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January 26, 2021

Chinese Propaganda at The Wall Street Journal

A weekend essay might as well have been written by Beijing’s apparatchiks.

China has emerged as America’s number one geopolitical foe. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that rules China’s 1.4 billion people with an iron fist has designs on global domination. For the most part over the last three decades, the U.S. has allowed that to happen or even contributed to it. But it has not come without a huge price.

Just to pick a random news story from the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic began in China, likely in a Wuhan lab. That isn’t to say the CCP intentionally released the virus, though that is possible. It is to say the ChiComs strategically handled the initial outbreak to their advantage — and our great disadvantage.

China manipulated its puppets at the World Health Organization (WHO) to lie to the world about the pandemic in the early days. As a result, President Donald Trump rightly withdrew from the WHO, only to have President Joe Biden rejoin it on his first day in office. Biden and his crime family are, after all, likewise beholden to Beijing, and his actions don’t always match his sometimes-tough rhetoric.

And this is to say nothing of the way China has increasingly dominated global markets and supply chains since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001.

It is with that background of communist lies and machinations that we come to the Wall Street Journal’s “Saturday Essay” by Greg Ip. The Journal’s news side is, shall we say, not up to the standard of its editorial board. Few examples make that as plain as Ip’s introductory paragraphs, which we’ll quote in full to show the depth of the misinformation upon which he builds his case:

In late 2019, a group of international public health experts set out to assess pandemic preparedness around the world. Using criteria such as early virus detection, speed of response and adherence to international health norms, they ranked the U.S. first, China a distant fifty-first.

The experience with Covid-19, which swept the world shortly after that ranking was published, suggests that the experts got it backward. Among major countries, the U.S. has one of the highest per capita death tolls, China the lowest. The pandemic continues to spread in the U.S. while it remains mostly under control in China except for localized outbreaks.

Covid-19 wasn’t the only area in which China outshone the U.S. in 2020. Its economy managed to grow while the American economy shrank. Its political system grew stronger as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) reasserted control over Hong Kong and China’s unruly private sector. Meanwhile, American democracy took a hit as outgoing President Donald Trump sought to overturn last fall’s election, culminating with a group of his followers violently storming the Capitol. Joe Biden took the oath of office this week behind military-style fortifications guarded by troops.

If the U.S. and China are strategic competitors, as both Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden maintain, then judging by the last 12 months, China is winning.

Did Ip get this wording straight from Beijing’s apparatchiks, or does he simply believe China’s propaganda?

Does he think China is honestly reporting COVID deaths? Does he think GDP growth is the sole measure of goodness in an economy? Perhaps, for example, he missed that China is the world’s number one polluter, making the Barack Obama-Joe Biden dream of the Paris climate accord a farce. Or maybe Ip thinks building your economy on genocidal slave labor is what made China “outshine” the U.S. Does he think that China’s political system is enviable because our two-party structure is messy? That crushing dissent in Hong Kong is a model for the U.S.? He certainly complains about the very existence of political disagreement here, as well as our federalist system, which he says is far less “efficient” than China’s “centralized, authoritarian model.” But which country developed two vaccines for the China Virus in record time?

Ip’s pablum is appalling and worthy of China’s state-run People’s Daily, not The Wall Street Journal.

To wit, the Journal’s esteemed editorial board’s Monday offering noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping is, on the one hand, sweet-talking global leaders at Davos this week while threatening Taiwan with a show of military force. “Mr. Xi said in his speech that ‘the strong should not bully the weak,’ but that admonition doesn’t seem to apply to his own government,” the editors write. “‘We should stay committed to international law and international rules, instead of seeking one’s own supremacy,’ he added. Tell that to the people of Hong Kong who were promised autonomy through 2047 in a treaty Beijing signed with Britain but are now being arrested for even mild political dissent.”

Speaking of bullying the weak, Xi sent a warning to Biden while in Davos: “To build small circles or start a new Cold War, to reject, threaten or intimidate others, to willfully impose decoupling, supply disruption or sanctions, to create isolation or estrangement, will only push the world into division and even confrontation.”

One sign of Biden’s early acquiescence is killing the Keystone XL pipeline, ostensibly to fight climate change. But doing so simply means Canada will be selling more oil to China. Maybe Ip thinks that’s just China “outshining” the U.S.

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