had witnessed the injustices and suffering delivered by the Depression, and I knew, we all knew, what was coming if silences were not broken.”

Her words echo across the silences today: they are silences filled with a consensus of propaganda that contaminates almost everything we read, see and hear.  Let me give you one example: 

Continue reading John Pilger: The coming war – time to speak up

Chinese ‘police stations’ and war propaganda

This article by Margaret Kimberley in Black Agenda Report discusses how the ‘Chinese police stations’ story currently doing the rounds in the West is nothing more than “laughable war propaganda”, designed to “incite fear and hatred of China and to normalize the idea of armed conflict”. It is yet another Cold War scare story to occupy people’s minds now that the ‘Chinese spy balloons’ hype has well and truly deflated.

Margaret points out that the putative ‘Chinese police stations’ are in fact “offices where Chinese citizens can get licenses renewed”. They “don’t have lock-ups or armed officers and are definitely not police stations.” Thanks to centuries of white supremacy and systematic repression of African-origin people, the Black community in the US is only too capable of distinguishing police stations from administrative offices.

The article highlights the fact that China’s stature is rising globally, especially in the light of its recent diplomatic activity, which has helped to bring about a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia (which is creating conditions for a prospective end to the horrific war in Yemen). Meanwhile the US’s insistence on desperately protecting its hegemony is only deepening its own isolation. “The US should be engaging in peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world. But that isn’t what the oligarchs and plutocrats here want.” Ultimately, it’s the working class and oppressed communities of the US and its allies that suffer from this New Cold War.

President Lula da Silva of Brazil recently visited China’s President Xi Jinping. French President Emmanuel Macron, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez have all made the journey in recent months. Even Germany’s amateurish Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock went, but her goal was to make sure that double talking Macron didn’t stray far from the EU’s pro-U.S. orthodoxy.

The frequency of high level meetings is interesting when one considers Joe Biden’s bizarre rant in his State of the Union Speech. He blurted out, “Name me a world leader who would trade places with Xi Jinping! Name me one!” Apparently the answer is all of them because they are making a collective beeline to Beijing. Because of his odd screed and shooting down a weather balloon, Biden can’t get Xi to take his phone call. Nor can Secretary of State Blinken schedule a meeting with his Chinese counterparts that was planned before the balloon fiasco. China is “ghosting” the U.S., which responds in typical fashion.

Like every small child does when frustrated about not getting their way, the U.S. ups the ante with a brand new tantrum.  Balloons are so two months ago, as are demented questions about Tik Tok. Now the courts are tools of the futile effort to subjugate China. In New York City prosecutors charged two Chinese-Americans with failing to register as agents of a foreign government by setting up a “police station” under the control of China’s government.

The trope of the Chinese police station has gone from a laughable war propaganda theory to war by other means. Federal prosecutors are charging the two men with obstruction, not espionage, and it appears they may not have been charged at all had they exercised their right not to talk to the FBI.

The charges are a prosecutor’s dream complete with press conferences where they can make outrageous claims against defendants. U.S. Attorney Breon Peace waxed particularly eloquently, “Today’s charges are a crystal clear response to the P.R.C. that we are onto you, we know what you’re doing and we will stop it from happening in the United States of America. We don’t need or want a secret police station in our great city.”

Of course the office was not a secret as it had been opened publicly. Nor is it anything resembling a police station. The term is a fiction, a creation of the state and their friends in the media meant to incite fear and hatred of China and to normalize the idea of armed conflict. These offices where Chinese citizens can get licenses renewed don’t have lock-ups or armed officers and are definitely not police stations.

The charges filed against the two men are purely political and will not lead to any advantage for the United States. While camera-loving prosecutors make nonsensical statements, China’s Defense Minister was in Moscow meeting with Vladimir Putin. China and Russia are now inextricably linked and are preparing to face the U.S. in whatever way it may choose to confront them.

In addition to the two New York men, the Justice Department indicted 34 people in China and charged them with conspiracy to transmit foreign threats but the complaint is a rehash of the old Russian troll farm stories. What was their crime? Among other things, “…an account controlled by the Group made numerous posts about George Floyd’s death and accusing U.S. law enforcement institutions of racism.” Any accusation of racism in law enforcement is a fact and not a reason for an indictment of any kind, but facts are never the issue when the U.S. declares another nation an enemy.

In attempting to diminish China’s economic prowess the U.S. has elevated its stature around the world. The ceasefire between Yemen and Saudi Arabia is the result of Chinese diplomacy as is the recent rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Ukraine obsession and failure to harm Russia with sanctions has instead demonstrated the need to minimize relations with the U.S. and move away from the use of the dollar as the world reserve currency. China is leading in this regard and the more the U.S. amateurishly tries to isolate Beijing, the more it isolates itself.

China’s diplomatic success proves that the U.S. cannot be a peacemaker in the world. Its system depends upon domination and making what passes for friends through threats of force and interference. When another nation was able to bring persuasion to bear, the U.S. role as a hegemon and international aggressor was exposed for all to see.

The U.S. can call names, create hysteria about Tik Tok, claim that China uses “spy balloons” and “police stations” or make up anything else it wants. One quote in the Department of Justice press release is particularly revealing. “This case serves as a powerful reminder that the People’s Republic of China will stop at nothing to bend people to their will and silence messages they don’t want anyone to hear.” That statement is more accurately directed at the U.S.

The people of this country are the ultimate losers. Thanks to the corporate media repeating state talking points, they have no idea that China is moving up in the world and the U.S. is more and more isolated. They don’t know that the long predicted process of dedollarization is beginning to take shape.

The U.S. should be engaging in peaceful co-existence with the rest of the world. But that isn’t what the oligarchs and plutocrats here want. There would be no need for a military industrial complex if the U.S. wasn’t constantly creating new enemies and undermining other countries. All it has is aggression and the spectacle of name calling and incompetent diplomacy. The descent is obvious to anyone paying attention.

Hypocrisy, histrionics and hot air: the US and one Chinese balloon

The following Morning Star editorial analyses the ongoing propaganda blitz in relation to the Chinese weather balloon that drifted over the continental United States. Noting that “both the US parties of the ruling class have been falling over each other to sound more confrontational and shout louder for escalation and more aggression towards China,” the author concludes that this escalating rhetoric signifies US determination to continue pursuing a New Cold War.

The editorial points to the shameless hypocrisy of the US complaining about its sovereignty being violated by China, given “the innumerable very real and outrageous US transgressions against China’s national and territorial sovereignty.” These include “the ring of US bases surrounding China from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean and the Middle East”, as well as the “aggressive manoeuvres of massive US fleets, thousands of miles from the US, in the South China Sea and all across the Pacific.”

The editorial makes a powerful call for the left to oppose the drive to war and to expose the monopoly media offensive against China – “and the racist and anti-communist tropes which characterise it.”

You would have struggled to miss the sensationalist coverage of the Chinese weather balloon which drifted over the continental United States last week, only to be heroically downed by a $400,000 sidewinder missile.

The Chinese government has been clear from the outset that the balloon is from China and is a civilian airship, mainly for meteorological research.

It asserts that the balloon was blown off course and was never intended to pass over the US and that this was an unfortunate accident which should be dealt with sensibly and calmly.

Eager to never let a good crisis go to waste or, in this case, fabricate one out of thin (or perhaps hot? …) air, the US government has responded with hysteria and sabre-rattling of the highest order.

The US military establishment has been feverishly declaring that the very obvious and apparently helpless balloon is a sophisticated spying device and that the “deliberate” act by China amounts to a gross threat to sacrosanct US “national security” and a violation of its territorial sovereignty.

Continue reading Hypocrisy, histrionics and hot air: the US and one Chinese balloon

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.