How CCP Racism Influences The Diplomat

Commentary On Feb. 2, The Diplomat, a respected journal on Asia-Pacific politics, published an interview with Chandran Nair, a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propagandist whose views border on racism. The title of the interview said it all: “Chandran Nair on White Privilege in International Relations.” Nair’s beliefs are not atypical for a CCP propagandist. What really caught my attention was the interviewer at The Diplomat, based in Washington, falling for a lot of what Nair said. It bordered on racist, not least for its elision of the ultimate in racism and bigotry in China—what I would argue is a triple genocide per the U.N. definition, against Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Falun Gong. Then I noticed the interviewer was none other than The Diplomat’s editor-in-chief. Maybe this explained the lackluster coverage of China by that journal over the years. I had seen a lot of description in The Diplomat, which is sometimes useful, though with information overload on the internet one craves more. One Diplomat author, years ago, told me that he was discouraged from taking normative positions, but when it came to Nair’s CCP norms, they were not only encouraged with an interview, but amplified by The Diplomat itself. Leaving norms aside, there are relatively few articles in The Diplomat that deal with one of the most important issues, which is how Beijing uses its money and bribes of global leaders to get its way. When dealing with issues of totalitarianism, fascism, genocide, and the corruption of democracies around the world, straight description, which elides some of the most important facts that determine international politics, is morally lacking. While the interviewer and Editor-in-Chief Shannon Tiezzi rightly made an attempt to push back on some of Nair’s CCP talking points, and she might argue that her interviewing style was to acknowledge something she agreed with the author while problematizing his more extreme points, she went so far as to endorse views that are themselves bordering on racist. Tiezzi did not immediately reply to requests for comment. In the interview, which was focused on racism, Tiezzi binned the Tibetans in with the Uyghurs, both of which were only mentioned once. Beijing’s persecution of the Falun Gong adherents, which reaches genocidal levels according to the U.N. definition and Dr. Miles Yu, a former U.S. State Department official, was not mentioned at all. There is far more racism in China, not to mention anti-religious and totalitarian bigotry, including against Christians and Taoists, than in the United States or Europe—which Tiezzi did not raise. There was no attempt to examine whether this endemic CCP bigotry had an effect on China’s own international relations. Of course, it does. A case in point is Beijing’s remarkably successful use of trade and perhaps other more personal kinds of incentive to get majority-Muslim nations around the world to not only endorse China’s racist treatment of Uyghurs, but actively participate in the form of Uyghur deportations to China, very likely back to the concentration camps in Xinjiang. A perimeter fence around a labor camp in Xinjiang, China, on Sept. 4, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Reuters) Tiezzi claimed, in the interview’s introduction, that “in the current world order, steeped in colonialist heritage and born in the immediate aftermath of World War II, the assumption of White supremacy continues to guide decision-making in both conscious and subconscious ways.” She did not provide evidence for this during the interview, and neither did Nair. Tiezzi claimed that there is a “central truth” to “U.S. criticism of China” being “imbued with racism.” She claimed that there is an “inherent Western-centric nature of the Olympics,” for example. Again, no evidence. The Olympics has always been explicitly multicultural, which is the obvious source of its global popularity and enduring ethical appeal. It has gone too far this year, to play its games in China despite an ongoing genocide. Tiezzi then conflates “Western” with “White” when Western countries are also clearly multicultural—including at the highest level of state in the United States, for example, Barack Obama’s presidency and Kamala Harris’ vice presidency. Compare that to the complete lack of non-Han representation at the highest levels of political power in China. There, all seven members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo are Han males. Like Nair, The Diplomat appears too quick and biased in its allegations of racism. Tiezzi did not immediately reply to a request for comment. In the interview, Tiezzi downplays the Uyghur genocide to a “real problem” rather than labeling it for what it is. She does not mention Beijing’s military threats against Taiwan, or its occupation of the South China Sea, which is pressuring Vietnamese and Philippine fishing, sometimes to the point of sinking their boats and leaving them stranded in the middle of the ocean. Remember, the CCP is not ab

How CCP Racism Influences The Diplomat

Commentary

On Feb. 2, The Diplomat, a respected journal on Asia-Pacific politics, published an interview with Chandran Nair, a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propagandist whose views border on racism.

The title of the interview said it all: “Chandran Nair on White Privilege in International Relations.” Nair’s beliefs are not atypical for a CCP propagandist.

What really caught my attention was the interviewer at The Diplomat, based in Washington, falling for a lot of what Nair said. It bordered on racist, not least for its elision of the ultimate in racism and bigotry in China—what I would argue is a triple genocide per the U.N. definition, against Uyghurs, Tibetans, and Falun Gong.

Then I noticed the interviewer was none other than The Diplomat’s editor-in-chief. Maybe this explained the lackluster coverage of China by that journal over the years. I had seen a lot of description in The Diplomat, which is sometimes useful, though with information overload on the internet one craves more.

One Diplomat author, years ago, told me that he was discouraged from taking normative positions, but when it came to Nair’s CCP norms, they were not only encouraged with an interview, but amplified by The Diplomat itself.

Leaving norms aside, there are relatively few articles in The Diplomat that deal with one of the most important issues, which is how Beijing uses its money and bribes of global leaders to get its way. When dealing with issues of totalitarianism, fascism, genocide, and the corruption of democracies around the world, straight description, which elides some of the most important facts that determine international politics, is morally lacking.

While the interviewer and Editor-in-Chief Shannon Tiezzi rightly made an attempt to push back on some of Nair’s CCP talking points, and she might argue that her interviewing style was to acknowledge something she agreed with the author while problematizing his more extreme points, she went so far as to endorse views that are themselves bordering on racist.

Tiezzi did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

In the interview, which was focused on racism, Tiezzi binned the Tibetans in with the Uyghurs, both of which were only mentioned once. Beijing’s persecution of the Falun Gong adherents, which reaches genocidal levels according to the U.N. definition and Dr. Miles Yu, a former U.S. State Department official, was not mentioned at all.

There is far more racism in China, not to mention anti-religious and totalitarian bigotry, including against Christians and Taoists, than in the United States or Europe—which Tiezzi did not raise. There was no attempt to examine whether this endemic CCP bigotry had an effect on China’s own international relations.

Of course, it does. A case in point is Beijing’s remarkably successful use of trade and perhaps other more personal kinds of incentive to get majority-Muslim nations around the world to not only endorse China’s racist treatment of Uyghurs, but actively participate in the form of Uyghur deportations to China, very likely back to the concentration camps in Xinjiang.

labor camp
A perimeter fence around a labor camp in Xinjiang, China, on Sept. 4, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Tiezzi claimed, in the interview’s introduction, that “in the current world order, steeped in colonialist heritage and born in the immediate aftermath of World War II, the assumption of White supremacy continues to guide decision-making in both conscious and subconscious ways.”

She did not provide evidence for this during the interview, and neither did Nair.

Tiezzi claimed that there is a “central truth” to “U.S. criticism of China” being “imbued with racism.” She claimed that there is an “inherent Western-centric nature of the Olympics,” for example.

Again, no evidence. The Olympics has always been explicitly multicultural, which is the obvious source of its global popularity and enduring ethical appeal. It has gone too far this year, to play its games in China despite an ongoing genocide.

Tiezzi then conflates “Western” with “White” when Western countries are also clearly multicultural—including at the highest level of state in the United States, for example, Barack Obama’s presidency and Kamala Harris’ vice presidency. Compare that to the complete lack of non-Han representation at the highest levels of political power in China. There, all seven members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo are Han males.

Like Nair, The Diplomat appears too quick and biased in its allegations of racism.

Tiezzi did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

In the interview, Tiezzi downplays the Uyghur genocide to a “real problem” rather than labeling it for what it is. She does not mention Beijing’s military threats against Taiwan, or its occupation of the South China Sea, which is pressuring Vietnamese and Philippine fishing, sometimes to the point of sinking their boats and leaving them stranded in the middle of the ocean.

Remember, the CCP is not about the equality that some Marxists promote. Look at its theft of maritime, land, and water resources from countries that are poorer than China on a per capita basis—including not only Vietnam and the Philippines, but India and Bangladesh.

Perhaps because of a proliferation in Marxist-Leninist readings (warpings) of history, which is embedded in many elite universities in the United States and Europe since the 1970s, some do not see clearly the critical importance and agency, robbed by analyses like Nair’s, of liberal and democratic countries—including Japan and India, all of which are multicultural and supportive of diversity (some not as much as they should be)—in stopping what is arguably the world’s most dangerous, racist, and totalitarian threats, including Nazis, Stalinists, and the CCP.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Anders Corr has a bachelor's/master's in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. His latest books are “The Concentration of Power: Institutionalization, Hierarchy, and Hegemony” (2021) and “Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the South China Sea" (2018).