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  • Writer's pictureFred Guerin

China as Existential Threat...Again

“The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil…” George Orwell 1984

When space debris from a Chinese rocket is predicted to fall ‘uncontrolled’ to earth it is seen by the West as irresponsible, a great threat to Americans, and an example of China's callousness and negligence. It is then the sacred mission of the US Department of Propaganda to ramp up fear that this ‘out of control’ Chinese rocket could ‘hit you’ or ‘crash into New York’.

By contrast, when space debris from Elon Musk’s SpaceX Rocket fell to the earth it was celebrated as a cinematic sight, soaring over Disney World, reportedly creating a 'fantastic light show' and landing ‘harmlessly on a farm’.

After 50 years of spaceflight around 40,000 tons of interplanetary matter strike Earth's atmosphere every year and a handful of these objects hit the earth. The US is responsible for the most debris in space, followed by Russia and then China. But somehow China's space debris is much more ominous and threatening, even though it is likely to burn up before it ever hits the ground. If this strikes you as odd don't worry. Reality and truth are irrelevant when propaganda rules.

China has been recently designated by Secretary of State Antony Blinken as challenging the entire “rules-based order that maintains global stability”. In other words China is a threat to US hegemony. Therefore anything and everything Chinese must be spun as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘dangerous’—including space debris. The end goal is to promote America and Western nations as benevolent protectors of human rights and economic freedom, while simultaneously inciting fear, mistrust and hysteria about China. As in Orwell’s 1984 the enemy of the moment is seen as absolute evil and an existential threat.

Of course, when it comes to China-bashing we’ve seen it all before. The term “yellow peril” dates back to the late 1800s, when Chinese laborers were brought to the US and Canada as cheap labour. White workers viewed them as a threat to their employment, and this inevitably led to racist Chinese Immigration and Exclusion Acts in both the US and Canada. The purpose was to single out Chinese people for exclusion—to designate them as lesser than human, an ‘illegal race’.

In 1920 American conspiracy theorist, white supremacist and member of the Ku Klux Klan Lothrop Stoddard published “The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy”. The book came with a map that showed how races of various colors were threatening white supremacy. It warned against miscegenation, advocated stricter immigration policies and stoked fear by depicting Chinese people as a great 'yellow terror'.

Horace Greely, the American newspaper editor and publisher of the New York Tribune described the Chinese as “uncivilized, unclean, and filthy beyond all conception without any of the higher domestic or social relations; lustful and sensual in their dispositions; every female is a prostitute of the basest order." The English author Sax Rohmer helped along the racist, xenophobic ‘yellow peril’ cause by creating the fictional character Dr. Fu Manchu—a diabolical criminal mastermind bent on world domination. More recently, Donald Trump made a point of blaming China for the pandemic even going so far as claiming that COVID-19 was created in a Chinese lab.

The American propaganda machine is working day and night to persuade the world that China is, once again, an existential threat, a violator of international human rights with world domination on its mind.

Oh yeah...and don't forget that it is also carelessly raining down space debris on the earth, so heads up!

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1 Comment

Janet Vickers
Janet Vickers
May 07, 2021

Thank you Fred for writing this so clearly and with examples.

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