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China’s latest tactic: Call America racist


Expansive Ellipses
Staff Member
May 30, 2004

Of all the angry responses to President Trump’s decision to sign bills supporting the Hong Kong protest movement, the oddest one of all is an online campaign to label America as racist.

It’s coming straight from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the form of Lijian Zhao’s Twitter feed. Zhao is the deputy director general at the ministry’s Information Department, so this is obviously an officially sanctioned move by Beijing.

Early Thanksgiving morning, Zhao launched into a six-part tweet thread listing accusations and data about racial disparities in the U.S., with a shot at President Trump for added measure.

Zhao’s personal reflections stand out strongly in the midst of his usual heavy flow of retweets of official Chinese government statements. But what really stands out is the timing, coming just a few hours after President Trump’s signing of the Hong Kong bill. It couldn’t be much clearer that Beijing is hoping to dilute the impact of a rare bipartisan effort by Congress and the Trump administration to highlight China’s human rights abuses.

On first glance, this may seem like a pretty brilliant plan. Zhao’s twitter comments very closely mirror the American left’s long-running complaints about racism in this country. He was even shrewd enough to add references to mass shootings and President Trump’s controversial comments against the so-called “squad” of four freshman female congresswomen who are each members of racial minority communities.

Choosing racism as the wedge issue seems wise. While it would be foolish for anyone to discount the still very strong currents of racism in American society, there is a strong debate among respected leaders of both sides of the aisle about just how severe the racial divide is.

Anyone who doubts the perception of racism in this country isn’t very strong just needs to look at the still-developing Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. Even after the evidence showed that Smollett staged a purported racial attack against himself, most politicians who supported him haven’t rescinded their public comments in support of Smollett that were filled with angry arguments about racism and President Trump. It’s not that those politicians still believe Smollett was really attacked. It’s just too hard for them to retreat from any position that decries racism in America. When you think about the racism debate in America Zhao isn’t clutching at a wedge issue, he’s tapping into a live wire.

But will it work?

The tactic has a mixed and disputed record of success. When the U.S. started a massive military buildup under President Reagan in the 1980s, the USSR promoted videos of homeless people in America as a way to tap into the left’s opposition to defense spending at the perceived expense of spending to help the poor. But none of that stopped the Reagan policy and that U.S. military buildup that Moscow couldn’t keep up with was a key factor in ending the Cold War.

Going further back in history, imperial Japan adopted a campaign that mixed promoting Depression-era complaints about U.S. economic inequality along with a healthy dose of 1930s American isolationism in hopes of discouraging U.S. troops during World War II. The most notorious mouthpiece for that effort was a woman nicknamed “Tokyo Rose,” who was actually an American-born citizen of Japanese descent who was living in Japan during the war. The Japanese quickly recognized her and her American accent as an invaluable propaganda resource, and she eventually became the host of a radio show broadcast across the Pacific that mixed taunts, anti-war commentary, and popular music. The effort backfired, as most historians found that American GIs simply found her show to be a welcome diversion from the monotony of wartime duty.

Despite these past failures, Zhao can be forgiven for thinking this effort to bring the racism divide into the mix could tilt the U.S.-China human rights and trade disputes in Beijing’s favor. A key wildcard now is that the U.S. is much more divided on partisan lines than it was in the Reagan era or World War II.

It’s also a presidential election year, where two of President Trump’s Democratic rivals have already sent multiple signals that they’d be more dovish with China. Joe Biden has repeatedly slammed the Trump trade policy and has even said that China is not in competition with the U.S. Mike Bloomberg recently said that China is not a dictatorship and its Communist Party is “listening to the people on matters like environmentalism. If Biden and Bloomberg want to improve their poll numbers with minority Democrats, clinging to complaints about the racial divide could be a winning formula.

But as prominent as Biden and Bloomberg are on the political scene, the truth is they are the exceptions to the rule. Senate Minority Leader and Democrat Chuck Schumer famously tweeted a message of support to President Trump during a heated period in the U.S.-China trade talks this year that Schumer has not yet backed away from. Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren hasn’t backed President Trump per se, but her tough talk on China represents a good amount of the more left wing faction of the Democratic Party’s feelings on Beijing.

It’s also informative, if not a scientifically conducted analysis, to look at the responses to Zhao’s twitter statements. The litany of counterarguments that include references to Beijing’s rounding up of Chinese Muslims and dozens of other human rights abuses add up to what seems like a massive social media backfire.

Most importantly, the vote on the bill to support the Hong Kong protesters and punish China for cracking down on them was a whopping 417-1 in the House and unanimous in the Senate.

Put that all together and Zhao’s tweets seem to be nothing more than a desperate “Hail Mary” attempt thrust into the lap of a mid-level bureaucrat that Beijing can hope nobody remembers if this doesn’t go anywhere. But it could end up as a strong positive for the U.S. in another way if this incident helps us all realize that as real as our racism problems still are, not everyone talking about them has our best interests at heart.

Jake Novak is a political and economic analyst at Jake Novak News and former CNBC TV producer. You can follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.


Jan 1, 2011
China is desperate and feeling the pressure from everywhere, economically and nationally with Hong Kong.
Its just more political propaganda that anyone with half a brain sees how much BS info is in the tweats.


Apr 17, 2019
People around the world see the American flag as a symbol of Freedom. So much so that the people of Hong Kong have adopted it... they could have adopted literally ANY other symbol... but they are waving the American flag because they just want to be free.

Meanwhile IN America, the Left see see their own flag as racist and hateful. Some people will literally kneel instead of stand for it and groups of thugs wearing black masks would rather brandish the HAMMER AND SICKLE instead.

We should bring the freedom loving people of Hong Kong to America and send America's Leftists to go and live in mainland China.

Goodbye Leftists...

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Apr 25, 2009
Chinese culture is extremely insecure due to the century of shame. All Trump needs to do is continue embarrassing them on the world stage and they will hang themselves while trying to save face. I hope he tweets the photo of tank man in response.
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Oct 5, 2010
Who are the people in the screenshot though?
Usually a recruiter who finds teachers for schools or someone related to a school in china. I see posts like those all the time in job groups over wechat. I few groups even had to make it a rule, flat out saying "NO DISCRIMINATION OR RACISM."
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: matt404au


Oct 24, 2017
Hes a PR troll but i have to say not everything he says is a lie. We did waste trillions on wars. At least Trump is trying to end them.
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Miku Miku

Gold Member
Jan 13, 2018
Hes a PR troll but i have to say not everything he says is a lie. We did waste trillions on wars. At least Trump is trying to end them.
Pretty much my take. His hypocrisy is the main takeaway for me. Not all his points are wrong.


Jan 9, 2018
Nothing in the last 4000 years of established history as AS FUNNY as this.

"Trump goes to doctor" -> "Democrats melt-down" -> Tweet -> Hong Kong protestors use tweet meme to rug-pull Democrat-narrative.

Julius Caesar produced legendary humor being a populist, crossing the Rubicon, etc.

Trump beats Caesar.


Anime waifu panty shots are basically the same thing as paintings of the french baroque masters, if you think about it.
Sep 29, 2014
China, the country that is actively trying to exterminate a minority group, is calling America racist.

Look at this happy bride to see the wonders of Chinese multiculturalism.

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Aug 30, 2014
This is where hate speech laws end up.

Two Venezuelan firemen were arrested this week after they reportedly made a viral video that compared President Nicolas Maduro to a donkey, two human rights reported Friday.

Don't believe her lies.

Authoritarianism is one of the greatest threats we face, because as governments age they trend towards control, not relinquishing control. And with technology advancing as it is, from communication to surveillance to war, a truly authoritarian state may come to be from which there is no escape, no revolution.

The kids on the street calling for hate speech laws and greater state control of the economy are fools. They will lead us to gulags. Liberty must be defended at every turn, because once you give an inch those with good intentions will take a mile, even if it takes them a hundred years.

Government is not your friend. Do not buy into lies selling you snake oil, telling you why your rights need to be infringed, or you need to give up more taxes, or why the government needs more fingers in your business. Freedom of speech is not a 'right wing dog whistle', and if it is, then you should be damn scared of the left.

America isn't perfect, and we've already given up too much liberty. Yet even so, we still represent best case scenario thanks to the foresight of our forefathers. We aren't a racist country, we aren't an evil country. This shouldn't even be a controversial statement, it's fucking obvious to anyone with a lick of sense and an inkling of world history.



Aug 30, 2014

Not really related, but I'll drop this here:

The IDs were heading from China to various locations in New York, the federal agency said, adding that the fake driver’s licenses were seized at an Express Consignment Operations hub in Louisville, Ky.

The licenses were for several states, including Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey and Ohio.
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Aug 30, 2014

Ok, that's it. Going to bed.


Apr 19, 2019
WW1 and WW2 were based largely around an internal power struggle of Europe and Britain and sucked in a few international allies. The death toll of each war was measured in the 10's of millions.

WW3 will involve the West and East vs China. The death toll will be measured in the Billions.


Expansive Ellipses
Staff Member
May 30, 2004
Holy shit is that real?
That's a notorious Tiger Chair the Chinese police use to torture suspects for days. See below for the horrible details.


"A “tiger chair” specially designed to restrain detainees. Former detainees say that police often strap them into these metal chairs for hours and even days, depriving detainees of sleep, and immobilizing them until their legs and buttocks were swollen."

SITTING down may not sound like torture, but for prisoners strapped in metal “tiger chairs” for days, it is sheer agony.

“I sat until my buttocks bled,” said one inmate who was restrained in the iron contraption, one of China’s many horrifying instruments of punishment.
Other detainees reported being beaten while suspended in the air by their handcuffs or made to squat for hours. These are among the disturbing revelations published in a Human Rights Watch report into police torture and ill-treatment of suspects.

While China has brought in laws in the past few years aimed at curbing violence towards detainees, researchers found that many officers are easily circumventing the rules by moving inmates out of jails or abusing them in ways that do not leave marks.

The report, Tiger chairs and cell bosses: Police Torture of Criminal Suspects in China, shows that efforts to prevent torture and forced confessions and improve legal access for suspects have not gone far enough.

“[They] handcuffed both my hands and beat me, hitting and kicking was the least of it all,” said Gu Daoying, who runs a gambling parlour in Zhejiang province. “[One police officer] used an electric baton to hit me for six to seven hours, more than a hundred times. I fainted many times, and lost control over urination. Later he put his police baton on the floor and forced me to kneel on it for three hours.”

Dehydration, starvation, blinding with light, solitary confinement and exposure to extreme cold are among the other hard-to-spot techniques used on prisoners accused of crimes as minor as petty theft. The most likely to face torture, however, are suspects in murder, corruption and triad cases, the crimes most abhorred by the public.

Once the death sentence is handed down, inmates are usually kept in painful restraints for the remainder of their jail time. One convict appealing his death sentence was handcuffed and shackled in leg irons for eight years. “What he wanted the most was to ‘be able to put on clothes and eat on his own’,” said a family member. “But he can’t. He is less than an animal, which is extremely cruel. In the detention centre, he is so tightly fastened, when it is winter and so cold, he can only wrap clothes around himself. It is also difficult for him to use the toilet. He cannot straighten his body, the chains [in between handcuffs and leg irons] are very short.”

Police keep instruments for torture in their offices, a former guard told HRW — electric batons, hammers, iron bars and chilli oil to pour into the nose. But these days, they often use towels and padding to hide marks.



Mar 14, 2018
Wow, that is terrifying.

And we have dudes like Colon Kaepernick whining about police and the Left in general screaming fascism when they obviously don’t know what that means. Not that bad cops don’t exist but the comparison and contrast of the two makes it seem pretty puny.
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