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October 26, 2010

If you can’t kill the message, kill the messenger

I can understand why some might find the following "Chinese professor" ad offensive due to its arguably stereotypical representation of China's near future through the lens of Fu Man Chu/"yellow peril"/projection but if I were Chinese I think I would be fist pumping by the end.

By contrast, a window into how actual Chinese people describe the PRC's foreign policy challenges and opportunities of the last year (in this case Chinese people with English language skills and internet access).

For example:

Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Prize – Grade F Making threats to the Norwegian government, cutting off ties and making Angry statements is a big no no. Many people thinks that Nobel peace is ‘noble’ and this prize is against China’s progress of ‘democracy and freedom.’ My motto is if you can’t kill the message, kill the messenger. Vilify Liu Xiaobo as a writer to show him about his radical views against China and show that he has no interests in ‘Freedoms’ within China. Don’t forget to mention his extensive rapsheet.

In case any progressives reading this have no clue as to what Liu Xiaobo might have done to outrage China's communist party establishment, his "extensive rapsheet" includes spreading messages to instigate counterrevolutionary behaviour, involvement in the democracy and human rights movement, disturbing the social order and spreading a message to subvert authority. In Canada, he would be front of a thought crimes commission, in mainland China he is serving 11 years at Jinzhou Prison for “inciting subversion of state power”.

Most likely not what your average bleeding heart has in mind. But then the average progressive does not have a clue how actual Chinese people look at the world, only give a damn about, say, Tibet when it suits them and do not give a damn at all for the fate of the Republic of China, China's actual democratic polity.

Spenglerian observations: Mark Steyn on the collapse of the United States (via Five Feet of Fury).

In 2009, the US spent about $665 billion on its military, the Chinese about $99 billion. If Beijing continues to buy American debt at the rate it has in recent times, then within a few years US interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese military. This summer, the Pentagon issued an alarming report to Congress on Beijing’s massive military build-up, including new missiles, upgraded bombers, and an aircraft-carrier R&D program intended to challenge US dominance in the Pacific. What the report didn’t mention is who’s paying for it.

But by all means go back to worrying about election season attack ads.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 26, 2010 07:28 AM


I am old enough to remember how the merest threat by Brazil that it might default on its huge foreign debt sent spasms through the governments and banks of the West, who immediately offered Brazil even more money with which to make the payments they proposed to skip. Such memories make me very skeptical indeed of the idea that China will fare any better trying to "collect" on the debts owed it by the United States, which, last time I checked, still has a substantial pile of nuclear weapons. No, I think it more likely that the Chinese will come to the realization that the debtor must be kept financially alive if one hopes to see repayment.

Posted by: soirish [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2010 10:02 AM