The editor-in-chief of belligerent Chinese state propaganda outlet Global Times, Hu Xijin, dismissed half the world as living “by the law of the jungle” in a column Thursday meant to lift the spirits of Chinese communists.
Hu claimed that Chinese “netizens” — a term for social media users in the country who the Communist Party does not censor — had lost some morale and begun to think that China was a “punching bag” for the world, but disagreed with this assessment in part because it is managing to “stand tall” despite confrontations with free states like America.
The Global Times and other Chinese Communist Party publications like the People’s Daily have a long history of racially or ethnically insensitive comments. The Global Times has repeatedly disparaged American culture as being inferior to the Chinese and lacking in “values” and once published a column stating that Brazil did not pose an economic challenge to China because Brazilians were inherently not hard workers.
China itself is facing mounting evidence of genocide against Turkic ethnic minorities in the nation’s west — millions of which the Communist Party has trapped in concentration camps — and of widespread racism against black people, who faced evictions and expulsions from businesses at the height of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.
Hu described the current situation with India, where a border dispute resulted in an embarrassing loss for the People’s Liberation Army this summer, and China’s inability to invade and colonize Taiwan as discouraging to the Chinese people.
“Some netizens often complain online, saying Chinese people feel depressed because China has to endure U.S. suppression, refrain from taking countermeasures against India’s border provocations,” Hu wrote on Thursday. “Even some small countries dare to bully China. Also with the Taiwan question, we have been all talk and taken no real actions. All that makes people feel uncomfortable.”
Hu disagreed with this perspective, arguing, “If we take a look at China from perspectives made outside of the country, few people regard China as a ‘punching bag.'”
“Generally speaking, the world is half-civilized, and the other half goes by the law of the jungle,” he claimed, without elaborating on which countries he believes function in which manner. “Yet all countries need to be able to take temporary setbacks. In my view, China, as the world’s No.2 economy, is doing quite well balancing its ‘setbacks’ and managing to ‘stand tall.'”
While Hu did not specify, the Global Times, which he edits, has repeatedly indicated that China does not consider America part of the civilized world. For years, the Global Times has bristled at calls from the United States for China to cut down on the production of fentanyl, a highly toxic opioid that began flooding the American market illegally in the latter half of the 2010s. Rather than blame China for its manufacture and distribution of the drug, the Chinese government, including its media outlets, repeatedly insisted that American culture was inferior to the Chinese and thus Americans embraced drug addiction and death.
“The United States should look within to cut down demand for opioids which are fueling its deadly drug crisis rather than stressing unsubstantiated claims that China is the major source of these chemicals,” Yu Haibin, an official with the China National Narcotics Control Commission, told the Associated Press in 2017.
The Global Times followed a year later.
“Drug abuse in American society is very rampant with addiction multiplying sharply in many areas. It is hard to find even one young person in the country who hasn’t tried drugs,” a column in the newspaper in 2018 read. “In the U.S., consuming marijuana is considered a private affair or even a manifestation of personality and taste.”
The Times concluded that America lacks “values.”
More generally, state media outlets have begun to refer to the “civilized world” in contrast to America. In response to criticism of China’s poor response to the Chinese coronavirus outbreak, the People’s Daily published an article in May that stated that Americans had been led astray by “political manipulation” and that the U.S. should begin listening to “the civilized world” on the pandemic.
“Blatantly trampling upon the sovereignty of other countries and damaging the international rule of law with supremacy, the U.S. is standing on the totally opposite side of international justice,” the column asserted.
Following the presidential election in November, the Global Times declared that America is no longer a “civilized” country.
“The US is not synonymous to a stable, civilized and consensus-based society anymore,” the newspaper affirmed.
China has similarly insulted other countries. In September, the Global Times dismissed the Australian government as “stupid” for expressing concern about increased Chinese espionage activity, declaring that its statement on Chinese meddling were not what “a civilized country should do,” citing its typical stable of “experts.”
In 2018, the Global Times published a column proclaiming that Brazil was “inferior” to China.
To be honest, Brazil does not compare well with China,” a columnist wrote. “It may sound racist to differentiate development based on culture. But after living in Brazil for a while, you will find out the answer.”
“Brazilians are not willing to be as diligent and hard-working as the Chinese. Neither do they value savings for the next generation, like the Chinese do. Yet they demand the same welfare and benefits as those in developed countries,” he lamented.