Western media fuels new wave of Sinophobia

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/16 23:28:39

US’ confidence dwindles in face of China’s rising influence: analyst


The tone of a slew of recent news reports in the US is symptomatic of oversensitivity toward China, which experts say stems from a new wave of "Sinophobia."

Chinese people and businesses in the US have increasingly met with obstruction and criticism, leading experts to suggest that US self confidence has been replaced by xenophobia and an irrational nervousness of China's increasing influence.

"The reason for this increasing Sinophobia is China's sustainable, continued development and growth as a national power in contrast to the many difficulties the US is having with social governance. It shows that the West, led by the US, is becoming less self-assured," Diao Daming, an associate professor at Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The experts cite a number of examples of this seemingly paranoid thinking: the University of Texas in Austin recently rejected funding from a Hong Kong-based foundation; a US military base removed Chinese-made surveillance cameras because of an unstated "negative perception"; Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has met with US government obstruction, citing "national security" as the company tried to enter the US market.

In the latest scenario, US intelligence officials warned Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, that Wendi Deng, a Chinese-American businesswoman, could be using her close relationship with Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, to bring influence on behalf of  the Chinese government, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

"Kushner's case might reflect the power struggle within the White House. The pro-establishment force is strengthening and Trump's family members are being weakened," and China is just a pretext for the power struggle, An Gang, a senior research fellow at the Pangoal Institution, a Beijing-based think tank, told the Global Times.

US officials have also raised concerns about a counterintelligence assessment that said Deng was lobbying on behalf of a high-profile construction project funded by the Chinese government in Washington DC, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"These kinds of stories, without solid evidence, normally appear in tabloid newspapers, but now US mainstream media like the Wall Street Journal are covering them and taking US intelligence reports at face value. It looks like Sinophobia is spreading fast," said a Beijing-based international media researcher who requested anonymity.

Nervousness caused failure

"Previously, the US wanted to change China's political system by engaging China in the international order led by the US, which has failed. Now the US has to deal with a more confident and powerful China," An said.

"Many US elites believe that China has long-term strategies and the US doesn't, causing them to lose their sense of superiority. This has been reflected in many areas of US society, such as the Confucius Institutes being targeted in the US, fear of Chinese students in American universities, normal journalistic activities conducted by Chinese media and investment by Chinese firms," An noticed.

"It is clear that China will become more and more influential and will stand at the center of the international arena, but China's efforts are designed to defend and improve the current international order. So there is no need to be oversensitive and nervous," said Diao, from Renmin University of China.

"China respects other countries' political systems and will not force others to copy its model," said Diao, adding that China does require the respect and understanding to be reciprocated by others.



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