If you ever spend any time in the Washington D.C. area, there’s a good chance you’ll come across a publication known as China Daily. In appearance, it’s a newspaper. In reality, it is official propaganda from the Chinese government that Communist Party officials deem appropriate for influencing those inside the Beltway. You can find it all over downtown D.C. in newspaper boxes. Large stacks of free copies are also dropped off directly at offices all over the city.
Even better, if you subscribe to the Washington Post, you can get communist propaganda delivered straight to your doorstep for a fee. A few times a year, the Post comes wrapped in a special advertising supplement called China Watch that, again, does its best to approximate a legitimate newspaper. But underneath the masthead in fine print, it reads: “This supplement, prepared by China Daily, People’s Republic of China, did not involve the news or editorial departments of the Washington Post.”
Anyway, you may have recently heard about how two million people out of a population of seven million in Hong Kong recently protested in the streets against the Communist Party’s attempt to further snuff out their little pocket of freedom. Here’s how China Daily is reporting what happened:
Parents in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region took to the streets on Sunday to urge US politicians to not interfere with the SAR’s extradition amendments and its internal affairs.
The protest, organized by several Hong Kong social groups, also condemned foreign entities for misleading young people in the city.
Among these social groups was an alliance of more than 30 local political, business and legal dignitaries who support the proposed amendments to the SAR’s extradition law. They marched outside the US Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macao, calling on the US to stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs.
On the Senate floor on Monday, Romney took a humble moment to marvel in his own prescience — a prescience several years behind that of exiled magus Steve Bannon — then made a prediction about which state is replacing Russia as the US’s strategic challenger: ‘Today, China is poised to assume that distinction.’
Not that the Utah senator dismisses Russia as a threat. ‘Russia continues its malign efforts,’ said Romney, reciting a litany of Russian misdeeds that included treaty violations, territorial incursions, election and media meddling, and ‘promoting authoritarianism’. But Russia, Romney sagely noted, is in decline. Though the symptoms of Russia’s ‘inevitable desperation’ will include further ‘aberrant conduct’, China, Romney argues, is the bigger long-term threat.
‘Unlike Russia, China is on a rising path,’ said Romney. ‘When it was admitted to the World Trade Organization, the expectation was that China would embrace the rules of the global order.’ Instead, said the sober Senator, Putin has done the opposite, and flouted the global rules of free-and-fair competition. China has also disregarded the global political order, protecting, Romney said, ‘brutal dictators, like Kim Jong-un and Nicolás Maduro.’
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about Russian spying in the United States. And while a lot of the concern is really just evidence that some people have trouble dealing with a lost election, it’s not as if the Russians haven’t been spying on us since my grandparents’ day.
But with all the attention focused on Russia, maybe we need to pay a bit more attention to the spying — and related meddling — being done by the People’s Republic of China. Because China is a bigger threat in general, and seems to be doing a lot without engendering much of a response, or even much awareness.
In fact, it may be that the Chinese government is quite happy to see us focus on Russians, as a distraction from what it’s doing. I would be, if I were them.