China’s Nationalist Fervor & Fear-Mongering Paranoid Xenophobic Bloodthirsty Racist West-Bashing Reaches Dangerous New LevelsPosted: August 11, 2016
This kind of propaganda is highly effective and gives licence to ordinary people to indulge their most primitive prejudices. By convincing its people that many of China’s ills are the work of foreign spies and conspiracies, Beijing could eventually be forced to hit back against such perceived enemies in order to placate popular outrage.
Across much of the world, fear-mongering and xenophobia are creeping into public and political discourse.
In liberal democracies with traditions of free speech, vociferous denunciations of these attitudes can act as a counterweight. But in authoritarian countries where alternative narratives are forbidden, official attempts to demonise foreigners and “others” can be especially dangerous. In the past week, the Chinese government has launched several viral online videos that blame “western hostile forces” for a host of ills and supposed conspiracies within China.
“In the past, most foreigners in China enjoyed a certain level of unstated protection and privilege. In business and in everyday life ‘foreign friends’ were welcomed and often treated with kid gloves by the authorities. Some of them undoubtedly took advantage of this to flout the rules or behave badly without fear of retribution.”
The videos are crude but exceptionally powerful in their simplicity and emotional appeal. One video promoted by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Communist Youth League, two of the most powerful state bodies, begins with heartbreaking scenes of orphans and victims of the wars in Iraq and Syria, and then jumps to an assertion that the west, led by the US, is trying to subject China to the same fate.
“Today, that informal immunity seems to have vanished. In its place are hints of a backlash that many long-term foreign residents will tell you can be very ugly, ranging from casual discrimination and racial slurs, to physical altercations that take on a racist dimension.”
“Under the banner of ‘democracy, freedom and rule of law’ western forces are constantly trying to create societal contradictions in order to overthrow the [Chinese] government,” the subtitles read over pictures of democracy protesters in Hong Kong and President Barack Obama meeting the Dalai Lama.
According to the video, western plots and the “dark shadow of the Stars and Stripes” are also to blame for everything from attacks on Chinese peacekeepers in Africa, to farmers’ riots in China’s hinterland, to the Tibetan independence movement. The effect is heightened by ominous music and juxtaposition of chaos elsewhere with heroic images of Chinese soldiers and weaponry.
“In the past week, the Chinese government has launched several viral online videos that blame ‘western hostile forces’ for a host of ills and supposed conspiracies within China. The videos are crude but exceptionally powerful in their simplicity and emotional appeal.”
In some ways this is a mirror of the populist, jingoistic tilts happening elsewhere in the world. While not a direct reaction to the assertive Trumpism emanating from the US or the rise of rightwing nationalism in Europe, some of the same collective animus is taking hold in China, partly at the instigation of the ruling Communist party.
“According to the video, western plots and the ‘dark shadow of the Stars and Stripes’ are also to blame for everything from attacks on Chinese peacekeepers in Africa, to farmers’ riots in China’s hinterland, to the Tibetan independence movement.“
Many of those propagating this message are the shallowest of nationalists — the kind of party apparatchiks who are diversifying their (often ill-gotten) assets abroad as fast as they can and sending their children to study in Australia, the US, Canada or the UK.
“The effect is heightened by ominous music and juxtaposition of chaos elsewhere with heroic images of Chinese soldiers and weaponry.”
Indeed, one of the main producers of the video on western plots is a 29-year-old PhD student from China now living in Canberra, Australia. Meanwhile, the party has called for the rejection of western values and concepts in favour of Marxism — an ideology named after a German living in London and refracted into China via Moscow. Read the rest of this entry »
China leadership gathers in Beidaihe for secret conclave.
Beijing watchers will closely monitor comments that trickle out over time after the meeting this year to discern what may have been discussed there. Xi is closing in on the last year of a five-year term that ends in October 2017.
Seems Mody reports: A closed-door meeting in a resort town on the Bohai Sea may be where China‘s future leadership begins to take shape, at a time when observers say there’s tension at the top in Beijing.
“We will be looking for signs that the successors to Xi and Li have been chosen, as this time 10 years ago it was clear that Xi and Li would come to power after five years.”
President Xi Jinping is said to be hosting the very highest echelon of China’s Communist Party this week in Beidaihe. No hard decisions on leadership are expected to come immediately from the annual meeting, but this year’s conclave is expected to initiate those conversations among top officials.
The precise whereabouts of the meeting are not disclosed, but sources close to CNBC said the annual meeting typically takes places in four to five villas nestled in Beidaihe, a coastal town.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a message left by CNBC.
Beijing watchers will closely monitor comments that trickle out over time after the meeting this year to discern what may have been discussed there. Xi is closing in on the last year of a five-year term that ends in October 2017. It’s for that reason that experts say politics and leadership changes will likely be on the agenda. Read the rest of this entry »
Julie Making reports: A prominent Chinese lawyer who had taken on sensitive, high-profile cases involving activists and victims of a tainted infant formula scandal was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison on charges of subversion.
“This wave of trials against lawyers and activists are a political charade. Their fate was sealed before they stepped into the courtroom and there was no chance that they would ever receive a fair trial.”
Zhou Shifeng, a human-rights lawyer and director of the Beijing Fengrui Law firm, was arrested in July 2015 in a wide-reaching crackdown that saw hundreds of people detained.
“The Chinese authorities appear intent on silencing anyone who raises legitimate questions about human rights and uses the legal system to seek redress.”
State-run media accused him of operating a “criminal syndicate” that masterminded serious illegal activities to incite “social disorder” all in the name of making money.
Authorities accused Zhou of drawing unwarranted amounts of public attention to “sensitive cases” by publishing information about them online and encouraging people to appear outside courthouses where trials of such cases were being held.
Fengrui gained a reputation as a firm that would take on the most difficult, and from the government’s perspective, nettlesome cases. Outspoken artist Ai Weiwei turned to the firm when he was slapped with a tax evasion case; the firm also represented Ilham Tohti, a scholar from the Uighur ethnic minority who was accused of separatism and sentenced to life in prison in 2014. And when contaminated baby formula sickened thousands and led to multiple deaths in 2008, Fengrui represented families seeking redress. Read the rest of this entry »
LOS ANGELES (AP) – An attorney said Wednesday that the body of a mystery man was decomposing in his car in the tony Pacific Palisades neighborhood in Southern California for nearly two weeks before he was found by authorities on July 17.
Inside his home, detectives discovered more than 1,200 guns, scopes, 6.5 tons of ammunition, bows and arrows, knives, machetes and $230,000 in cash.
They also found eight of the 14 vehicles registered to the man stashed across Los Angeles, including a Toyota SUV designed to drive underwater.
Who the man was and how he came to accumulate the arsenal and vehicles are questions authorities are still trying to answer.
Veteran defense attorney Harland Braun represents the man’s fiancée Catherine Nebron and identified him as Jeffrey Alan Lash.
That’s also the name coroner’s officials are working with and they’re in touch with a relative to try to officially identify the body, said Craig Harvey, chief of investigations for the coroner’s office.
Lash and Nebron were together for 17 years and she believed him when he told her that he worked as an undercover operative for multiple unnamed government agencies, Braun said.
“The story itself sounds totally crazy but then how do you explain all this?” Braun said. “There’s no evidence he was a drug dealer or he stole these weapons, or had any criminal source of income, no stolen property, all the stuff you’d look for.” Read the rest of this entry »
Dzhokhar appeared in court under heavy security Thursday ahead of his trial next month for the bombing of the Boston Marathon, telling the judge he was satisfied with his lawyers.
Tsarnaev, wearing gray pants, a black sweater-vest and a tie, was led in handcuffs into a federal courthouse in Boston for a pretrial hearing. It was his first appearance since July 2013.
Asked by the judge whether he had been kept up to speed on the court proceedings, Tsarnaev answered: “Yes, Your Honor.” Asked whether his lawyers were representing him adequately, he said, “They are.” Read the rest of this entry »
When Donald took the stand, he insulted his wife
On many occasions, Donald would deviate from the original line of questioning and would often insult his wife Shelly’s attorney. His answers at times were also very sarcastic.
“My wife can’t run anything. She’s beautiful and I love her, but she can’t run anything. I’m trying to generate as much success and revenue for my trust.”
— Donald Sterling
In one emotional moment during a break in court, Shelly walked over to Donald and hugged him. He then kissed her hand.
[Also see – Sterling Trial Begins; Donald Not Present]
But when Donald took the stand, he insulted his wife. Read the rest of this entry »
LOS ANGELES (KABC) — For ABC7 Robert Holguin reports: After a morning delay, the trial that could make or break the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers got underway on Monday. But, Donald Sterling was nowhere to be found.The legal battle between Donald Sterling and his estranged wife, Shelly, was caught in a “procedural limbo” during the morning session, after his attorneys filed a motion to shift the case to federal court.
But a federal judge ruled the case did not belong in federal court and sent it back to probate court.
When the trial finally started late in the afternoon, attorneys wanted to hear first from Donald Sterling, who was not there. Read the rest of this entry »
Robert Wilde reports: In a variation of the nationwide “Knockout Game,” billionaire ultra liberal George Soros’s ex-girlfriend suckerpunched him in the head during a deposition in their palimony law suit.
In a vivid display of profanity, Adriana Ferreyr, a South American soap actress, screamed at the Hungarian- born businessman, calling him an “a–hole!” and a “piece of s–t!” For good measure, she knocked the glasses off his California lawyer Martin Singer, berated his other lawyer William Zabel, and then scorched her own high powered attorney William Beslow with more obscene language, according to papers filed Friday by Singer.