The conclusion of a 30-year, 38 BCM/year Sino-Russian gas deal has gotten considerable attention in the media recently. Not surprisingly, much of the coverage – especially in the western media – was emotionally charged, given that Putin’s visit to China & the deal signing coincided with the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. There was no shortage of rhetoric about Putin “making Russia a resource appendage of China” for “good PR”, as if being a resource appendage of the West is so much better. The tirade of rhetoric against this deal reminds me of the type of propaganda we saw when China started boosting trade and investment in Africa. This post will address some of the biggest misconceptions being propagated in the western (& even Russian) mainstream media, and seek to draw conclusions based on facts, rather than anti-Chinese xenophobia. This is a lengthy post, so for those who are not interested in the details, the bold text will give you an adequate summary. Continue reading 5 Popular Misconceptions about the Sino-Russian Gas Deal→
It is often said Chinese government propaganda like Xinhua, People’s Daily, are highly agendaed and utterly unreliable. But how about America’s government propaganda? Here’s a recent example as illustration.
Recently, news of protesters killed in Maoming over a chemical plant made suspicious rounds – only in the usual propaganda outlets, Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, and ancillary outlets like Epoch Times, Boxun. These accusations of Chinese government killing protesters were accompanied with photos of citizen laying on the ground bleeding. However, a quick Google image-based search revealed these photos are not from the PX plant protest, but were victims of violent crime elsewhere in China:
This weekend, I went to see “Free China: The Courage to Believe“. This hourlong movie by Michael Perlman, who previously directed “Tibet: Beyond Fear”, boasts a few awards from some small indie, human rights, and “awareness” festivals. Like the similarly propagandistic but much less affordable Shen Yun dance performance, Falun Gong foot soldiers had plastered posters and postcards for the film in Chinese restaurants, on storefront windows, and on public information boards. Yet despite the heavy-handed advertising, it’s not often that a movie covering the broad subject of China comes to English-speaking audiences. Could this film be something other than a rehashed collection of dehumanizing stereotypes about the Chinese government? I set out to find out. Continue reading Film Review: “Free China: The Courage to Believe”→
CNN recently repeated an article from Financial Times on the news China has temporarily overtaken the United States as the world’s largest net oil importer. In spinning this news, their narrative went as follows:
“China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest net importer of oil, in a generational shift that will shake up the geopolitics of natural resources.”
First of all, China offers a lesson to the world, and especially to the NATO countries. You can become the world’s #1 net importer of oil without invading and occupying countries. You simply trade. China just did it. And, the last time I checked, it doesn’t appear China is upsetting any geopolitics. Is China kicking out American bases anywhere for oil? Nope. America may withdraw some ships from the region because America is becoming less dependent on Middle East oil, but that is on America’s own accord. So, all we have here is CNN and Financial Times agitating fear within the American public; corporate media and military industrial complex on display.
Back in October 4, 2011, I predicted the Occupy Wall Street movement would fizzle, simply because the U.S. corporate media were not behind it. pug_ster argued Obama’s first term supporters were starting to become disillusioned, “Just today the Unions, Moveon.org and many other left groups whom have supported Obama in the past are joining this protest.” While true, I still think U.S. media propaganda is too strong. For sure, they talk about the wealth gap in this country. However, their narratives in painting a more dire picture abroad and not pushing the Occupy’s narratives domestically allows a skewed view to fester within the American public. The following short video does an exceptional job in explaining this perception versus reality gap in America.
This is a good start, but we need more articles like this in the Mainland press, not just HK:
West has no reason to be smug Graeme Maxton says Western leaders who lecture the rest of the world about democracy, human rights and the free market should first practise what they preach, then learn to respect other ways.
@DeWang already addressed this topic, but I felt it appropriate to add a more visual perspective on this, and a simple commentary to the last blog entry simply does not suffice. I did an image search on the term “Hong Kong education protest”, and here are just a few of the numerous pictures that appeared. The question that comes immediately to my mind is: Anyone notice all those little kids that came out to protest?
The Economist is often held prisoner by its own prejudice arising from its whatever-China-does-internationally-is-wrong stance, and a recent article on the South China Sea disputes proves it. Behold the latest offering from intellectual dungeons of the The Economist: “The devil in the deep blue detail”.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, the newspaper warns against the dangers of viewing the dispute through cold war lenses, and then proceeds to do exactly that. In a nutshell, the article can be summed up as follows: China is the bad guy. (Of course, that applies to mostarticlesabout China that it publishes).
Lately, we have focused on propaganda in the Western media. Reader cp made (what I think) are very measured and accurate characterizations of what is happening around us. It is short and to the point, and I simply want to highlight it. As many here have argued in the past, these type of issues need to be discussed in the public. Comedians bring awareness to social issues through satire. Mark Twain challenge prevailing racist attitudes through his novel, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Though this blog may sound ‘serious,’ we feel it is critically important for everyone to wake up and recognize the nature of Western capitalistic media. This is not about choosing sides. Rather, it is about not letting ourselves to be further polarized. Continue reading Reader cp on China and the West→
In January 24, 2011, Pew Research Center’s Project on Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) released a report (“THE U.S. MEDIA ON CHINA“) analyzing U.S. media coverage of China in the last few years, an ongoing effort started since 1997. The report asked, “When China has made news, what is it Americans are learning about?” That question was precisely answered.
In this post, I will take it further and share with you how the U.S. media narratives were as consumed by the American public. I will then share with you whether those narratives are truthful. In fact, as you will see in the PEJ report, the U.S. media reporting of China really vacillates around few dominant and recurring negative themes. And, they are not so truthful; definitely not objective.
Noshir Gowadia was in the Western press lately, because back in August 2010, a Hawaii court convicted him of selling military secrets to China. BBC carried a report with the by-line: “A US engineer who sold military secrets to China has been sentenced to 32 years in prison.” We can expect the media to predictably draw a connection with the J-20 stealth fighter. The buzz now, rather in August 2010, of course is to milk the J-20 news.
I am not really writing about Gowadia though. Regardless of the case, any national working with foreign countries on weapons technology is essentially playing with fire. Impossible for us average citizens to weigh in on something like this. Instead, I have a simple thought I would like to share. Continue reading Is “secretive” a last name?→
On December 4, 2010, the New York Times published this article, “Vast Hacking by a China Fearful of the Web.” Well, if you actually spend just a little bit of time looking for facts supporting what the headline claims, you will not be surprised this is a tactic often employed by the U.S. media to smear other countries. There is no fact supporting the headline. They are all insinuations.
My retorts may come across to some as rants, because frankly, I think that’s all this article deserves. You will realize this article is really not trying to honestly make a case for the headline. It presumes the readers have already bought into it. This is a thinly veiled propaganda piece. Sadly, when it comes to China in the U.S. media, this is what we see. As this same propaganda is parroted throughout America, I feel compelled to chime in. America is better without it, because Americans are torn in all directions. She needs to reign in the budget deficit and reinvigorate herself to be more competitive. Continue reading The New York Times Propaganda: “Vast Hacking by a China Fearful of the Web”→
Map to the left with the ‘A’ flag is one of the islands under dispute. In some ways this is similar to the dispute between China and Japan over Diaoyutai/Senkaku. Perhaps an all-or-nothing approach to ownership is too much of a out dated thinking.
In terms of news coverage, the thing that really struck me is how different Japan, Russia, and China reports than from how the U.S./U.K. media reports. In the case of the latter, they will put so much more spin or propaganda into the news. I am beginning to wonder if I should boycott U.S./U.K. media altogether.
Here is something interesting I found on Youtube. For all the talk about China spreading propaganda and indoctrinating their children – you know teaching children about the greatness of their nation, their leader, their history … about the importance of social harmony … instilling hope for a better future – does the U.S. really look that different?