ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : FakeNews, TheLeftInWesternPropaganda, China

One thing we all really need to understand and expect is that it's so easy to create streams of information, FireHosing us with misinformation and propaganda, that we're all going to have to face a lot more of it.

Here's an article (by RodericDay claiming that many apparently far-left (explicitly "Marxist" or "Communist") media outlets, even very small, underground ones, are being recruited (knowingly or unknowingly) to anti-China propaganda and accusing China of genocide of Uyghurs.


Now I have no idea whether this article is true and honest. And if sites like https://chuangcn.org/blog/ are just fakes cooked up by anti-Chinese propagandists in the US. Or if they are genuine left-wing groups who are opposed to the Chinese government, and who have been infiltrated / co-opted by the US propagandists.

Or whether the articles like https://chuangcn.org/journal/two/spirit-breaking/ are true and accurate, and Roderic Day is either overly partisan, or explicitly financed by the Chinese government to spread disinformation in the West.

I don't know to what extent the atrocities claimed about China's behaviour in Xinjiang are a true representation, or somewhat true but exaggerated, or total inventions.

What I do know from Brazil and SouthAmerica is that right-wing propaganda, fermented in or with the help of the US, is often outrageously distorted, but highly effective.

(Aside : The other day my mother-in-law was telling me about a friend of hers, a woman in her 70s or 80s, leaving her screaming voice messages on Whatsapp about how the Brazilian Supreme Court has been taken over by communists (because it is now investigating JairBolsonaro's sons' alleged corruption, and has permitted an investigation into Bolsonaro's own handling of Covid19)). This is nonsense. And the woman undoubtedly lived through 14 years of PartidoTrabalhista rule in Brazil, where private businesses thrived and grew rich, and should be perfectly aware that the PT were mild SocialDemocrats with a bit of increased welfare spending, not "communists". But she prefers to believe what she reads on the internet than the evidence of her own eyes.)

And I also remember (and can read here on ThoughtStorms) the degree to which much of the left in 2003-2004 were brought into support for the AmericanWarOnIraq. Remember the EustonManifesto and ChristopherHitchensMovingToTheRightAgainstIslamoFascism? And all those liberal leftists who were enthusiastic supporters of GeorgeBush's alleged "war on terror". Day's essay has some good callbacks highlighting the parallels between the propaganda then and the propaganda now.

This from Day is striking :

Philip Alston writes, in his final report on global poverty as UN Special Rapporteur, in a section titled "China's outsized contribution":

Much of the progress reflected under the Bank's line is due not to any global trend but to exceptional developments in China, where the number of people below the International Poverty Line dropped from more than 750 million to 10 million between 1990 and 2015, accounting for a large proportion of the billion people 'lifted' out of poverty during that period. This is even starker under higher poverty lines. Without China, the global headcount under a $2.50 line barely changed between 1990 and 2010. And without East Asia and the Pacific, it would have increased from 2.02 billion to 2.68 billion between 1990 and 2015 under a $5.50 line. [22]

This reality of a government that leads by consent rather than repression, of Chinese people who are content with "moderate prosperity" rather than starry-eyed about American largesse, necessitated the birth of a new myth. And so propaganda shifted gears, and the Chinese population ceased to be portrayed as victims, and instead became "Han supremacists," hellbent on liquidating all difference and homogenizing the whole world in their image.

As it pertains to Xinjiang, let's go back in time from salacious reporting such as The Washington Post's In China, every day is Kristallnacht (2019), Haaretz' A Million People Are Jailed at China's Gulags (2019), and the New Yorker's Inside Xinjiang's Prison State (2021). They all simply recycle the same handful of bankrupt sources discussed earlier with increasing production values and more strident proclamations. The blitz of dramatized atrocity stultifies and guilts the reader into compliance, despite substantiation remaining as scant as ever.

There's also some telling comparisons with earlier propaganda, showing the shift in tone over the last decade. (In 2010 the US was at war with Islam not China.)

The rightward shift is unmistakable. In TheIntercept's account, any "purported" terrorism is simply a weaponized figment of the imagination of the Chinese state.

Further back still, in 2010, US portrayals of regional dynamics appear exactly inverted. China was not the enemy yet (Obama's "pivot to Asia" would not occur until 2011), and the marching orders were still focused on quashing sympathy for the victims of US occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as "targeted" killings in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and other nations. In this context, NPR published what reads today like a paean to Islam in China:

As she leads the service, Yao stands alongside the other women, not in front of them as a male imam would. But she says her role is the same as a male imam.

"The status is the same," Yao says confidently. "Men and women are equal here, maybe because we are a socialist country."


Controversy still rages in the Muslim world about whether women can be imams. In 2006, Morocco became the first country in the Arab world to officially sanction the training of female religious leaders.


In central China, most Muslims support the female mosques, but there is some resistance closer to China's border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, closer to the harder-line Wahhabi and Salafi influences.

This is not praiseworthy journalism, however. The objective was to demonize Pakistan and Afghanistan in service of US imperialism, praise of China was just the means to achieve it. That said, it is unimaginable that something like this would be published today in Jacobin, let alone NPR.

Finally Day finishes up his account by pointing that the US helped encourage the rise of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan before the Russian invasion, precisely to lure the USSR there. He ends on this speculation ...

To whatever extent anyone is skeptical whether these admissions fully capture the modern strategy on China, it is reasonable to demand at least an equivalent set of resources describing an alternative rationale. In my opinion, this is the count on which the mainstream narrative has been most deficient. At every turn it refuses to attribute the barest rationality (let alone morality) to Chinese actors. It doesn't trouble itself to explain why decision-makers would endanger the future of the Belt & Road Initiative [40] by indulging in utterly depraved sadism (skin flaying, mass rape, organ harvesting, hair harvesting, force-feeding pork and beer), instead banking on racist stereotypes of irrational savagery.

The real Xinjiang story is not so difficult to understand:

  • The rise of Xi Jinping and the Belt & Road Initiative posed a serious challenge to American supremacy much earlier than they were expecting, so [41]
  • the US amped up their funding of terrorism in the region, as per the "Afghan Trap" doctrine outlined by Brzezinski, but [42]
  • instead of sending in the PLA, repeating the error of the Soviets, China reacted by building schools and vocational programs instead. [43]
  • As a result, the US and its allies desperately pivoted to accusing them of "genocide," despite lack of evidence. [44]

I've yet to see any evidence whatsoever challenging this basic understanding.


Another thread of anti-China propaganda we're seeing these days is the story of LaboratoryCovid that has now been moved to its own page.

Quora Answer : What's going on with Huawei in the UK?

Jul 15, 2020

I'm British and I'm in Brazil.

That gives me a fascinating perspective by triangulating between the two countries.

For example, in the last couple of days the UK government has decided to exclude Huawei from the UK.

As Rupert Baines points out, there are many reasons this is idiotic. And as others emphasize, it's symptomatic of a Tory government which is burning all our bridges with other major trading partners like the EU and China and is obsessively focused with only one international relationship ... selling the UK into vassalage of Trump's America.

But then I go to Twitter and I see this hashtag trending in Brazil : #forahuawei

TIM, one of the major phone companies here has excluded Huawei from its considerations, and right-wing Twitter is exulting, with anti-China rhetoric ... creating the ForaHuawei hashtag ("Out with Huawei!") and trying to pressure all the other phone companies to follow ... "we don't want our data being spied on by the Chinese Communist Party" they say ... having clearly not taken on board Rupert's point about end-to-end encryption.

Again, Brazil is another country suffering a right-wing populist leader who is emulating Trump by killing his people with COVID incompetence and trying to distract them with China-baiting.

This is good evidence how co-ordinated this is. Because it's surely no coincidence that the UK decision has come at around the same time the right-wing activists are swarming on this in Brazil.

I won't say it's a conspiracy. It can be self-organized co-ordination, thanks to all the right-wing populists across the world now seeing each other on social media and copying each other. Nevertheless, it is striking that this stuff is synchronized. And obviously taking its lead from Trump.

So there's no point asking about "what is going on with Huawei in the UK". This is nothing to do with the UK. As Rupert points out, the UK spooks had already evaluated this stuff and decided there's no threat.

But like the WHO and COVID doctors. GCHQ are merely experts.

And this is ALL about politics. And it's all about global politics. And it's all about the ENDGAME of the right-wing populist movement. They've seized power across the world, by posing as the outsiders and channelling resentments against a perceived liberal world order.

But they are now in charge and making a hash of things. And people are seeing through them. And the only way they can cling onto power is to invent bigger and scarier enemies they can claim to be defending us against.

What is going on with Huawei in the UK is not about telephones or the UK. It's just one more front in a global propaganda war where right-wing populists try to talk up China as the great Satan. So that Trump can be re-elected on a wave of paranoia in November. And so that Boris can claim that Brexit has led to a successful trade deal with the US. And so that Bolsonaro can tell people that it doesn't matter that he's killed over 70000 (and accelerating) people through his COVID policies, because the alternative is "esquerdopatas" (left-wing psychopaths) who are all in cahoots with China.