Posted by Joel Martinsen on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 at 5:17 PM
State media in China spills a great deal of ink attacking reports on China by western organizations that subscribe to this or that anti-China theory — "China threat", "China collapse" and so forth. Like other catch-phrases in the media — "three represents", "peaceful rise" and such — the words are often bandied about without any explanation. Global People (环球人物), a magazine under the People's Daily group, promises to remedy that situation in its latest issue, which profiles the "China attackers" most closely-associated with a number of anti-China positions.
Here's a translation of the promo for that issue:
Global People: Who is viciously attacking China?
For several years, absurd theories like "China Threat" "China Collapse" "China Split" and "Yellow Peril" have continually attacked China from the west. These arguments and rhetoric are not worth refuting, since they have never been real and will not become reality in the future. However, they have harmed China's international image and have disrupted China's efforts at development and engaging the world, and for this reason they should be taken seriously by Chinese people.
So who are the people planning and disseminating these irresponsible opinions? How have they maligned China, and what is their goal in doing so? For the answer, you must look to "China's vicious attackers." Only by gaining a deep understanding of their words can you truly uncover the means and motives of those attacking China, and by doing so lay bare their sinister machinations. To this end, this magazine has selected several "attackers" from the US, Japan, and Russia:
· Bill Gertz, The Washington Times: For 20 years he has been spinning the "China Military Threat Theory." Bogus news stories like "Chinese submarine stalks American carrier" and "China paid millions to steal B-2 bomber stealth technology" were entirely his creation. Most galling, this forger has won the support of the Pentagon and some members of congress.
· Larry Wortzel, former assistant army attache at the US Embassy in China [1988-1990]: This is a man who detests China to his very bones. He worked within the military intelligence system surveying China for 25 years. In his eyes, China's planes and guided missiles come from Chinese exchange students and computers, and pose a "serious threat" to the US. In the first half of this year, the US State Department's purchase of Lenovo computers was scuttled by him at the last minute.
· Michael Pillsbury, Pentagon consultant: His greatest trait is that when he's in China, he speaks of "friendship," but when he returns to the US he talks of "threat." He claims to have "a good deal of understanding of Sunzi's Art of War," but the strange thing is that he "discovered" from The Art of War a "threat" coming from China. He was the main author of the Pentagon's 2005 Report on the Military Power of the PRC that trumpeted the "China threat."
· Gordon G. Chang, Chinese-American opportunist: "China's economy is in decline and has begun to collapse; the time will be prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympic games and not after...." His "China collapse theory" is so much sensationalism. Though he is "besieged" at every turn because of the utter nonsense that issues from his mouth, his wacky theories still find purchase across the globe.
· Shintaro Ishihara, Governor of Tokyo: Chief among the anti-Chinese in Japan, forty years ago he started on the anti-China road. By cursing China to "split apart" and calling for a re-invasion of China, he has become a classic representative of vicious attacks on China. Worth being aware of is that his anti-China ideas run deep in the fringes of Japanese culture and have extremely negative effects.
· Mineo Nakajima, "anti-China hero" of Japanese academia: The earliest person in Japan to put forth the "China collapse theory," and an advocate of the "China split theory," he goes traveling every month for exchanges with anti-Chinese elements in other countries and to spread his anti-China fallacies. However, nothing that he has predicted has come to pass, so he had no recourse but to return to the "China threat theory."
· Evgeniy Nazdratenko, Russian official: He is one of the leading modern drum-beaters for the "Yellow-Peril Theory". "China has plans to expand its population across the Russian border," "Russia will inevitably fall to become a raw-material tribute-state for China" — during his tenure as governor of Russia's Maritime Region, he not only made noise about this sort of twisted theory, but also instituted discriminatory policies toward Chinese people and gave orders to expel tens of thousands.
Why do these people attack China so viciously? In addition to reasons of so-called "national interest", are they perhaps motivated by abnormal psychology? The latest issue of Globe People will give you a compete report and explanation.
To explain why anyone could possible attack China, Global People offers two analyses. The first (by special contributor Peng Xiao, for whom I have found no other information) identifies three types of attacks, and offers three possible motives. The attacks (in excerpted translation):
The reasons Peng gives are (1) a Cold War mentality; (2) ideological, cultural, and structural differences combined with western-centered thinking; and (3) crass pursuit of fame and profit, since the media eats this stuff up.
The second analysis, by Huang Qing, a long-time People's Daily reporter who has been stationed for brief periods in Japan, Germany, and the US, performs a sort of "psychological analysis" of the China Threat theory. Huang divided the theory's supporters into patriotic types, who prove their affection for their own country by bashing others, moral types, who oppose China on a religious or ethical basis (he puts Pelosi here), and realpolitik types, who simply need a convenient enemy.
People Online reproduces some reactions to the feature from forum commenters. They're mostly what you'd expect:
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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