It seems there could be few things more interesting than sitting half-court, like a satiated canine, at a tennis match between the editors of the Washington Times and the (Beijing) Global Times (aka Huanqiu Shibao / 环球时报).
Recent Huanqiu stories have formed around a few staunch batteries (as in artillery emplacements):
– Constant feeding and re-feeding of the Google story far beyond the capacity of any Western source to cover. One might assume that China would have swept this one under the rug, but instead they are gorging in Huanqiu on Google stories meant to expose American hypocrisy. On this other big news page on “Internet Freedom” (quotation marks in original, see below), we get a flashing image between a picture of Hillary Clinton giving her speech at State and the cartoon, below.
You know it’s bad when Xinhua starts putting up big stories about anti-Tibet rallies among overseas Chinese organizations in cities like Philadelphia, which they did.
Watching this whole spectacle, it seems that Le Figaro got it right when they called the Dalai Lama “a hostage in the Sino-American game.”
Actually, for relief of all of this bilateral head-bashing, I can recommend nothing more sane than the video-analysis of Joris Zylberman, a reporter in Beijing for France24. His report, available here, is simply smashing in its delivery. American reporters tend to get so scrunched up, so serious — remember Terry Moran’s attempt to gird up his pretty-boy loins when he interviewed Dick Cheney on an Air Force tarmac during the Iraq War? — that all sense of élan is gone. Joris has élan in spades, and probably a few good sources on the Chinese street.
Fortunately for readers who don’t need French flexibility and simply want to thump the truncheon down on the Beijing government, the Washington Times fills the bill.
Just take this recent editorial on Mao on the paper’s op-ed pages:
Can you name the greatest mass murderer of the 20th century? No, it wasn’t Hitler or Stalin. It was Mao Zedong. According to the authoritative “Black Book of Communism,”an estimated 65 million Chinese died as a result of Mao’s repeated, merciless attempts to create a new “socialist” China. Anyone who got in his way was done away with – by execution, imprisonment or forced famine.
For Mao, the No. 1 enemy was the intellectual. The so-called “Great Helmsman” reveled in his bloodletting, boasting, “What’s so unusual about Emperor Shih Huang of the Chin Dynasty? He had buried alive 460 scholars only, but we have buried alive 46,000 scholars.” Mao was referring to a major “accomplishment” of the Great Cultural Revolution, which from 1966 to 1976 transformed China into a great House of Fear.
And those are just the first two paragraphs from Lee Edwards’ “The Spirit of Mao Zedong: Tyrannical Zeal Still Animates People’s Republic,” an editorial which seems to warn Americans of creeping Maoism in the heartland while itself being animated by a desire to outdo even Jon Halliday and Jung Chang in its repugnance for Mao and arbitrary capitalizations. “House of Fear?” Is it Halloween again?
(Unfortunately, I just wasted six minutes pawing through my Jung/Halliday Mao biography for the relevant citation, but, as the book is such a heap of disjointed accusation, the authors could not bother to include an index entry for “intellectuals,” “China” or “Chin Shi Huang,” leaving me to stump through marginalia, bereft. Fortunately I published this essay a bit ago expressing my caveats about reading “Mao: The Unknown Story.”)
But if it’s more up-to-date accusations you hanker for, then don’t miss “Underestimating China” by retired Admiral James A. Lyons. You’ve got to love a man who isn’t afraid to make open statements about “Chinese imperialism”:
[T]he Obama administration’s new strategy of not preparing for major conflicts…is a formula for disaster. Further, it plays into the China propaganda line that its modernization is only for defensive purposes. China goes on to state that it has never committed aggression against anyone. This propaganda is repeated by pro-China supporters, plus a line attributed to Henry Kissinger that “military imperialism is not China’s style.” Then China’s aggression in Tibet, Vietnam, India, Russia and the South China Sea must have been aberrations.
How much further will Chinese imperialism reach, when, by the end of this decade, it could have multiple aircraft carriers, a growing large-ship amphibious navy, near nuclear parity should the president succeed with further U.S. nuclear warhead reductions, and growing numbers of fifth-generation fighters? It’s not just this picture that worries some of our Australian allies, but also the refusal of the Obama administration to see how it may be accelerating a growing threat.
2012 is going to be a really great year for U.S.-China relations; I can feel it already.