October 28, 2020

Countries refuse to toe US line on China

A key determinant of a superpower’s global status is how many allies it can boast of. Every bully needs its sidekicks. Since World War II, the United States has managed to create a vast alliance network over the world – ready to be deployed whenever it wishes.

Most US allies are white-majority, developed nations, frequently being partners in crime with the US in invading and sanctioning non-white, developing countries. During the 2003 US invasion of Iraq for example, many of them lined up for literally invading and occupying a sovereign nation on false pretenses. 

Souce: Getty Images

Yet, in recent years, US efforts to garner allies against China seem to be hitting a roadblock. Many nations are tired of US bullying and are pushing back. Much to the US regime's chagrin, the global order today is not as divided and partisan as it was during the Cold War. By politicizing every issue and forcing nations to pick a side, the superpower finds itself rapidly losing allies to China. 

October 6, 2020

Li Wenliang: Some Whistleblowers are More Equal Than Others

A single death is a tragedy, while that of a million, just statistics, goes a popular saying. For the western media, that has long forgotten the millions of deaths caused by US wars, the tragic death of one man in China couldn’t have come at a better time.

While the whole of China expressed condolences over the unfortunate demise of Dr. Li Wenliang, the western media erupted in glee. Just as Schadenfreude over the epidemic was losing momentum, here comes a “whistleblower” who tried to “warn” the government about the outbreak, but was “silenced” – all catnip to the western media.

So western journalists – who generally care little about Chinese lives – got busy. The first step, as with most reporting on China, was to ignore the facts (truth, after all, is the first casualty of propaganda war).

Photo Credit: Lancet

Blowing hot air

The word “whistleblower” generally applies to someone who tries to warn the public – which Dr. Li didn’t do. He posted in a private WeChat group that seven “confirmed” cases of SARS were reported from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan. He also warned group members not to spread the information further – the exact opposite of whistleblower behavior.

October 5, 2020

US and COVID-19:
Death, Denial, and Dog whistling


It is often said that the average American cares only about three things: his Gun, his God, and his Hamburger. Unfortunately, neither is particularly useful in a health crisis. For it is in this once-in-a-century pandemic that we see the true face of America. 

In order to determine a country’s true national strength, it helps to look at how its people and leaders behave during a crisis. COVID-19 has killed more Americans than all US invasions of all nations since World War II. With more than 200,000 deaths and 7 million cases, the world’s most powerful nation is also the worst hit.

Image credit: Axios

Freedom over lives

Initially, few in America took the pandemic seriously - whether the people or the regime. After all, this wasn’t an enemy they could just pray or shoot away (or bomb), like they usually did. People even protested against wearing masks, openly flouting social distancing guidelines and even having parties. Americans openly – and proudly - disobeyed health guidelines designed to keep the nation safe. No wonder the US lacks an efficient public health system – it simply doesn’t have enough public trust.

March 21, 2020

Language Manipulation in Western Propaganda on China

  • China doesn't fire officials, it "purges" them
  • Corrupt Chinese officials don't get convicted for corruption, they "lose power struggles"
  • China doesn't punish corrupt officials, it "nets" them
  • Chinese leaders don't strengthen laws, they "concentrate power"
  • China doesn't give out loans, they "trap" countries in debt
  • China has "state media outlets", other countries have "public service broadcasters"
  • China does "propaganda", other countries do "communications"
  • Chinese leaders don't want their country to prosper peacefully, they are "obsessed with stability"

February 5, 2020

An Outbreak of Sinophobia and Schadenfreude in the West

Sinophobia goes more viral than the virus

Nowhere is man freer than on the field of battle, where it is a matter of life and death, wrote Leo Tolstoy. One way of determining people’s morality is by observing their reactions during a crisis.

Western audiences have offered three types of reactions to the recent virus outbreak in China: Sympathy, Sinophobia, and Schadenfreude. Sane westerners, one hopes, empathized with the victims, wishing the outbreak ends soon. Racists took advantage of it to indulge in stereotypes and memes. The third category, the western media, was delighted with the opportunity to insult the Chinese government.

May 12, 2019

Why the Western Media Ignored the Death of Wei Shaolan, a "Comfort Woman" for Japan

Wei Shaolan was a Chinese woman forced into sex slavery by Japan in the 1940s. Until 2015, she was one of the only eight such women still alive - euphemistically called "comfort women" by wartime Japan.

She died on 5th May in Guilin at the age of 99 years.

Wei Shaolan

February 8, 2016

Happy Accidents: US Bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade

My favorite newspaper published an article recently about the use of the phrase "hurting the feelings of the Chinese people" and its various forms in the Chinese press. While the phrase and the article were locked in relentless competition over which is more useless, my attention was drawn to something entirely tangential: a reference to the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999.  

January 2, 2016

WTF Comparison of the Day:
India vs China in Innovation

Patents filed by China in 2013: 704,936

Patents filed by India from 1960 to 2013: 129,529

Yes - The number of patent filings by China in 2013 is more than the filings by India from 1960 to 2013! 

The number of filed patents is perhaps the best metric to capture a country's innovation index. Thus, while China has decided to surge ahead, India has decided to surge behind. 

Narendra Modi, the globetrotting Indian Prime Minister, whose party received an overwhelming victory in the recent elections, thinks that genetic science existed in ancient India. Many of his countrymen and women truly believe him. 

Look Ma, No Democracy!

India is widely considered an innovation hub - a better center of innovation than even the US and China. Criticisms of Chinese successes - which is actually jealousy in disguise  - is focused almost solely on the government and its 'authoritative' rule.

December 28, 2015

WTF Comparison of the Day:
A Tale of Two Bridges

Bridging the divide?

Bandra-Worli Sea Link, India
Total Length: 5.6 kms (3.5 mi)
Construction time: 10 years

Hangzhou Bay Bridge, China
Total Length: 35.7 kms (22 mi)

Construction time: 4 years

The former both started and ended later than expected. The estimated cost was $99 million - but it ended up costing the taxpayer $240 million. Much of this was due to a weapon that is misused as much as it is used: Public Interest Litigation.

December 6, 2015

China and Media Bias:
Guilty Until Proven Guilty

Mistrial by Media

It is often said that obfuscation is the purpose of journalism. And when China is involved, journalism gets reduced to a free-for-all orgy - wherein the journalist knows that absolutely anything will be believed as long as China is being portrayed as the villain.

It all starts with the Presumption of Guilt. Nothing that China ever does is enough. A few examples: