Chinese Communist Party (CCP) media breathlessly applauded the selection of Kamala Harris as the Democrat Party’s vice presidential nominee, with a Global Times editorial on Thursday celebrating her for having a Chinese name and supposedly being tough on crime.
The Chinese paper also echoed Democrat talking points by suggesting criticism of Harris will be founded in racism and sexism.
The Global Times’ thoughts on racial and sexual politics would sound familiar to any consumer of left-leaning U.S. media:
Harris has been chosen based on the following considerations. First, the agenda of race is key. Since US President Donald Trump took office, the issue of race in the US has intensified greatly with wild polarization. In this case, the Democratic Party’s image as a minority representative plays an important role consolidating its campaign.
Harris is blessed with multiple characteristics of ethnic minorities. She has a Chinese name, He Jinli, which makes it easier to attract the support of Chinese voters, some of whom used to be in favor of the Republican Party because of the Democratic Party’s policies on education and other issues. Harris’ mother is from India and her father is an African American from Jamaica. Thus, she has the characteristics of major ethnic minorities. All these make her a symbol of multicultural integration in the US.
Chinese media usually tries to parrot the narratives it sees in U.S. mainstream media publications, with a dark twist that serves the CCP’s interests, such as stoking racial resentments in the U.S., or treating American social issues as if they were human rights violations on par with China’s concentration camps and Hong Kong crackdown.
Sometimes the Chinese editorialists do not understand all the nuances of what they’re parroting, which leads to amusing sentences like this one, from Thursday’s Global Times editorial: “Biden is often regarded as a moderate politician and thus is often ridiculed by his opponents. By contrast, Harris has always been known for being tough in her political career.”
The Global Times was enthused by Harris supposedly being a tough prosecutor – another claim whose nuances the CCP does not understand, given the questions raised about Harris failing to prosecute sexual abuse cases against priests and jailing minor drug offenders with an enthusiasm her party’s base finds unseemly:
When she was California’s attorney-general, Harris punished criminality ruthlessly, regardless of the suspect’s racial background. As a senator, she held a key committee position and made outstanding performances in the fight against Trump. When she competed with Biden for the Democratic Party’s presidential candidacy, she also showed an aggressive attitude. Harris’ toughness is what Biden lacks. A mild and mature man with a young and aggressive woman constitutes a perfect match.
This is the beginning of what will probably become a major Chinese narrative about the Democrat ticket: Harris is tough on crime, just like Beijing. The Chinese government often justifies its most oppressive actions as simple law enforcement, reining in hooligans, protecting state security from dangerous subversives, and so forth.
The Global Times concluded that there might be a few problems with the Harris pick, but only because white Americans are racist.
“Although Harris has minority characteristics, the question of her appeal to ‘Middle America’ and identity politics looms. Some white voters may strengthen their sense of identity as the ethnic majority and distance themselves from the Democratic Party. This means that identity politics will be more prominent in the 2020 election. In the long run, political polarization based on ethnic identity is likely to become more wide-ranging in the U.S.,” the Chinese paper predicted.