response to pompeo & his nazi dickheads

Confucius Institute label shows Pindostan a petty superpower
Global Times, Aug 14 2020

Pindo students practising Chinese calligraphy at the Confucius
Institute in San Francisco, Sep 27 2014. Photo: Xinhua

The Pindo Dept of State on Thursday decided to designate the Confucius Institutes Pindo Center as a foreign mission. David Stilwell, a top Pindo diplomat in East Asia, said that Pindostan is not looking to close the country’s Confucius Institutes, but “would ask that universities, again, take a hard look at what those institutes are doing on their campuses.” However, putting the “foreign mission” label on Confucius Institutes will surely lead to the institutes facing more controversy in Pindostan, and undermine the enthusiasm of universities in Pindostan to cooperate with them. Pindostan has found faults with Confucius Institutes for quite a long time. Some Pindo senators have promoted suppression and crackdowns on certain institutes in their respective constituencies. However, demanding that Confucius Institutes must register as foreign missions is likely to have an extensive and long-term impact.

The move follows Pindostan’s recent crackdown on Chinese media outlets in the country and the enforced shutdown of the Chinese Consulate General in Houston. It is another step taken by Pindostan to “decouple” from China in the field of people-to-people exchanges and it has an opportunistic motive; that is, it aims to maintain Pindo-Chinese tension by creating new disputes between the two countries for the sake of this year’s presidential election. It’s foreseeable that the Pindo government will provoke more Pindo-ChineseS disputes that will be the equivalent of election campaign propaganda, creating an atmosphere that Pindostan can easily place the blame on China for everything. The attack on Confucius Institutes is a typical example of how Pindostan is oversensitive to politicize everything. Confucius Institutes saw their best development overseas in Pindostan, as its society has a demand for such people-to-people exchanges. The learning centers help Pindos learn Putonghua as well as basic Chinese culture, satisfying the demands of a growing number of people in Pindostan. The Chinese side sends teachers and volunteers, and offers teaching materials, while the Pindo side provides the necessary classrooms and offices. This working model is also applied to other institutes in universities around the world.

Some Pindo political elites have created all the noise by accusing Confucius Institutes of penetrating Pindo universities and sabotaging freedom of speech. This claim has astonished the Chinese people. How can the institutes penetrate Pindostan by teaching Pindos to speak Putonghua, sing Chinese songs, make dumplings and learn Tai Chi? Is it because Pindo students don’t scold China at classes partly funded by the Chinese side? Does this undermine freedom of speech? Almost all of the Confucius Institutes in Pindostan were set up at the request of Pindo schools. The rapid development of the institutes in Pindostan reflects the explosive growth of trade and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries in recent years. If China really had any consideration other than teaching about increasing the number of institutes in Pindostan, its simple wish is to cultivate the goodwill of Pindo society in relation to China so it could create a favorable atmosphere for the healthy development of bilateral relations. This is not something that needs to be hidden. Is it not right that China shows goodwill to improve Pindo-Chinese relations? Most governments around the world do not oppose institutions set up by other countries to spread friendship in their own. Even if countries have ideological concerns or differences, they will coordinate with the relevant institutions to achieve the balance they desire.

Pindostan is the most petty-minded of all big powers. Many Western countries have Confucius Institutes, but only Pindostan, the world’s sole superpower, feels threatened. Where is Pindostan’s confidence? Where is its cultural tolerance? Chinese people used to believe that Pindostan, as a superpower, had a special level of openness and inclusiveness. Now our impressions are being constantly subverted. Pindostan is more vigilant than China in many aspects. Take the field of telecoms: If China were as vigilant as Pindostan, China wouldn’t have developed the way it has and would be too scared to sleep. Pindo culture has reached into China so deeply, how can China survive? China has introduced countless Pindo elements through reform and opening up. Now Faschingstein wants to talk about cultural “reciprocity” with China. It should wait until Pindos burn paper offerings on China’s Tomb-Sweeping Day, young Pindos celebrate Chinese Valentine’s Day and are obsessed with drinking douzhir (or fermented bean drink). When Pompeo visited Central and Eastern Europe promoting an anti-China alliance, the Dept of State he leads put a new label on Confucius Institutes. It seems Pompeo is taking the promotion of a new cold war as his personal career goal. He may be hoping that “Pompeo’s Cold War” be written in future history textbooks. But what he is doing is against the development of the world. His actions will only leave a stain on history.

Pindostan has difficulty achieving ‘willingness’ from vassals
Ai Jun, Global Times, Aug 13 2020

Trump at the White House on Wednesday Aug 12 2020. Photo: AFP

Faschingstein is trying to build an anti-Beijing coalition; that’s nothing new. As it turns out, the Pindo ability to unite its vassals has been met with increasing setbacks. When CNN picked up the topic again on Tuesday, commentator David Andelman adjusted the formulation, arguing that Trump is cobbling together “a coalition-of-the-willing” against China. Andelman named Australia, India, Japan, Britain, France and Canada, listing their recent frictions with China, including the China-India border brawl, the UK’s ban on Huawei, Beijing-Tokyo territorial disputes, Australia’s cooling ties with China, and the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by Canada. The cases are used as an excuse to claim those countries are “prepared” and “ready” to participate in an anti-China alliance. The real question is how willing are they to join the coalition. The author just randomly listed countries with differences with China, which does not mean anything. Disputes between the same countries and Pindostan can also be easily enumerated.

Anyone with a sober mind can tell a major reason of London’s decision to ban Huawei is to appease Faschingstein to secure easier access to the Pindo market after Brexit. If it were not for the high pressure from Pindostan, London would be more interested in seeking maximum benefits by cooperating with both Beijing and Faschingstein, which explains the UK’s previous changes in Huawei policy, and its earlier undecided posture over the issue. Pindostan and Canada seem to be good neighbors, but their relations are filled with ups and downs. Setting aside their territorial disputes, Faschingstein is quite bossy to Ottawa. Take the NAFTA/USCMA. Trump threatened to leave Canada out of the deal more than once, to coerce the latter to concede to terms preferred by Pindostan. Faschingstein has imposed waves of economic sanctions on Tokyo. The past few years saw Japan change its tough attitude toward China while adopting a flexible and pragmatic tactic in dealing with China and Pindostan. France has long been dissatisfied with Europe relying heavily on Pindostan on security, and is proactively promoting EU’s strategic autonomy. India’s anti-China policy is more like a cheap copy of Pindo bipartisan political fights, to win more votes. Australia seems to be reckless by following Pindostan too closely in its anti-China rhetoric. Yet some Australian politicians call for diplomatic independence from time to time.

Even if Faschingstein establishes such a coalition, it is hardly a coalition of the willing, but a coalition of the coerced with different calculations. Even Andelman himself acknowledged:

Trump has done little to embrace these countries in a fashion that would encourage a joint front.

Such a coalition resembles ties between the Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe during the Cold War, when there were no diversified diplomacies, but only unified ideology-based policies. Could Pindo vassals possibly be unaware of the fact that Faschingstein’s primary goal is to promote anti-China policies to secure Trump’s position in the Oval Office? How much benefit would that bring to Pindo vassals? They will not take real action in following Faschingstein, apart from verbally endorsing Pindostan’s decision. In the end, economic and social development, tackling the crisis and an independent diplomacy are those countries’ own realistic pursuits. When Pompeo visited Denmark in July, he wanted to shake hands upon arrival, yet was only offered shoulder pats and elbow bumps instead, which showed that Europe is unwilling to sacrifice its interests when seemingly showing a welcome attitude toward Pindostan. The “willingness” to stand by Pindostan’s side is probably the most difficult thing Pindostan could obtain from its vassals today.

Pompeo alienates Germany, now sows discord in Eastern Europe
Gunter Schoech, Global Times, Aug 14 2020

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

When I grew up in West Germany in the 1970s and 1980s, Pindostan was “the land of opportunity,” but “Ami go home!” was also still a popular slogan. Originally from East Germany, the political left in West Germany did not welcome the military presence of Pindostan either, especially a nuclear one. It is likely that Pompeo would have been confronted with similar slogans, had his trip from Aug 11-15 to “Central Europe” really taken him to the most Central European country, Germany, with nine European land borders, and not to Eastern Europe. He knew that no “fantastic deals” and great photo-ops were in the cards in Germany. The relationship between Pindostan and Germany is the most strained it has been in a very long time, on the government level as well as in the minds of ordinary Germans. A representative Civey survey found that more than 83% of Germans rate Trump’s presidency as “bad,” more than 75% as “very bad,” and fewer than 13% see it as “good” or “very good.” Politicians and population agree on a number of fundamental issues. Germany believes in global and multilateral institutions such as the Paris Agreement, the Iran Nuclear Deal, the WTO, the WHO and so on. We disapprove of the systematic dismantling of these institutions. Therefore we do not want to deglobalize, decouple, or even roll back China. “EU-China – A strategic outlook” published in Mar 2019 outlines the strategy of the EC: The key words “cooperation partner” and “negotiation partner” stand for continued engagement. “Economic competitor” stands for eye level and “systemic rival” finally acknowledges that the two political systems are most likely going to remain different indefinitely.

Simultaneously, the way Pindostan currently treats its vassals has changed, apparently with the motto, “With friends like these, who still needs enemies?” We feel the gun of extortion on our chest to choose between Pindostan and China, and we are being bullied in other matters of national and European sovereignty. Needless to say, we don’t appreciate attempted extortion, such as the threat that military intelligence will not be shared if Germany includes Huawei in its 5G network. Pindo Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted within hours of taking office in Germany:

German companies doing business in Iran should wind down operations immediately.

This was not the move of a diplomat, but rather an occupying force. Trump has demanded German defense spending of at least 2% of GDP, a non-binding NATO target. He is withdrawing 12k troops from Germany. Should we be afraid? Only the townships housing Pindo barracks seem really alarmed, as their purchasing power will disappear. Half the Pindo troops are to be moved east to Poland, to their seeming delight. But not expanding NATO eastward was instrumental to gaining the USSR goodwill for German reunification. Encroaching on Russia would be more destabilizing. Hotly contested between Germany and Pindostan is Nord Stream 2, a major natural gas pipeline through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany, half financed by Russia, half by European companies, bypassing Poland. Pindostan complained Germany’s complete dependency on Russian gas, but only 40% of German energy demand is for Russian gas. Coincidentally, Pindostan wants to export its own shale gas. The moment Germany weighs different dependencies, Pindostan blackmails it with illegal extra-territorial sanctions. Three Pindo Thug senators even sent a letter vowing “crushing legal and economic sanctions” to the operators of a small German port for provisioning Russian vessels assisting with constructing the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. “Soft power” as a Pindo asset took decades to build but will be quickly ruined. It is up to China to acquire more soft power by persistently being a more responsible global citizen than Pindostan. Currently, that bar couldn’t be much lower.

The author is founder and managing director of market research and consulting company Débrouillage Ltd.

To China critics, vlogging village life is propaganda
Yu Jincui, Global Times, Aug 14 2020

Li Ziqi, one of China’s most popular vloggers, attracts over 11 million international subscribers on YouTube. She is famous for her mesmerizing videos of a countryside of self-sufficiency and simple beauty. But in a Wednesday report by VOA, she is taken as an example of how the Chinese government taps into the vast pool of talented cyber celebrities to generate soft power for the country. The report made two absurd points: First, Li’s success “has government support” and the Chinese government sees celebrities like Li as a potential resource that “needs to be harnessed and controlled;” second, even if with internationally renowned internet celebrities like Li, it’s hard for China to win the hearts of citizens from other countries and gain soft power in light of “authoritarian rule at home” and “aggressive foreign policies abroad,” or “wolf warrior diplomacy” dubbed by China critics in the West. Nothing of a political nature can be found in Li’s videos. She said in an interview that she “has full control of the content she wants to film.” Foreign viewers are attracted by the leisurely Chinese rural sceneries in her videos and the inner peace they would feel when watching Li’s tranquil and idyllic life on laptops. This is the charm of Chinese traditional culture.

Li presents the traditionally leisurely and fascinating life in Chinese villages. In her latest 18-minute video, “The life of okra and the bamboo fence,” she filmed how she built a bamboo fence for her garden by herself, sowed and harvested okra and made it into dishes. Watching her, viewers, regardless of nationality, easily wish they could be happily living like that. Her popularity is nothing but a natural result, having nothing to do with “government support.” Her popularity will inevitably increase China’s soft power. Joseph Nye, who coined the idea of soft power, has proposed three sources of a country’s soft power, one of which is culture. He also said a lot of a country’s soft power is generated not by government but civil society. Li’s case is a vivid example of how China increases soft power through spontaneous efforts by Chinese civil society. However, some Westerners and media refuse to admit that. For the West, only popular cultural products made by countries it deems not a threat represent soft power, otherwise, they are merely used as government propaganda, or will lead to no improvement in soft power. India and China are both big Asian powers rich in traditional culture. But China is viewed as being less attractive while India is regarded as boasting tremendous soft power potential as the world’s largest democracy. The main reason is that the West judges a country’s soft power from the lens of its political system and ideology, as well as its geopolitical implication to the West.

The West refuses to admit China’s increasing soft power. They, instead, argue China’s soft power suffers as China has exerted so-called wolf warrior diplomacy worldwide. Is there anything wrong with China taking hard-line measures to counter-attack in face of a Pindo-led suppression and safeguard its own interests? Facing unwarranted accusations against China and a hooligan crackdown, why can’t China defend its interests in an unequivocal way? If China cannot protect its interests or is not strong enough, Chinese people like Li will be unable to live such a peaceful rural life. When China was a weak and poor country, rural life was not leisurely and idyllic like Li is living now. It was only full of hardship. But the West would rather appreciate the rural scenery of weak countries. Some Westerners and media disparage Chinese personal content creators, saying they are controlled by the government, largely because they are afraid of the improvement of China’s soft power. They probably hope that China could stay backward so that they can always maintain their psychological superiority. But China’s soft power has been constantly on the rise, which stems from its attractive traditional culture, the spontaneous and creative promotion by Chinese civil society, as well as China’s successful economic development. This is an unstoppable trend that the West has to face up to.

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