The Chinese state deploys “ethnic-based” and “racial-based” nationalistic messaging to its subjects, said bestselling author and Asia expert Steven Mosher in a Wednesday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour.
Mosher, the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order, explained that China’s progressively “totalitarian” apparatus includes nationalistic messaging with elements of the Hitlerian paradigm of racial struggle.
“The Chinese communist party is making explicitly ethnic-based, nationalistic, racial-based appeals to the Chinese people,” said Mosher. “It tells them that the Yellow Emperor, the mythical founder of China five thousand years ago, is the father of not only all living Chinese, but all Tibetans, the Mongols, the Manchus, all the races within China. It basically says, “We are one race. We are a superior race, and we have a natural right to once again dominate Asia and the rest of the world.”
China’s political elite subscribe to civilizational self-assuredness, said Mosher, believing in the inevitability and desirability of the global ascendance of China’s brand of authoritarianism.
“China has great regard for itself,” said Mosher. “It produced its own high civilization, and there are many things about Chinese civilization that are admirable, but it imagines that its own civilization surpasses anything the West or the rest of the world has to offer. This is a theory that’s propagated by the Chinese communist party for reasons of narcissistic nationalism, and it believes by reason of its superior culture, its own universal deference, that we should all — all China’s neighbors, near and far — should all bow and kowtow into recognition of its superiority, and we should naturally give in to its whims.”
The Chinese government seeks to displace America as the world’s primary superpower through economic designs across Eurasia, said Mosher.
“China is already becoming the dominant power in East Asia, and now it’s reaching with its One Belt One Road [project] across the Eurasian continent,” said Mosher. “Its purpose is quite clear. It wants to draw the economy of all Asian and European countries into China’s orbit. It wants to reorient the world’s economy around China, and with that economic dominance will come strategic dominance.”
“If they come to dominate Eurasia with four billion people and sixty percent of the world’s economy, I think it’s game over,” warned Mosher.
Expectations of China’s liberalization and democratization — including politically deterministic views of history — over decades were misguided, said Mosher. China’s authoritarianism is deepening as it returns to its cultural and political roots, he said:
A lot of people over the past 25 years continued to labor under the illusion that China and the United States were somehow converging, that China was going to become more open, respect human rights, eventually they would begin to practice democracy. China’s not going that way. China’s going in the other direction. China’s going back to its roots, and you know what its roots are.
As I mentioned in Bully of Asia, two thousand years ago, China, under the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty in 220 B.C. had political commissars in the military. The people were not permitted to bear arms. There was a cult of personality glorifying the emperor. The government propaganda corps was established. There was government censorship. They burned the books of ideas that were threatening to the regime. They had concentration camps. They purged and killed Confucian scholars. They had a secret police. All of the things that we associate with modern Marxist-Leninism, with modern bureaucratic totalitarianism, were actually invented in China over two thousand years ago.
So what we see in China today is China reverting to type. China [is] going back to its own historic roots, its own founding documents. In the same way we look back at the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, they look back to the ancient legalist writings about how to organize a state where every allegiance is owed to the emperor and to the state itself and the people are crushed.
The crushing of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 had been a death knell for hopes of China’s political liberalization and democratization, said Mosher.
“The hope for democracy and freedom in China died on Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989,” said Mosher. “Millions of students, workers, and even government bureaucrats had taken to the streets of China demanding freedom and liberty, holding up signs with quotations from Jefferson, Lincoln, and Washington, and then leader of China Deng Xiaoping responded with troops and tanks and mowed down people, innocent students in the streets of the capital city, ran them down with tanks. They were having to scrape the dead bodies off the pavement for days afterwards.”
Totalitarianism originated in China before the common era, said Mosher. China’s modern political iteration includes the concept of Big Brother from George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984: “Totalitarianism was invented China 2,500 years ago, the total subjugation of the individual to the state. And of course it practises a kind of digital dictatorship which comes very close to the totalitarian ideal that everybody should be watched all the time by the state and any suggestion of subversive activity or even thought should be snuffed out.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping is cultivating a cult of personality as he further centralizes political power within himself, said Mosher: “[Xi Jinping] is more than the king of China. He is the new red emperor. He is modeling himself exactly in every respect after Mao Zedong, who is one of the great mas murderers of history.”
China’s political ascendance will expand illiberalism as the authoritarian state seeks to “replicate” its system abroad, said Mosher.
“I have seen China’s growing economic and military might, and I know they’re going to use it not for good purposes, not to promote democracy and freedom, they’re going to use it for illiberal purposes, to destroy democracy, to destroy freedom around the world, to replicate themselves and of course what they are is a one-party dictatorship dominated now by the new red emperor Xi Jinping,” said Mosher.
“As China grows more powerful, it will seek to replicate itself,” continued Mosher. “But the countries that replicate themselves after China will come to resemble Cambodia, Zimbabwe, and North Korea, because China will move in, will give them low interest rate loans, will extract their resources, will corrupt their governments, and will leave strong men in place over a countries whose economies have been gutted. So you’re not going to see the rise of China contribute to the rise of other countries, you’re going to see it contribute to the colonization of other countries, the extraction of their resources, the devastation of their political systems, and disrespect for human rights. They will spread their mistakes around the world.”
Using an epidemiological metaphor, Mosher described China as the only country posing an existential threat to America: “There is only one country in the world, I argue, and this is China, that is a disease of the heart.”
“China dreams of a world under its hegemony,” said Mosher of China’s geopolitical ambitions. “China intends to snuff out America as the leading power in the world.”
Mosher is the president of the Population Research Institute and an internationally acclaimed expert on China. In 1979, he was the first American social scientist to visit and conduct research in mainland China, where he he witnessed firsthand the communist regime’s human rights violations vis-à-vis the forced abortions under their “one-child policy.” His latest book is Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream is the New Threat to World Order.
Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.