The New York Times published an essay on Tuesday by a Chinese Communist Party member that claims the Chinese people no longer look up to the United States.
Wang Wen, who served as former chief opinion editor for the nationalistic news outlet The Global Times, berated the United States for a variety of things. In the op-ed titled, “Why China’s People No Longer Look Up to America,” the author cites the 2008 financial crisis, it’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and wars in the Middle East as why the citizens of China no longer consider the U.S. the “shining beacon.”
“[A]fter years of watching America’s wars overseas, reckless economic policies and destructive partisanship — culminating in last year’s disgraceful assault on the U.S. Capitol — many Chinese, including me, can barely make out that shining beacon anymore,” Wen wrote.
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However, Wen omitted the allegations of human rights abuses and maligned behavior plaguing the Chinese Communist Party. For example, Wen doesn’t acknowledge China’s exports of the deadly drug fentanyl to the U.S., China’s intellectual property theft, treatment of Uyghur Muslims, or their stonewalling of investigations into whether the coronavirus originated in a lab in Wuhan, China.
He also made no reference of the recent reports that China is arresting peaceful protesters who have had their bank accounts frozen due to the country’s economic woes.
Wen conceded that “some criticisms of my government’s policies are justified” but did not specify which ones.
The essay slammed Presidents Obama and Trump for their foreign policy towards Asia.
“Following his predecessors, President Barack Obama announced a string of weapon sales to Taiwan and embarked on his so-called pivot to Asia, which we regarded as an attempt to rally our Asian neighbors against us,” he wrote. “President Donald Trump declared a destructive trade war against us.”
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Wen also took aim at Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan.
“The visit to Taiwan last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has only further disappointed many Chinese, who saw it as a violation of U.S. commitments on Taiwan,” he wrote.
China’s rhetoric about Pelosi’s visit was fiery. Last month, Hu Xijin, the former editor-in-chief of another Chinese state run media outlet, suggested that the People’s Liberation Army should shoot down Pelosi’s plane.
Earlier this year, The New York Times was criticized for heaping praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping leading up to the Winter Olympics. One of the Times’ Twitter accounts posted, “As Beijing prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, it has changed a lot since it held the 2008 Summer Games. Instead of mollifying its critics, China defies them. But China has also expanded its economy and cleaned up air pollution.”
China hawks have long argued the Chinese Communist Party has too much influence in a number of industries and sectors of American life. Bloomberg News, for example, prevented its own reporters from investigating China’s corruption. Critics also point to how too many politicians or their families have business dealings with the country.