China

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The West Must Stand Up To China’s Media Takeover

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 17/02/2022 - 8:29pm in

The West Must Stand Up To China’s Media Takeover

Chinese state propaganda outlets are spreading their message across the globe with little pushback from the West, reports CJ Werleman

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“The [Chinese Communist] party must resolutely engage in propaganda”, Chinese President Xi Jinping told party officials in 2013. Three years later he added that all media, including its foreign-language outlets and social media platforms, must be edited “in the right direction,” and “must love the party, protect the party and closely align themselves with the party leadership in thought, politics and action”.

Unfortunately, Western democracies have been slow to catch on to this project. They have not only allowed Chinese state-controlled media operations to flourish on their soil but have also permitted the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to acquire large chunks of their media landscape – the fourth pillar of our increasingly fragile democracies.

A Reuters investigation revealed a single CCP controlled media outlet, China Radio International (CRI) has secured a controlling interest in at least 33 radio stations in 14 countries, including WCRW in Washington DC, where it airs opinions on current news events to favour the CCP. 

Citing one such example, Reuters pointed to when countries around the world condemned Beijing for annexing atolls in international waters and transforming them into artificial islands and then military bases, but WCRW radio made no mention of China’s unlawful and militaristic actions in the South China Sea. Instead, “an analyst explained that tensions in the region were due to unnamed ‘external forces’ trying ‘to insert themselves into this part of the world using false claims'”.

CRI’s affiliates also broadcast in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Vancouver, Boston, Philadelphia, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Milan, Belgrade, Helsinki, Istanbul, Rome, Bucharest, Budapest, Belgrade, Skopje, Tbilisi, Kathmandu, and Bangkok.

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The Center for Strategic and International Studies found that “nearly every Chinese language news outlet in the US is either owned by, or works closely with, the Party — and it is making inroads into English language media as well. There are more than a dozen radio stations in cities across the country where Americans hear subtle pro-Beijing propaganda on their FM radio”.

As noted by Christopher Paul, a social scientist at the Rand Corporation, China has a “lock on the Chinese domestic market,” affording no opportunity for foreign ownership or even input or influence, having also blocked social media giants Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

In other words, CCP propaganda, or what it calls “thought work,” is disseminated at home and abroad without challenge or interruption. It’s spending $10 billion per year to project a positive image of its rule and ideology around the world, and “to make the world love it“.

Today, China Global Television Network America (CGTN), an arm of the CCP’s propaganda machine, beams into the living rooms of 30 million households in the United States, with reports claiming the detained Uyghurs to be “grateful” for their mass incarceration, according to a report by the New York Times.

A recently published investigation by Newlines Magazine revealed just how far the CCP is willing to go disseminate its lies and propaganda around the globe, revealing that a network of pro-China charities have funnelled $64 million to left-wing “anti-imperialist” bloggers and anti-war activists to deny Uyghur genocide allegations on behalf of the Chinese Government.

Chinese run media outlets have also spread disinformation about the Coronavirus, Taiwan, pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and prominent critics of the CCP to “sow divisions within democratic societies and alliances, rather than simply promote pro-Beijing viewpoints,” observes Sarah Cook, a research director at the National Endowment for Democracy.

The CCP has a metaphor for distributing its propaganda abroad: “borrowing the boat to go out on the ocean.” The “boats” being foreign media outlets.

“In its simplest form, this involves paying for Chinese propaganda supplements to appear in dozens of respected international publications such as the Washington Post”, observes the Guardian. “The strategy can also take more insidious forms, such as planting content from the state-run radio station, China Radio International (CRI), on to the airwaves of ostensibly independent broadcasters across the world, from Australia to Turkey”.

The CCP is also advancing its propaganda into Western countries through other endeavours, including the Confucius Institute, a Beijing controlled agency described by Chinese Government officials as “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set up”, which has been accused of threatening and intimidating Australian students and academics, particularly those who speak out against China’s persecution of ethnic Uyghurs, at universities that received upwards of 20% of their funding from the Confucius Institute.

A Four Corners investigation revealed how the Confucius Institute had now “veered into curriculum development and honorary staff appointments”, thus threatening Australia’s national security interests while advancing pro-authoritarian tropes and undermining trust in democracy.


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Also in China’s sights is Australia’s 1.3 million Chinese Australians, who represent roughly 5% of the country’s population. Through Chinese cultural associations, including the United Front Work Department (UFWD), which boasts more than 300 associations in Sydney, alone, the CCP is pushing pro-party and pro-nationalist propaganda to the Chinese migrant and expatriate community.

President Xi Jinping has called the UFWD one of China’s “three magic weapons,” together with party-building and armed struggle, as observed by Peter Hartcher, author of Red Zone: China’s Challenge and Australia’s Future, and international editor for the Sydney Morning Herald, who rightly points out Xi was quoting CCP founding father Mao Zedong.

Mao described the relationship between the “three magic weapons” in 1939, when he said: “The party is the heroic warrior wielding the two weapons, the united front and the armed struggle, to storm and shatter the enemy’s positions”.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) says UFWD deliberately and strategically “undermines social cohesion, exacerbates racial tension, influences politics, harms media integrity, facilitates espionage, and increases unsupervised technology transfer”.

UFWD is also creating a schism among Chinese migrants, according to Philip Wen, a former Beijing based correspondent for The Age, who says, “A divide has emerged broadly between two camps: naturalised Australians who migrated in the 1980s and 1980s with the spectre of the Tiananmen Square crackdown of 1989 fresh in their memories, and more recent emigres who have been enriched by China’s economic miracle of the past two decades and are emboldened by their country’s rise as a major international power”.

This growing divide in favour of the CCP’s domestic and foreign policy dictates does not bode well for the welfare of Australian democracy, nor that of its democratic allies and their collective strategic interests in the Indo Pacific region. 

Last week’s arrest of Chinese-Australian property Chau Chak Wing, who has been described by Australia’s top spy agency as the “puppeteer” behind a Chinese Government interference plot to get political candidates elected in the upcoming Australian election is but one example of how the CCP seeks to undermine Australia’s sovereignty by infiltrating political and media spaces.

“It is imperative that anyone engaged in the media space—be they journalists, regulators, technology firms, press freedom groups, or even news consumers—acknowledge the influence exerted by China’s authoritarian regime on the news and information circulating in their print publications, radio broadcasts, television programs, and social media feeds”, says Sarah Cook.

To date, the UK Government counts as the sole Western democracy to stand up to the Chinese government propaganda machine, having terminated CGTN’s UK television license, after it concluded the news network is ultimately controlled by the CCP.

If democracy is to withstand the challenge laid down against it by authoritarian regimes and movements, then Western democratic countries must follow the UK’s lead and shut down CCP propaganda outfits whenever and wherever they find them.

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NYT Recognizes “That Organic Cotton T-Shirt May Not Be as Organic as You Think”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 15/02/2022 - 7:25am in

Could a well-structured class action lawsuit either prod fashion companies to build verifiable organic cotton supply chains, or abandon their claims that they're selling organic cotton?

How to Deal with a “Bretton Woods Moment”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 13/02/2022 - 10:50pm in

A new global economic system has to be based on a key principle of Bretton Woods: multilateralism

The US War Machine Is Just A Rich Man’s Mafia: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 13/02/2022 - 12:18pm in

Tags 

War, News, Russia, China

Listen to a reading of this article:

https://medium.com/media/c66d72310998b38ab50bfa5d3a82910d/href

If you “vote out fascism” and then the president you voted for turns out to have the same effective policies as the previous administration, it’s time to start asking who the fascists actually are.

Hoo you’ve done it now, CIA. You are in trouble. It was all good fun when you were doing fine normal stuff like toppling governments and running torture programs and assassinating people, but collecting bulk data on Americans?? You better prepare for some accountability, mister!

And the next time you suggest the CIA might be up to something nefarious, you’ll still get called a crazy conspiracy theorist.

“Abolish the CIA” is almost too weak a position for an agency that should never have been made in the first place and should have been dismantled in the fucking nineteen sixties.

The US war machine is just a rich man’s mafia.

It’s not about Joe Rogan. It’s not about Covid misinformation. It’s not about QAnon, Russian trolls, domestic extremists or election security. It’s about ruling power structures needing to normalize and expand the regulation of online speech to protect consent for the status quo.

A liberal is someone who yells all day about far right truckers and far right Joe Rogan and then applauds when their president gives weapons to literal Nazis.

Very excited to find out whether “The US intelligence community says Putin has decided to invade Ukraine any minute now” is the kind of psyop that’s just designed to ramp up cold war hysteria or the kind of psyop that’s designed to prime us for US proxy war aggressions.

The PR black eye the US empire sustained from the Iraq invasion ensured that it will greatly preference using proxy forces over US troops wherever possible. Middle Eastern jihadists, Latin American reactionaries, and Ukrainian Nazis all make very good proxy forces for the empire.

A lot of confusion about Russia and Ukraine could be easily avoided if English language news media would end the appallingly unethical practice of printing unsubstantiated assertions by opaque intelligence agencies and presenting it as a “scoop”.

The burden of proof is always on the party making the claim. It’s so weird how everyone will apply this standard to things like internet forum arguments and high school debates but not to immensely consequential claims by the most powerful institutions on the planet who have a well-documented history of lying.

Make a claim that could result in winning a Twitter argument and you’ll immediately be asked for proof. Make a claim that could result in thousands of deaths and it will be reported as fact by The New York Times.

So to recap:

Nation stationing troops inside its own borders = hostile aggressor.

Nation circling the planet with hundreds of military bases, waging nonstop wars, working to destroy any nation which disobeys it, pushing nuclear brinkmanship = just normal democracy freedom stuff.

Those who called you crazy for warning that cold war escalations could lead to hot war will be the first to tell you when hot war approaches that it is unavoidable and must be supported.

Is there any doubt that the same propaganda machine which convinced half the US political spectrum that the highest levels of their government had been infiltrated by the Kremlin could convince the public that a proxy war started by US/NATO/Ukraine was actually started by Russia?

News media reporters and editors are just as culpable for the mass murders committed by the US military and its proxies as the troops who fire the weapons and the generals who give the orders. And military personnel who kill people in unjust wars are exactly as culpable for those crimes as any other murderer.

People who say China is as evil as the US simply haven’t learned enough or thought honestly enough about the evils of the US.

China is better than the US. That’s not because China is flawless, it’s because the US spending the 21st century slaughtering people by the millions and working to destroy any nation who disobeys it makes it quantifiably worse than literally anyone else.

China is a surveillance state. The US empire is a surveillance state that also kills millions of people in wars of aggression.

Rightists need to invent fairy tales about evil elites ushering in a Marxist dystopia because they are ideologically prohibited from considering the possibility that the evil elites are already getting their every wish fulfilled by our mundane, boring capitalist dystopia.

Dissolution of the state in today’s world just means instant absorption into the US-centralized power structure. As long as the US empire is what it is and does what it does, states are necessary and criticisms of their existence are childish nonsense based on immature analysis.

If China, North Korea, Venezuela or any other empire-targeted nation became an ideal stateless, classless, moneyless civilization it would instantaneously be absorbed by the empire. This self-evident fact invalidates all purist arguments against those governments. If your worldview does not account for the fact that there is a globe-spanning power structure working to absorb and subjugate all populations, you do not have a reality-based worldview. The empire is the very first obstacle to any leftward movement toward health in this world.

The status quo is held in place by psychological compartmentalization. It’s held in place by propaganda and brute force, naturally, but it’s also equally propped up by the basic human tendency to avoid sincerely engaging with information that threatens to destroy our worldview.

_______________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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The West can accept China’s wealth but not its power

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 13/02/2022 - 4:46am in

Tags 

China

China is challenging the fractured world order of the West — and the pushback from the imperial powers of yesterday is mired in hypocrisy. Why is the West so determined to demonise China? Sure, it may have driven a lot of tough business and trade deals and, sure, it may be competing for influence among Continue reading »

“China Is A Freakish, Backwards Nation” Bleat The Slaves From Their Dystopia

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/02/2022 - 12:03pm in

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the media in a nation whose government has spent the 21st century slaughtering people by the millions in military operations overseas so that it can literally rule the world like a comic book supervillain.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the westerners as they consume propaganda cooked up by their government and corporations on devices manufactured by stolen resources and exported slavery made possible by mass military slaughter, starvation sanctions and unipolar global domination.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the politicians who put on a daily performance of pro wrestling-style fake opposition against a political party they agree with on every major issue which is owned by the same corporate masters they serve.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” says the civilization that lets people starve and die of exposure and lack of medications because they didn’t win at a make believe game of accruing made-up numbers in their imaginary bank accounts by participating in a pretend economy.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” says the nation with the world’s largest prison population which they still to this day use as literal slave labor.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” parrots a brainwashed population in unison, just as it was programmed to do by the largest and most sophisticated propaganda system that has ever existed.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” blare the screens that have been indoctrinating us since birth to accept a murderous, oppressive, exploitative, omnicidal, ecocidal status quo that is driving our species toward extinction on myriad fronts.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” says the mind that has been warped and twisted its entire life to only function in ways which serve the powerful people who rule its own nation.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the inhabitants of a globe-spanning empire they don’t even know exists even as they blindly toil in its service their entire lives.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” say the masses as they ignore the freakish, backwards power structure that has been grinding them into the dirt.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” bleats a nation of unthinking automatons as they mindlessly crank the gears of an insatiable armageddon machine that is fueled by human blood.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” says a society that has turned away from sanity, turned away from truth, turned away from our authentic selves, all in service of a few clever people who discovered that human minds are hackable if you can just confuse their inner light.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because it’s safer to yell impotently into the void than to turn and face the irrational wrath of our violent oppressors and demand change in the only people we can change: ourselves.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because it’s easier to believe lies than to push against the uncomfortable feelings that cognitive dissonance brings up and find out what’s really going on over there.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation” we say, because we’re too brainwashed and befuddled to conceive of a world where governments don’t compete and strive to dominate each other and we instead collaborate together toward the good of our entire species.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, instead of looking at ourselves, and looking inward, and letting life get a word in edgewise, and letting truth take seed, and sprout, and blossom, and turning away from this self-destructive nonsense, and building a healthy world.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because that’s what everyone else is saying.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because to say anything else gets shouted down.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because all the screens in our lives told us to.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because thoughts are easily manipulated and perception is reality.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, because thoughts happen to us, thoughts aren’t something we do.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, from our minds that have been shaped by propaganda, on our social media platforms that are rigged for propaganda, into an information ecosystem that is made of propaganda.

“China is a freakish, backwards nation,” we say, and we say, and we say, and we say, as they lock down our minds and harness our voices and steer us closer and closer toward the cliff.

_______________________

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fi, Patreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

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Dutton’s posturing can only lead to military confrontation with China

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 11/02/2022 - 4:55am in

Tags 

China

As the US draws its allies in an  encirclement campaign against China, Australia’s Defence Minister is adding fuel to the fire. Some politicians have a particular flair for proposing US military moves that would goad China into a military confrontation with collateral damage for Asia. This takes a special mind-set that includes a phobia of Continue reading »

Wanting Peace With Russia To Focus Aggressions On China Is Just Being An Imperialist Warmonger

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/02/2022 - 12:34pm in

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz criticized the Biden administration’s dangerous escalations against Russia on the House floor on Monday, not because he thinks needlessly ramping up cold war brinkmanship with a nuclear-armed nation is an insane thing to do, nor because he believes the US government should cease trying to dominate the world by constantly working to subvert and undermine any nation who disobeys its commands, but because he wants US aggressions to be focused more on China.

“While the Biden administration, the media, and many in congress beat the drums of war for Ukraine, there is a far more significant threat to our nation accelerating rapidly close to home,” Gaetz said. “Argentina, a critical nation and economy in the Americas, has just lashed itself to the Chinese Communist Party, by signing on to the One Belt One Road Initiative. The cost to China was $23.7 billion — a mere fraction of a rounding error when compared to the trillions of dollars our country has spent trying to build democracies out of sand and blood in the Middle East.”

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“China buying influence and infrastructure in Argentina to collaborate on space and nuclear energy is a direct challenge to the Monroe Doctrine and far more significant to American security than our latest NATO flirtation in the plains of Eastern Europe,” Gaetz continued. “China is a rising power. Russia is a declining power. Let us sharpen our focus so that we do not join them in that eventual fate.”

For those who don’t know, the “Monroe Doctrine” refers to a decree put forward by President James Monroe in 1823 asserting that Latin America is off limits to European colonialist and imperialist agendas, effectively claiming the entire Western Hemisphere as US property. It essentially told Europe, “Everything south of the Mexican border is our Africa. It’s ours to dominate in the same way you guys dominate the Global South in the Eastern Hemisphere. Those are your brown people over there, these are our brown people over here.”

That this insanely imperialist and white supremacist doctrine is still being cited by high-profile politicians to this day says so much about what the US government is and how it operates on the world stage. This is especially true given that Biden himself just articulated the same idea in so many words last month when he declared that “Everything south of the Mexican border is America’s front yard.”

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So on one hand Gaetz is opposing warmongering against Russia and condemning the trillions spent on US wars in the Middle East, which by itself would normally be a good thing. But the fact that he only opposes doing that because he wants to focus imperialist aggressions on another part of the world to preserve US unipolar planetary domination completely nullifies any good which could come from his opposition to aggressions somewhere else.

This is a very common phenomenon on the right end of the US political spectrum; you’ll hear a politician or pundit saying what appear to be sane things against the agendas of DC warmongers, but if you pay attention to their overall commentary it’s clear that they’re not opposing the use of mass-scale imperialist aggression to preserve planetary domination, they’re just quibbling about the specifics of how it should be done.

Tucker Carlson has been making this argument for years, claiming that the US should make peace with Russia and scale back interventionism in the Middle East not because peace is good but because it needs to focus its aggressions on countering China. He inserts this argument into many of his criticisms of US foreign policy on a regular basis; he did it just the other day, criticizing the Biden administration’s insane actions in Ukraine and then adding “Screaming about Russia, even as we ignore China, is now a bipartisan effort.”

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp summarized this dynamic well in response to a recent Reason article making the same “Make peace with Russia to focus on taking down China” argument, tweeting “Unfortunately, a lot of the opposition to war with Russia is rooted in this idea that the US needs the resources to eventually fight China. We need more people to view war for Taiwan as dangerous and foolish as war for Ukraine.”

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Do you see how this works? Do you see how wanting to refocus US firepower on a specific target is not actually better than keeping that firepower diffuse? The difference between “Let’s have peace” and “Let’s have peace with Russia and stop making wars in the Middle East so that we can focus on bringing down China” is the difference between “Stop massacring civilians” and “Stop massacring these civilians because you’ll need your ammunition to massacre those other civilians over there.”

And it’s especially stupid because it’s the exact same agenda. One imperial faction believes it’s best to preserve US hegemony by focusing on bringing down the nations which support and collaborate with China, while the other imperial faction wants to go after China itself more directly. They both support using the US war machine to keep the planet enslaved to Washington and the government agency insiders and oligarchs who run it, they just manufacture this debate about the specifics of how that ought to happen.

This is what Noam Chomsky was talking about when he said, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”

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That strictly limited spectrum of debate is known as the Overton window, and imperial narrative managers work very hard to keep shoving that window further and further in the favor of the oligarchic empire they serve. In order to prevent us from arguing about whether there should be a globe-spanning capitalist unipolar empire in the first place, they keep us arguing about how that empire’s interests should best be advanced.

The longer the drivers of empire can keep us debating the details of how we should serve them, the longer they can keep us from turning toward them and asking why we should even have them around at all.

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