Rebutting Chinese Communist Propaganda

Commentary Beijing called for the protection of Asian Americans against systemic racism and the abuse of their rights, but it is using politically charged words to shield its own behavior and undermine American confidence. The communist regime in China is excellent at using specific words and phrases to beguile and undermine its Western critics. At a press briefing on Feb. 17, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, commented on the rise of attacks against Asian Americans. Wang said that Asian Americans are the victims of “systemic racial discrimination” and the United States must do more to “safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic minorities.” He also said that America should make sure “[Asian Americans] are free from violence and fear and enjoy equal rights as they deserve.” It is true that violence against anyone is wrong, and the United States has work to do on ensuring safety for everyone. But these words come from a regime that commits genocide against millions of people. The statement is not an expression of sincere concern for the American people, but instead adopts talking points used by left-wing Americans to undermine American moral confidence and prevent American leadership from condemning communist aggression abroad and Beijing’s oppression at home. The use of the term “systemic racism” recalls frequent domestic arguments. I’m sure the Chinese minister hoped that using this term would make Americans argue the merits of the point and the policies that derive from the concept. (The statement almost got this author to go down that rabbit hole.) But these are hotly contested ideas and have led to some of the most vociferous debates in recent memory as well as massive riots throughout 2020. It can be fairly said that this concept is ripping apart America from the school board to the board room. Beijing’s minister invoking the term “systemic racism” is likely an attempt to reignite that debate among Americans. And every second spent arguing about that topic means another second the regime doesn’t have to defend its treatment of Uyghurs, its oppressive security state, and its suppression of Hong Kong’s freedoms. Riot police detain a man as they clear protesters taking part in a rally against Hong Kong’s new national security law on the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China, in Hong Kong, on July 1, 2020. (Dale de la Rey/AFP via Getty Images) As I wrote in the last case of clear communist propaganda, Western obsession with its history of racial sins has become pathological. The guilt Western leaders have over racism and sexism has led to violent felons getting low bail and being free to run over people at a Christmas parade or attacking a Thai model at a New York City subway platform; a cancel culture climate so heated that makes survivors of China’s Cultural Revolution recall that event; the labelling of massively damaging riots as “mostly peaceful”; and, in general, a malaise and lack of confidence that makes people and government leaders less likely to confront Chinese aggression over disputed territory and to condemn human rights abuses by the regime. Beijing expects that the Western officials trying to be tough on China feel a stab of pain to their core when Chinese authorities invoke America’s racist past. Beijing’s claim about safeguarding the rights of minorities is a double-edged sword. One of the fears of the regime’s leadership is that the concept of human rights and humanitarian intervention can be used as an excuse by the West to invade China. The United States has a history of humanitarian intervention in places like Bosnia and Kosovo. And humanitarian concern was a part of the reason to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Chinese leaders believe that the rights of the oppressed are not an excuse to violate the sovereign territory of a state. They fear that China’s own record would produce a reason for invasion and fuels the paranoia of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It seems in this case, however, the argument for safeguarding the rights of Asian Americans is another domestic left-wing (and some right-wing isolationist) talking point, which argues that America has no moral right to intervene because of its history of abuse. Thus, Beijing’s statement about safeguarding the rights of Asian Americans becomes a shield, which too many useful idiots in America are ready to take up. That shield argues that American misdeeds disqualify them from the justified humanitarian use of American power against China. But the double edge of the sword is that by attacking American abuses of Asian minorities to undermine the United States’ moral right to intervene, Beijing is enhancing the concept that moral abuses matter. If moral rights matter, then international observers and nations have a right, and even a duty, to intervene in another sovereign state to protect the rights of minorities when they are abused. Clearly, any problem in Am

Rebutting Chinese Communist Propaganda

Commentary

Beijing called for the protection of Asian Americans against systemic racism and the abuse of their rights, but it is using politically charged words to shield its own behavior and undermine American confidence.

The communist regime in China is excellent at using specific words and phrases to beguile and undermine its Western critics. At a press briefing on Feb. 17, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Wang Wenbin, commented on the rise of attacks against Asian Americans.

Wang said that Asian Americans are the victims of “systemic racial discrimination” and the United States must do more to “safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic minorities.” He also said that America should make sure “[Asian Americans] are free from violence and fear and enjoy equal rights as they deserve.”

It is true that violence against anyone is wrong, and the United States has work to do on ensuring safety for everyone. But these words come from a regime that commits genocide against millions of people. The statement is not an expression of sincere concern for the American people, but instead adopts talking points used by left-wing Americans to undermine American moral confidence and prevent American leadership from condemning communist aggression abroad and Beijing’s oppression at home.

The use of the term “systemic racism” recalls frequent domestic arguments. I’m sure the Chinese minister hoped that using this term would make Americans argue the merits of the point and the policies that derive from the concept. (The statement almost got this author to go down that rabbit hole.) But these are hotly contested ideas and have led to some of the most vociferous debates in recent memory as well as massive riots throughout 2020. It can be fairly said that this concept is ripping apart America from the school board to the board room.

Beijing’s minister invoking the term “systemic racism” is likely an attempt to reignite that debate among Americans. And every second spent arguing about that topic means another second the regime doesn’t have to defend its treatment of Uyghurs, its oppressive security state, and its suppression of Hong Kong’s freedoms.

TOPSHOT-HONG KONG-CHINA-POLITICS-UNREST
Riot police detain a man as they clear protesters taking part in a rally against Hong Kong’s new national security law on the 23rd anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China, in Hong Kong, on July 1, 2020. (Dale de la Rey/AFP via Getty Images)

As I wrote in the last case of clear communist propaganda, Western obsession with its history of racial sins has become pathological. The guilt Western leaders have over racism and sexism has led to violent felons getting low bail and being free to run over people at a Christmas parade or attacking a Thai model at a New York City subway platform; a cancel culture climate so heated that makes survivors of China’s Cultural Revolution recall that event; the labelling of massively damaging riots as “mostly peaceful”; and, in general, a malaise and lack of confidence that makes people and government leaders less likely to confront Chinese aggression over disputed territory and to condemn human rights abuses by the regime. Beijing expects that the Western officials trying to be tough on China feel a stab of pain to their core when Chinese authorities invoke America’s racist past.

Beijing’s claim about safeguarding the rights of minorities is a double-edged sword. One of the fears of the regime’s leadership is that the concept of human rights and humanitarian intervention can be used as an excuse by the West to invade China. The United States has a history of humanitarian intervention in places like Bosnia and Kosovo. And humanitarian concern was a part of the reason to invade Iraq and Afghanistan. Chinese leaders believe that the rights of the oppressed are not an excuse to violate the sovereign territory of a state. They fear that China’s own record would produce a reason for invasion and fuels the paranoia of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

It seems in this case, however, the argument for safeguarding the rights of Asian Americans is another domestic left-wing (and some right-wing isolationist) talking point, which argues that America has no moral right to intervene because of its history of abuse. Thus, Beijing’s statement about safeguarding the rights of Asian Americans becomes a shield, which too many useful idiots in America are ready to take up. That shield argues that American misdeeds disqualify them from the justified humanitarian use of American power against China.

But the double edge of the sword is that by attacking American abuses of Asian minorities to undermine the United States’ moral right to intervene, Beijing is enhancing the concept that moral abuses matter. If moral rights matter, then international observers and nations have a right, and even a duty, to intervene in another sovereign state to protect the rights of minorities when they are abused.

Clearly, any problem in America is still minor compared to the genocide happening in China. A close look at history suggests that while the attack on Asian Americans is horrible, it is still far less egregious than the CCP’s behavior toward Uyghurs. The latter are regularly put in concentration camps, raped, tortured, and have their culture systematically obliterated. (The use of the term “systemic” is accurate in this case, unlike the American use of the term to describe domestic concerns.)

Thus, the CCP’s insistence on protecting minority rights enhances the concept of humanitarian intervention. And for those who truly care, the Uyghur abuse is not a bumper sticker, but a call for action.

American views on crime often swing like a pendulum, and during long periods of low crime, Americans are concerned with abuses in the criminal justice system toward criminals. But when those policies—notably, defund the police and “restorative justice” district attorneys—result in massive spikes in violent crime, including those against Asian Americans, the policies change. We’ve seen that to the point that some of the loudest “defund the police” voices have completely changed their position.

In short, the Asian American victims of crime will receive far more protection and justice, in far quicker time, than the Uyghurs can hope to receive, regardless of the talking points from China’s foreign minister.

Despite American misdeeds, the American people and leaders have a duty to see through CCP propaganda, and a moral imperative to resist the Chinese regime’s naked aggression abroad and the genocide of its minorities at home.

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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Morgan Deane is a former U.S. Marine, a military historian, and a freelance author. He studied military history at Kings College London and Norwich University. Morgan works as a professor of military history at the American Public University. He is a prolific author whose writings include "Decisive Battles in Chinese History," "Dragon’s Claws with Feet of Clay: A Primer on Modern Chinese Strategy," and the forthcoming, "Beyond Sunzi: Classical Chinese Debates on War and Government." His military analysis has been published in Real Clear Defense and Strategy Bridge, among other publications.