The Chinese government-run Global Times newspaper responded to the jihadist attack in Manhattan this week by declaring that China’s military belligerence is not a threat to America, instead claiming that the threat comes from America’s “haphazard and scattershot” democracy, which has led to a state of “domestic chaos.”
The Global Times column closely follows the unveiling of President Xi Jinping’s “socialism with Chinese characteristics” ideology to the Communist Party of China (CPC) last month. Xi presented a brutally authoritarian, ethnically homogeneous and religiously void vision for the future to China, and to the world a future in which China is the one global superpower above all other nations.
While Xi abstained from mentioning the United States, his state-controlled propaganda vehicles have endeavored to contrast his quest for totalitarian rule with the allegedly dismal state of affairs in America’s free society.
“The U.S. is faced with a spectrum of serious problems and its national governance is haphazard and scattershot,” the Global Times posits in its assessment of the Manhattan attack. “Social contradictions are a feature of this period, as certain ethnic groups become more united, while different groups are totally incompatible. Such a national condition brews a hotbed for all kinds of extreme incidents. Terrorism on U.S. soil and vicious mass shooting incidents occur more frequently.”
The attack, it goes on, as well as “the deadly mass shootings in Orlando and Las Vegas are realistic threats to the U.S.,” unlike, it argues, China’s illegal conquests in the South China Sea. “In years to come, such domestic chaos, instead of disputes in the South China Sea or Beijing and Moscow’s opposition against certain U.S. proposals, are the ones that will severely impact the country.”
While the Times does not offer any answers to the problem of “social contradictions,” which it blames for the spread of jihadist activity in the United States, it urges America to cease accurately assessing the danger that a belligerent China, serving as an example for a belligerent North Korea, poses.
“Even big powers like Russia and China do not have the ambition to attack the U.S., let alone North Korea and Iran,” it claims.
While the Global Times expresses concern for the United States, the People’s Daily, the official publication of the Chinese Communist Party, published a piece declaring that America’s free society was no longer an acceptable role model for the world.
“More people are making the argument that America is no longer the world’s role model,” the People’s Daily argued. “This is in part because of the decline of the US and, in part, because of the rise of China.”
The piece is vague on what exactly it is about the United States that it objects to, though it claims that “China’s ruling party has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty and created a thriving middle class, transforming the world’s most populous country into one of the world’s most powerful in record time.”
“China does not need to claim to be a role model for the world, because the advantages of the Chinese model are being increasingly recognized around the world,” it concludes.
Chinese media have been making similar claims throughout 2017. Following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, the Global Times claimed that Trump’s election put in doubt “the reliability and universality of the Western democratic system.”
By March, the Times claimed that America was in total “political chaos” and only “globalization” could save the world.
“The source of global instability may not be North Korea’s nuclear ambitions nor Europe’s refugee crisis, but the chaos in the U.S.,” the Global Times lamented in August, citing the Charlottesville riots. In response to the ongoing call by some leftists in the United States to tear down historical statues, the state publication asserted, “Chinese society does not indulge the expansion of social conflicts. … China is wary of the limits of its social endurance and we prefer political stability and flexibility.”
China’s definition of “political stability” has required decades of severe violence against political dissidents and religious minorities. Human Rights NGO reports have found evidence of the Chinese government torturing political dissidents in prison, arresting and torturing their families, and using political prisoners for medical experiments and organ harvesting.
China has in particular persecuted Christians, demolishing churches and arresting those who opt to worship outside of state-sponsored facilities; Uighur Muslims, who the government heavily spies on; and Tibetan Buddhists, whose leader, the Dalai Lama, China has branded a high-level national security threat.
The Global Times has referred to human rights advocates as “losers” for objecting to state repression.
President Donald Trump will be in Beijing at the invitation of Xi from November 8-10.