Is there a Western conspiracy against China?

My former employer The Global Times wants to know.

Is there a “plot” among the Western countries against China? In answer to this, few Chinese people would give a definitive answer. However, actions taken by the West have forced Chinese citizens to speculate about this matter.

Tomorrow will see the ceremony for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, which has been awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has devoted himself to subverting the government. Furthermore, at the invitation of the Nobel committee, several dissidents who are hostile toward the Chinese government, will converge in Oslo from around the world.

The modern world is much like a sports arena, in which China has passed the first round and qualified for the final. As a newcomer, China may not be well prepared, with sloppy technique, lacking audience support and seeming like a stranger to the surroundings. China has no other choice but to fight on in the competition, strictly following the rules set by others.

Suddenly, boos and catcalls resound from the stands, from the Westerners in the pricey seats. Worse than this, the referee blows the whistle against China, amid jeers from cheerleaders and media, relishing exposing China’s “scandals.” What can the Chinese team do?

…The West has shown great creativity in conspiring against China. With its ideology remaining dominant at present, the West has not ceased harassing China with all kinds of tricks like the Nobel Peace Prize.

It might be advisable for China not to buy the conspiracy theory, for communication would be much smoother if given the benefit of the doubt. However, China has to maintain its independence in thinking and ensure its discerning ability is not swayed by outside powers. As long as China can keep its independent judgment, its security will be ensured even when faced with a conspiracy.

Love the sports metaphor.

This is one kooky editorial. It’s loaded with gems that are typical of the angrier commenters here: the West is intentionally and strategically seeking to hobble China; the West is self-righteous and hypocritical and sanctimonious, going after a benevolent, peace-loving China while engulfing the world in chaos; China must gird its loins and fight against those powers that seek to harm it. These powers wish only bad for China. These powers hate China.

Despite a series of spats and misunderstandings between China and the West, globalization is forcing the country to adapt to co-existing with the “noble countries” in the West. China has to act discreetly, obeying rules set by the West and trying not to disturb their interests when seeking to safeguard its own welfare. Meanwhile, these “noble countries” launch broadsides at China’s actions, even where no wrongdoing exists.

Do they really not get that in the eyes of civilized nations the idea of jailing a dissident for 11 years for seeking democratic reforms is unpleasant? That the civilized nations react the same way to political repression in Myanmar and Zimbabwe and other nations?

One thing I liked about Global Times was their tendency to balance the more hysterical editorials and columns with more sensible voices. I remember editing a particularly vitriolic column by a former general that all but advocated war over the South China Sea. This was tempered by a far less psychotic response that noted the weakness of China’s navy and its utter unpreparedness for war. It urged a more moderate approach, like negotiating. I mention this because I’m hoping they’ll follow this pattern now. Editorials like this, with no balancing voice, will make China appear kukoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Via Shanghaiist, which has its own excellent response to the insanity.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 281 Comments

@ HongXing. Ah man, you’ve been misunderstanding your Thomas Hobbes once again. All this wishfull thinking. Try an analytical post for once.

Dreary, boring. No pocket money for you and Stuart this week.

December 13, 2010 @ 1:39 pm | Comment

I’ve been told some recent comments have disappeared – I’m trying to figure out how. Apologies.

December 13, 2010 @ 2:29 pm | Comment

@Hong Xing
When China ascends, in order to re-create a harmonious world, be sure there will be a thorough accounting of a millennium of crimes committed by the Anglo-genocidists. You should hope that you won’t live to see this day.

If that is going to happen, then Hong Xing is proving the “China Threat” theorists right. What Hong Xing is saying is that a resurgent China under the CCP will be a revisionist power, one that would aggressively take actions to change the existing world order in ways that it want and pursue irredentist claims against neighbours. So Hong Xing is telling us that a vengeful China is emerging under the CCP, the very same vengeful Germany after the Treaty of Versailles. So basically Hong Xing is saying that Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabo are full load of shit when they keep regurgitating “peaceful rise”.

December 13, 2010 @ 3:12 pm | Comment

@Steve
because the Atlantic order believes that China’s authoritarian system, and the populist nationalism it is feeding on, are a potential threat to the world order.

You are completely out of touch if you think only the “West” is concerned about the nationalistic fervor whipped up by the CCP. Just ask China’s neighbours. Even Lee Kuan Yew argues for continuation of US presence as a hedge against China.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/1058034/1/.html
US military presence remains crucial to the balance of power in Asia, says Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

East Asian security still needs the presence of American forces, so the region can continue its economic growth and balance the emergence of China, a country that is also important for this balance as there is no one country that should dominate Asia.

Then we can find out how to reduce using populist nationalism to maintain power in China, while at the same time the west reduce supporting splitting activities that increases nationalism.

This is another brainless rant. The CCP is chiefly responsible for whipping up and instigating populist nationalism, more often than not to divert attention away from its own inadequacies. So it must be the CCP that should contain it and put the genie back into the bottle.

December 13, 2010 @ 3:24 pm | Comment

@ Stuart: “My point is that if the Chinese leadership in its current manifestation ends up running the global table our basic rights are going to get flushed.”

Talk about irony, look’s like UK’s basic rights have been flushed.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/10/schoolboy-quizzed-cameron-office-picket

December 13, 2010 @ 5:14 pm | Comment

Why do mindless nationalists retain the right to comment here? I’m sure the first Hong Xing (Mongol Warrior etc) comment years ago made it clear that nothing worth pondering would ever come from them.

December 13, 2010 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

@slim

Because censorship is extremely dangerous and should be inflicted only with the utmost care, in the rarest of circumstances.

Besides, just because someone is wrong, doesn’t mean we can’t learn something from his argument! I’ve learned something even from this thread and the Mongol dude’s impersonation of Jeremiah… Not something pleasant, but lesson learned, nonetheless.

December 13, 2010 @ 11:08 pm | Comment

Half of Red Star’s comments never show up. Sometimes I let them in for comic value.

December 13, 2010 @ 11:27 pm | Comment

@Jason
Talk about irony, look’s like UK’s basic rights have been flushed.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/10/schoolboy-quizzed-cameron-office-picket

Hoho. I am glad that newspapers like Guardian are free to report on things that put the Prime Minister of the country in a negative light. Would the People’s Daily dare to report it if a child wants to picket the CCP’s office in Zhongnanhai?

The child in question would probably be locked up for 11 years for “subverting state power” if he was in China by one of those kangaroo “people’s” courts manipulated by the CCP.

December 14, 2010 @ 1:35 am | Comment

I take your broad point, RP, and there is indeed a guilty pleasure or comic relief element to reading FQ/5mao comments. But I’m not sure a private site filtering out gratuitous insults or full-on propaganda rises to the level of dangerous censorship.

At the same time, China’s Nobel footshooting performance reminds us that sometimes silence when dealt a losing hand is a better choice. Letting a hundred pug-sters bloom has arguably hurt the nationalist cause because these guys have become both scourge and laughing stock of all China-watching fora.

December 14, 2010 @ 2:32 am | Comment

Ahhh, Jason #255, once again, did you read the article to which you linked? Cuz if you did, it is highly unlikely you would have concluded that “UK’s basic rights have been flushed”.

You see, if you link to something, you have to assume someone is going to read it. So if you say something that is not even substantiated by the very article on which it is based, you’re going to come off looking like the way you do now.

The UK police seemed to cross the line. To interview a minor without his parent is wrong (and the presence of his teacher certainly doesn’t count). And to want to talk to him at all BEFORE a planned legal protest is certainly an intimidation tactic that is abhorrent. If you said that, I’d be fine with it. But of course, folks like you over-reach, and make more of a story than is there in an attempt to fulfill your preconceived notions. His rights haven’t been flushed. He is still free to pursue his protest. He just has a better idea of some potential consequences. However, as the organizer of a protest, he would’ve been in line for some trouble if the protest turned messy in any event. SO the UK police aren’t threatening him with anything new or unique to him. Flushing his rights would require a prohibition of his organizing a legal protest, or threats of penalties not prescribed by law. That has not happened. You would’ve realized that if you read your own link.

Of course, the even better part is how you use “western media” like the UK Guardian to try (and fail) to make your point. It seems “western media” is fine and good when exposing “western” wrong-doing, which it does here and elsewhere. However, that same western media is the thing you types disapprove of when it exposes CCP wrong-doing, which it does all the same. It’s a nice hypocritical double standard that folks like you employ, and are too indoctrinated to realize.

To RP and Slim,
since this is Richard’s site, people leave comments at his pleasure. Leaving comments here, however, is a privilege and not a right, and he is the final arbiter as to who can and cannot exercise that privilege.

That said, i agree that it is useful to know what people on the other side think. And if not useful, at least it is enjoyable and at times comical, which in itself serves an important purpose.

I do agree that the CCP needs to find some better representatives, cuz the ones she has now haven’t been able to convey her message in an effective and reputable way.

December 14, 2010 @ 4:00 am | Comment

It is great to see that fusty old Fabian paper The Guardian virtually reinvent itself in the last couple of weeks with precise and insightful journalism on the recent Assange/wikileaks events. I dumped it in the 80s due to the animus it displayed towards French historians and the post-Marxist set. In its treatment of this info insurrection, it is now well ahead of the curve.

December 14, 2010 @ 4:32 am | Comment

@sp123 and @SKC

You mean like this one in China where 15-18 years old wrecked their school’s cafeteria as a protest for high prices. I certainly do not see China’s anti-terrorism unit question these little minds of creating havoc. Here’s the Chinese media reporting yet. http://news.163.com/10/1125/06/6MAKHS1O00014AEE.html

December 14, 2010 @ 10:22 am | Comment

@Jason
You mean like this one in China where 15-18 years old wrecked their school’s cafeteria as a protest for high prices. I certainly do not see China’s anti-terrorism unit question these little minds of creating havoc. Here’s the Chinese media reporting yet. http://news.163.com/10/1125/06/6MAKHS1O00014AEE.html

You don’t even know what you are rambling on. Remember the Guardian link you posted? It’s about a UK child being questioned by the security unit for planning to picket the Prime Minister’s constituency office over his plans to cut funding to a local youth centre. Guardian’s article is hardly flattering to the Prime Minister’s image.

The garbage link you have provided is about angry Chinese students smashing the school canteen in protest against food prices. Did they smash any local CCP government offices? Did they plan to picket any CCP local branches? Nope. If they have done what the UK kid had done in China, i.e. to challenge a political office holder directly by picketing his office, you should have no doubts about the school kids being “harmonized” swiftly by the CCP authorities in charge of that county.

That’s what 5mao like you lack: coherent reasoning and critical thinking.

December 14, 2010 @ 11:56 am | Comment

@Jason

Tell you what. Find a People’s Daily article that reports Chinese people picketing outside Zhongnanhai for us and reasons why they picket CCP offices. Till then, next better troll pls.

December 14, 2010 @ 12:12 pm | Comment

To Jason #263:
I know folks like you can’t get out of bed in the morning without making some comparison. Nonetheless, if you must compare, you should compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges. Trying to compare apples and oranges, as you’ve done here, just makes you look silly. Actually, #255 made you look silly. This one makes you look…like whatever the next level down from “silly” is.

Otherwise, I think SP says it all.

December 14, 2010 @ 1:17 pm | Comment

@King Tubby – Wait, so you ditched the Grauniad because they were critical of Foucault?

December 14, 2010 @ 5:48 pm | Comment

That, the crappy birdwatching column and the fact that they wrote a piss-poor Philby obit.

December 15, 2010 @ 1:19 am | Comment

@SP123 and @SKC

Your fangs are showing. I’ll admit that it is not similar of the location of the protest but certainly the reason of the protest is similar.

I would like you to point out where students protest on budget cuts by the state-owned schools where they sacrficed something valuable to the community and get questioned beforehand by an anti-terrorism squad.

December 15, 2010 @ 12:27 pm | Comment

To Jason:
even the reasons for the protest are not similar. Your “example” is of students protesting high food prices in the cafeteria. Sure, they gotta eat, but if they wanted to save some money, they can bring their own food.

The British boy was protesting a cut to a social program that arguably (and certainly in his mind) had redeeming societal value. They’re hardly of comparable significance.

Well, at least you had the good sense to realize that the cafeteria is not quite the same as Hu Jintao’s office. Like I said, apples and oranges.

Listen, I know you types like to compare. As SP suggested in #265, if you really want to compare, show us an example of someone in China trying to stage a protest about some social injustice in front of Hu Jintao’s office and not run into a world of hurt, then you’d be onto something.

Again, I think what the UK police did is ridiculous. But this kid’s rights were not violated. The prospects of what would happen to a person in a similar scenario in CCP CHina is beyond compare.

December 15, 2010 @ 4:31 pm | Comment

@Jason
I’ll admit that it is not similar of the location of the protest but certainly the reason of the protest is similar.

You know the cure to all this talk of “comparing” on your part is for you to do a practical experiment: You lead a bunch of placard-holding protesters shouting anti-Cameron slogan outside the gates of 10 Downing Street and then you lead a bunch of placard-holding protesters shouting anti-Hu Jintao slogan outside Zhongnanhai.

God bless you and your fellow protesters on the latter.

December 15, 2010 @ 5:10 pm | Comment

@Jason

LOL. Sorry to disappoint you, Jason, the UK police finally apologized for their quizzing of the boy.

http://www.witneygazette.co.uk/news/8736991.Police_say_sorry_to_12_year_old/?ref=mr

Police say sorry to 12-year-old

Chief Inspector Jack Malhi, the police commander for West Oxfordshire, said: “With the benefit of hindsight, it would have been far more appropriate to have made the inquiries from Nicky in the presence of his mother.

“I deeply regret and apologise for the impact that it might have had on Nicky and his family.”

He added: “I would like to reassure people that our contact with Nicky was primarily to make him aware of the risks and have an idea of the scale of the protest.”

Mr Malhi phoned Ms Phelps on Monday to apologise personally.

Headteacher, Andrew Hamilton, also apologised to Ms Phelps on Monday.

He said a “mistake” had been made by the school because it presumed Nicky had already spoken to police with his mother the previous day.

Mr Hamilton said: “If there was one element we could have got better, it was to make sure that Ms Phelps had been contacted before the interview within the school took place.

“We accept that it was a mistake on our part, that we assumed the interview had taken place and that this was a follow up.”

Ms Phelps, of Pelican Place, Eynsham, said: “Last week, I was absolutely raging.

“I was very, very angry about the police speaking to Nicky without me being there.”

She said she was “pleased” that police had apologised but wanted a written apology.

She said: “Forgiving them just means that they have been totally let off.

“I have received a verbal apology, but what about a written apology?”

She said had forgiven the school, which was “very supportive”.

Nicky was protesting against proposed funding cuts to 20 youth centres across the county. …
———————-
The day the Chinese police (known as gong an) will what the UK police had done in the above will be when the sun rises from the west. Sorry jason, you must be bitter and disappointed now. LOL.

December 15, 2010 @ 6:00 pm | Comment

I notice that Mongol Warrior linked to my blog. He might recall that among the vast quantities of offensive vitriol spewed out from various sides in the comments to that post, he achieved the distinction of being the only person to have an entire comment deleted for violating all aspects of decency – including racism, obscenity and aggression against other commenters.

December 16, 2010 @ 7:58 pm | Comment

@SKC

“show us an example of someone in China trying to stage a protest about some social injustice in front of Hu Jintao’s office and not run into a world of hurt, then you’d be onto something”

@sp123
“You lead a bunch of placard-holding protesters shouting anti-Cameron slogan outside the gates of 10 Downing Street and then you lead a bunch of placard-holding protesters shouting anti-Hu Jintao slogan outside Zhongnanhai.”

To satisfy your criteria with the addition of comparing apples to apples, I certainly can not find a similar protest regarding budget cuts on education.

@SP123

Sorry to disappoint you but where’s the individual’s apology from the anti-terrorism who order the police to question the boy?

Until that is being done, your “rubbing on my face” statement is moot.

December 19, 2010 @ 3:50 pm | Comment

@Jason
To satisfy your criteria with the addition of comparing apples to apples, I certainly can not find a similar protest regarding budget cuts on education.
—————————-
And you wonder how the term “no balls” had came about. hahahahaha.

December 20, 2010 @ 8:09 pm | Comment

@Jason
Until that is being done, your “rubbing on my face” statement is moot
————————–
The police apologized, the boy carry out his picket as planned at Cameron’s local office and the boy is not arrested. Don’t implode with bitterness just because things didn’t go the way you think it would. Hohohoho…

December 20, 2010 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

The police and school apology doesn’t do anything. The primary character who is the anti-terrorism unit who instigate this tactic should apologize to the boy and his family so the government is largely responsible not just school and police who follow orders that gets the blame.

December 20, 2010 @ 10:16 pm | Comment

@Jason
The police and school apology doesn’t do anything. The primary character who is the anti-terrorism unit who instigate this tactic should apologize to the boy and his family so the government is largely responsible not just school and police who follow orders that gets the blame.
————————————-
Curiously, fenqings like Jason didn’t display the same zeal in demanding justice with regards to cover-up of SARs, AIDS blood scandals, the melamine milk and tofu buildings in Sichuan earthquake disaster. Surprisingly, fenqings like jason will love to uphold every other government to the highest standard of conduct except the one in Beijing. Strange isn’t it?

His mother said of the apology: “I really appreciate it because that’s what you want. It can’t be left up in the air. He [Malhi] phoned me and has invited me and Nicky to go and have a cup of tea with him. He went through everything and he was a really nice guy.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/16/police-apology-questioning-schoolboy-protest
—————————
See that? Even the angry mother of Nicky was appeased. I suggest you get a life then whine about things that didn’t quite turn out the way you want to. ;P.

December 21, 2010 @ 9:28 pm | Comment

To Jason:

I agree that the “apology” SP linked to falls short. It seems the police apologized for questioning the boy without his parent being present. However, they did not apologize for the questioning itself. I think that “questioning” can still be construed as intimidation, and I disapprove of it. That said, there is still nothing to substantiate your claim that this boy’s rights were trampled upon. There was no injunction against his protest, and he was still allowed to go his merry way. The police themselves did not do anything illegal.

Any police body is a government institution. Based on your reasoning, anytime any police unit makes a mistake, the government would have to apologize. Where is the precedent for that? The article, to my reading, suggests that it was members of a special unit of this police body that questioned the boy: “Wishart said that after the school was contacted by anti-terrorist officers, he was taken out of his English class on Tuesday afternoon and interviewed by a Thames Valley officer at the school in the presence of his head of year.” So if members of that police body erred, then it’s reasonable for that police body to apologize on their behalf. I think you’re way over-reaching to expect an apology from the British government, or whomever else you had in mind.

But since you like to compare, and as SP suggests, it would be great to see any CHinese police body apologize to anybody after any incident where they overstepped their bounds and tried to intimidate someone. Or better yet, for the CCP to apologize after every incident of police intimidation of PRC citizens. Better still, for the CCP to apologize after CCP screw-ups to the satisfaction of the citizens involved. I don’t understand your fascination with “comparing”, as I’ve said. If the Brits do something wrong, then call them on it. If the CCP does something wrong, them call them on that. The Brits screwing up one thing does not justify the CCP screwing up something else. But if you must compare, as I’ve said, at least find similar and comparable fruit.

December 22, 2010 @ 9:32 am | Comment

This thread is still going on??

To say Jason applies a double standard is a gross understatement. But that’s what’s at at the heart of the FQ mentality.

December 22, 2010 @ 10:05 am | Comment

Brotip: Global Times isn’t news. It’s not even supposed to be news, it’s tabloid. Think FOX. Now magnify by 100x. That’s Global Times.

January 23, 2011 @ 2:05 am | Comment

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