Shakedown: America's 21st Century War on China

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Keeping tabs on the slow, incessant crawl of US imperialism since George W Bush declared China to be a strategic competitor in 2000.

Twenty years of political writing and broadcast by Anna Chen

"Nip troubles in the bud. Sow the great in the small. Difficult things of the world can only be tackled when they are easy. Big things of the world can only be achieved by attending to their small beginnings. ... Tackle things before they have appeared. Cultivate peace and order before confusion and disorder have set in. ... A journey of a thousand leagues starts from where your feet stand"
Tao Te Ching

Monday 13th February 2023
Stopping the Iraq War 2001-3 20th anniversary: How the press was done
Wednesday 15 February marks the 20th anniversary of the unprecedented million-strong anti-Iraq War demonstration in London.
... The left were expert at holding rallies and demonstrations, but often with little to show for it beyond a nice day out. This time, to prevent our activities disappearing as yet another walk in the park, we needed a coordinated press campaign, otherwise we’d be preaching to the choir.
With an expanding anti-war campaign, I expected to be working alongside other press officers, in particular veterans from CND. Instead, my emails went unanswered and all attempts to speak to them failed. CND went AWOL. On 27 October, I emailed the STWC convenor asking for back-up to help me with the media work but answer there came none. This left me doing all the national presswork on my own while Marqusee continued to write the STWC releases. ...
... Which brings us full circle to the USA’s current go-for-broke policy as the supposedly abandoned Project for the New American Century goes nuclear and the UK, the second biggest force in NATO, nails us to the USS Titanic.
... I’ve been wondering why there has been so little push-back from the British Left since then over Libya, Syria and Ukraine and while vicious Yellow Peril narratives set like concrete.
Our current rush to war with the rising superpower, losing us our cheap energy, mass produced goods and food, has gone largely unopposed. Where has the peace movement been in the past few years? Facing nuclear oblivion, the left has only just started to hold peace demonstrations and rallies, but virtually nothing about China. ... continues

Tuesday 3rd January 2023
China's new Covid measures for 2023 and the West's response
A welcome mild spell of weather in the UK takes some of the pressure off us from spiking energy prices under the new world order's decoupling from China, our global lifeboat and factory. Every country that refuses to come to heel in the Rules-based order that has quietly replaced the Rule of International Law is now target for the declining US, riven as it is by a looming recession deflating the Mother of all Market Bubbles, an incipient civil war between two equally unpleasant opposing factions of north America's ruling class, and Covid rendered endemic in pursuit of the rising rival. ...
In December, under some of the most aggressive propaganda attacks ever fielded by the West, China finally decided to make a break for safety, taking advantage of the milder Omicron variant. The media's screeching about "inhumane" lockdowns under the Zero Covid policy immediately turned on a dime to howls of rage that China dropped Zero Covid. Such doublethink barely masks the absurdity of complaining that China may end up giving us back the variants we'd been stewing up and sending there over the past three years. ... continues

Monday, 28 November 2022
The Power of Propaganda: Barrie Weiss in conversation with Anna Chen and Robbie Barwick
VIDEO: Parts 1, 2 and 3. A three-way conversation with Anna Chen in the UK, Robbie Barwick in Australia and Barrie Weiss (AKA Barrie V) hosting from China, 16th September 2022.

Saturday, 28 May 2022
A short 21st century timeline of the race to World War III
VIDEO AND TEXT: When China explored the world in the 15th century and reached as far as East Africa, they traded a bit and brought back a giraffe. When Europeans landed in the Americas in 1492, they killed and enslaved its native peoples, stole their treasures and gave them smallpox blankets in an early form of biological warfare.
In North America, 100 million native Americans were killed, Black Africans were put through slavery, Jim Crow and imprisonment. The USA was literally built on an ancient Indian burial ground, because that’s what they’d turned it into.
And that’s pretty much been the template ever since ... continues

Thursday, 2 January 2022
PARTYGATE: another day, another diversion from 176,000 Covid deaths in the UK
UK frogs still being boiled slowly as the government declares Covid-19 to be endemic and ends restrictions. System failed but mission accomplished
So was it negligent homicide, homicidal negligence or mass murder? No, it's worse: attending parties during lockdown.
It may have been illegal under their own rules, selfish and hypocritical while people were dying, but the charging elephant in the Downing Street garden party is the mainstream media's news blackout on how China eradicated Covid by day 43 of its unprecedented 76-day lockdown of 23rd January 2020. ... continues

Tuesday, 2 November 2021
A Permanent Reservoir of Scapegoats: how racism drives the geopolitics of China's rise
VIDEO AND TEXT: America has become a supernova, both imploding and exploding at the same time, leaving a fragmented shell of its former self. Unfortunately, it seems intent on dragging us all to hell with it.
Racism is more than an ugly word shouted at us, more than an assault on any individual. It goes wider than the gunshot massacre of Asian women in Atlanta. Racism is a poisonous force which could, on this trajectory, result in the mass murder of millions of human beings if the USA and its Western allies get the war for which they are busily manufacturing consent, throwing huge resources at it to get their way ... continues

Thursday, 2 September 2021
Open letter of complaint to Channel 4 Dispatches "Covid Leak": politicising Covid-19 for partisan US agenda
Channel 4 squanders its reputation as a serious investigative news channel by regurgitating overwrought right-wing claims about lab-leak theories, which have been regularly debunked by virologists who the programme makers fail to interview for the programme.
Timed for the release of Biden's Covid Origins report, Channel 4 Dispatches cheerleads the USA’s Cold War, reinforces the side with its fleet in China's back yard, threatening war on the upcoming rival just as China’s economy is about to draw level with America’s ... continues

Thursday, 17 June 2021
Opium Wars 2 and the propaganda war on China: No Cold War launch
VIDEO AND TEXT: Tonight, I'm going to discuss the current build-up in hostility towards China in the context of the Opium Wars of the 19th century and the propaganda war leading us there once again.
At the start of the first Opium War in 1839, China was the most technologically advanced country in the world. It had already invented hydraulics, gunpowder in the 9th century, ships’ rudders, the stirrup, paper, moveable type printing and much more.
But it was their beautiful porcelain and silks, tea, lacquer (the first plastic) and furniture that drove the enthusiasm for chinoiserie in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Because Britain had little to trade with China that they didn’t already have – rough woollens and clockwork toys being top of the list on offer — Britain’s treasury was being drained to satisfy the public’s appetite for all things Chinese.
Britain’s solution to the trade imbalance was to grow cheap, mass-produced opium in stolen Bengal and sell that to China. Up until then, opium had been an expensive habit only used by the wealthiest Chinese ... continues

Monday, 3 May 2021
The Roots of the Clash between the United States and China: Virtual Vigil for the Victims of the Atlanta Shootings
VIDEO AND TEXT: After a year of increasing anti-Asian violence encouraged by unscrupulous politicians and media, we took another lurch to the dark side when eight people were killed in the Atlanta shootings (16th March 2021), six of them Asian women. Elsewhere, Asian people are being regularly maimed and murdered.
Why have we been beset by this wave of sinophobic hatred when only four years ago, Christine Lagarde (International Monetary Fund) was remarking on the even pace of economic growth in the world? We had relative stability — if you weren’t a Palestinian, a Venezuelan or Iranian under US sanctions or a Black person in Ferguson — and as a species, for one glorious historical moment, we seemed to be headed towards the light.
But just as China’s economy was drawing level with the American superpower, we got the Thucydides Trap – classically the conflict that occurs when an established power feels threatened by a rising one — and now, more than 2,000 years after the original Sparta-Athens knock-down, we find ourselves being dragged into a war with a nuclear power which is also our global growth engine, the factory of the world and our lifeboat ... continues

Wednesday, 7 April 2021
Standing up to sinophobia: how racism has its roots in politics
VIDEO AND TEXT: So here we are in April 2021 as America’s anti-Chinese pogrom goes full blown. We’re seeing almost daily attacks on Asian people who’ve been caught up in this vicious wave of sinophobia. Britain is thankfully further behind but is being dragged in the same direction.
In the deadly Atlanta attack, six out of eight people who lost their lives were Asian women.
After Atlanta, we saw a brief display of crocodile tears from the government and media but then a return to business as usual.
Because this isn’t about being nice to minority victims. This is about turning a group of people – in this case 1.4 billion human beings – into a dehumanised blob so that the American superpower can retain top position as ruling hegemon in a unipolar world.
President Joe Biden finally admitted to what Victor Gao calls “Tonya Harding Syndrome” — with the declining superpower trying to smash the kneecaps of its upcoming rival. Biden declared that “China will never grow wealthier or more powerful than us on my watch”, despite China having four times the population, a lot of talent and an aim to raise the tide that floats all boats ... continues

Wednesday, 13 January 2021
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters from the West's Own Id: No Cold War on China
I first realised that China was the likely end game in the Project for America in the 21st Century, in 2005, watching Dubbya Bush standing in the rubble of the Iraq war and declaring China to be a competitor.
America’s wars since carving up YUGOSLAVIA have been like ticking off boxes in a steady stream of horror: Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Bolivia and now Cuba – not forgetting YEMEN where British and American weapons are killing people even now. China is the big prize at the end of their list of imagined foes.
President Carter told Donald Trump that the reason China does well is that it doesn’t have wars and invests so much in the country - unlike America which has barely had a period when it hasn’t been at war, spends 20 times more than China on its military, and starves the US of investment ... continues

Sunday, 26 July 2020
Early Coronavirus chronology after COVID-19 found in Spain from March 2019
Coronavirus fact check chronology: Very interesting development that a strain of the Covid-19 virus — SARS-CoV-2 — has been discovered in a frozen sample of sewage in Barcelona dating from 12th March 2019, indicating (as some scientists have posited) that the virus was already circulating the world before exploding so virulently in Wuhan in December 2019.
America needs to provide an explanation as to why they were able to brief NATO and Israel about the coming pandemic in November but failed to warn China in the middle of a vicious trade war. (EDIT: The Pentagon now denies this.) In a bonfire of the virus protection measures: Trump disbanded in May 2018 the pandemic team set up by Obama, slashed their Beijing CDC office until no staff remained by July 2019, threatened to pull out of WHO and defunded research ... continues

Tuesday, 23 June 2020
'Let's Blame China": an infantile disorder when Covid-19 comes knocking
How the White House turned "China bought us time" into "China lied, people died" and put the world at risk

Up until Trump's U-turn in mid-March, most were impressed with the record time in which China identified, sequenced and shared the "strange pneumonia's" gene code as they struggled to make sense of what was happening since the first case was confirmed on 27th December 2019. Having finally confirmed human-to-human transmission 20th January after initial confusion and missteps, they turbocharged their efforts. Three days later on 23rd January, they shut down the city of Wuhan, and Hubei, a province of 66 million (about the same population as Britain), and halted its air traffic. The purpose was to starve the virus of hosts in order, not just to contain it, but to wipe it out completely.
Trump wasted precious time as Covid-19 seeded itself in the population leading to chaos and recriminations. Then on 13th March the president performed his reluctant U-turn and declared a national emergency, saying, "I don't accept responsibility at all."
Cue blame game.
A week later on 20th March, the same day the UK went into lockdown and news emerged of US senators selling their stocks on the eve of the long-awaited crash finally triggered by the coronavirus Black Swan, the White House sent a cable to State Department officials, issuing "guidelines for how U.S. officials should answer questions on, or speak about, the coronavirus and the White House’s response in relation to China." ... continues

Sunday, 14 June 2020
Plague, protests and how the hybrid war on China is prolonging Covid-19 pain in the West
I'm back after a long break following my bout of strange, dry bronchitis in December (Loved One had a dry hacking smokers' cough in parallel) which lost us Christmas and New Year, through the coronavirus crisis, a ramped up Cold War on China, and world-wide Black Lives Matter protests set off when African-American George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis police on camera in front of us over an agonising 8 minutes and 46 seconds of horror, supposedly over a $20 bill ...
In the UK, arrogance and incompetence from the Boris Johnson/Dominic Cummings government has brought Britain to its knees. Instead of learning from the Covid-19 road map drawn for us by China, as New Zealand's Jacinda Arden did, the political, media and even some of the science establishment got jealous and arsey about China's unprecedented lockdown of 1.4 billion human beings in order to contain the virus and starve it of hosts.
The mainstream media (MSM) mostly joined the news blackout on anything positive about China's management of the virus after Trump's U-turn in March led to co-ordinated attacks on China. While China sent a medical team to the UK at the end of March, along with PPE and 300 ventilators when hospitals were running out, the BBC countered with the bogus "faulty equipment" smear and the ever-hateful Guardian spun it as "China portrays itself as a global benefactor". Because, of course, the Yellow Peril can never act out of altruism, empathy, humanity, ethics or just plain practical understanding that the virus doesn't respect borders ... continues

Saturday, 5 October 2019
China: scapegoat and diversion from what ails western capitalism
We all know the United States of America was built on an ancient Native American burial ground, courtesy of European immigrants. Another original sin was slavery; kidnapping men, women and children from Africa for the brute workforce that built so much of America's wealth.
Then there's the 1 per cent ripping off the American people for decades, failing to invest in infrastructure, education, housing, healthcare while the richest 26 individuals took as much as the bottom half of humanity.
And now the US teeters on the edge of the worst economic recession since 1929. The national debt increased to $22 trillion with Trump adding over $2 trillion so far and China's new wealth is expected to pick up the declining superpower's tab as a result of Trump's trade war shakedown. ... continues

Saturday, 11 May 2019
Donald Trump's hostile takeover of the Chinese economy continues
Donald Trump's attempted hostile takeover of China's economy continues apace. The Chinese walked into an ambush when they presented their latest round of changes last week thinking they were still negotiating. Kicked off by Reuters' "exclusive" briefing by "three U.S. government sources and three private sector sources", the media then fell in with Trump and trade representative Lighthizer's narrative that the Chinese "reneged" on a deal that was already sewn up.
With two tweets on Sunday (provocatively, the 20th anniversary of the US bombing the Chinese embassy in Belgrade which killed three journalists) stating he was raising current tariffs on China from 10% to 25%, and planning the same for an additional $300 billion of Chinese trade, the President snapped his fingers and wiped $1.36 trillion from the world economy ... continues

Sunday, 3 February 2019
How's it hanging in Brexitland? Politicians fiddle while Brits stare catastrophe in the face
The EU is a rich men and women's club. But it was a partial counterweight to America's bullying. The danger was that if Johnson et al succeeded in splitting one of the three most powerful countries in the EU away from the others, there was a real danger of pulling Britain into the US camp and under control of the Military Industrial Complex, thus making the world a more dangerous place. And we would all suffer the economic fallout ... continues

Monday, 24 December 2018
Happy New Year: Will Donald Trump's tiny hand press the Big Red Button in 2019?
It's fascinating (in a horror-show kind of way) to watch the United States of America write itself a new narrative. Not the one where it dominated the post-World War II liberal global order and made itself the wealthiest economy on the planet by a long chalk, but a victim narrative in which poor little America is bullied and ripped off by China, formerly one of the poorest countries in the world but which now happens to be looming in America's rear-view mirror.
For several years, we've been told by the experts that China is the exciting new economy in which the world's investors were parking their money, while the US was in decline with failing demographics and dim long-term prospects. With China's population of 1.4 billion, a growing middle class of over 500 million, 800 million raised out of poverty, an internet penetration rate of only 55 percent (against US 83 percent), and American companies making money hand over fist with a lot more to come, you can see how some might cast an enviable eye over such a fat, juicy market and think: I'll have that.
The unpalatable fact for Trump is that – taking into account in-country Chinese sales of US goods and services such as those of Starbucks, Apple, MacDonalds, Coke etc – the US has a $24bn SURPLUS with China. And as even Gary Cohn pointed out, the "deficit" represents $300bn of goods that Americans could buy cheaply and thereby feel richer than they actually were ... continues

Tuesday, 13 November 2018
What's Donald Trump's trade war with China REALLY about?
History repeats itself: Trump's fantasy trade-deficit is an excuse for carving up China
I’d been hoping for the press to fact-check the issue of Trump’s trade war on China, which threatens to tip parts of the world (including America) into recession. I am disappointed to see the figures of $376bn and $500bn US trade deficit with China regurgitated in the British and American media with few corrections, or any attempts to cut through the hawks’ spin.
These elevated figures are further distorted by the fact that China is still mainly a base for assembly of goods which the nation is hoping to leave far behind in favour of high-end tech. So, for example, a thousand-buck iPhone X costs around $500 to make, out of which the high-end components are made elsewhere (Taiwan and South Korea), while China's costs amount to about 10 per cent, or around $47. And yet the entire wholesale cost of $500 is counted in the purported deficit with China — a ten-fold distortion ... continues

Friday, 4 May 2018
The Guardian: When is a dress just a dress? American teenager's Chinese prom dress and cultural appropriation
Anna Chen issues a warning in the Guardian and burns her bridges with the mainstream media (MSM): With President Trump and his acolytes pumping up yellow peril fears around China, and his trade wars threatening to slip into hot wars, the last thing we need is this trivialised pastiche of serious debate. Minorities have precious little ammunition with which to challenge tribal juggernauts. Don’t waste what little cultural and political firepower we have ... continues

Friday, 7 April 2017
President Trump turns on a dime and bombs Syria: deep state regains control
Lemme see ... in the week when Steve Bannon is finally ousted from the National Security Council (NSC) with nary a murmer from Trump who suddenly does a dramatic reverse on Syria in the very moments when Chinese President Xi Jinping is at Mar-a-Lago ... Phew! All the behind-the-scenes action finally manifesting in the public sphere with the first direct U.S. airstrike on a Syrian airbase.
Let's unpack this with what little info we have. Assad is winning the civil war but, just at the moment the rebels and their backers want the US smashing them into regime change, he handily provides the event most likely to bring it on and uses the banned chemical weapon sarin on his citizens leaving some 80 dead and many more horribly injured. And only weeks after 30 Yemeni civilians including "beautiful babies" and an American Navy Seal were killed in allied airstrikes in concert with those noble defenders of democracy, Saudi Arabia, and closely following over a hundred killed in Mosul. ...continues

Friday, 27 January 2017
President Trump to personally handle UK trade deal despite his nightmare record in business: Theresa May rolls over
Madam Miaow prescient yet again in 2017 ...
So the Fed will have to tighten monetary control by raising interest rates to control rising inflation after years of trying to kick start it, and the US will be at, or heading back to, negative rates by next year.
Asia might pull something positive out of a hat, especially if China fills the gap left by a protectionist USA. But then the stubby-fingered one will most likely try to bomb them back to the stone age. You can see the boys gagging to play with the toys with a blockade of the South China Sea's Malacca Straits as the opener. ... continues

Saturday, 19 November 2016
Trump's protectionism could be midwife to prosperous Asian region — if he doesn't nuke it first
As Europe implodes and the US goes into protectionist lock-down, the strongest potential area of growth is the Asian region (including Australasia) due to powerful demographics. Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts Asia to drive nearly two-thirds of global growth over 4 years. But that was BT (before Trump).
President Barak Obama saw China as an economic rival and tried to strangle it by creating the Tran-Pacific Parternership (TPP) consisting of 12 South American and Pacific nations and the US but EXCLUDING China in its own backyard. Poking the sleeping dragon with a sharp stick, Obama also transferred military from the Middle East to the Pacific Rim and the South China Sea.
Whether you like it or not, China saw what was coming down the pike and asserted its presence by building those islands ... continues

Monday, 7 November 2016
Zombie Punks vs Scary Clowns in the New World Order after Clinton or Trump wins POTUS election
With only one day to go before the US votes for its next president, one question remains: who is the least worst?
Think about this. Trump, Putin and now, it appears, China, are contemplating a period summed up in the famous term of the early 20th Century economist Joseph Schumpeter as ‘creative destruction’. ...
... Recession is coming to the UK thanks to inflation of at least 4 per cent headed our way. (Mark Carney is staying on at the BOE until 2019 'cause he knows the chickens will be coming home to roost by 2018.) Employers won't match inflation, wages will freeze or effectively fall, our spending will drop and companies will go bust. And there's that great big global debt bubble that has to eventually go "pop" ...
But for capitalists who can hang on through the slump, there are fortunes to be made as Britain then "recovers" and stocks bought at fire sale prices rise. Same for the US where markets are at the end of a bull run that has been fuelled by easy money injected into the system by the central banks. Only the fittest survive in Trumpworld, everyone else is going to find it very hard. ... continues

Friday, 4th November 2016
BBC turns Terracotta Warriors origins into culture wars
The world is changing, the sun sets on the British empire and all that is solid melts like a Mr Whippy ice-cream in the summer heat.
Some people can't stand it. In terms of cultural appropriation, Dan Snow's claim in his programme, The Greatest Tomb On Earth: Secrets Of Ancient China, that the Terracotta Warriors (made some two centuries before the Common Era), were Greek-led innovations takes the chauvinist biscuit.
Snow dons his best Victorian colonialist demeanor to assure BBC viewers that, joy of joys, it was us who did it after all. All is right with the world. 
According to the BBC puff, "Mobilising the latest technology, delving into some of the oldest texts, enlisting world experts and employing forensic science, together the three reveal an explosive secret from the foundations of the Chinese empire". ... continues

Friday, 21 October 2016
Global economy running on fumes: let's have a jolly nice war
Sterling has taken a post-Brexit pounding and may even fall below parity with the dollar. The US economy is at the top of a bull run and running on fumes. The Euro is sliding and the European Union may disintegrate. Deutsche Bank may fail (it's much, MUCH bigger than Lehman Bros) and could be the trigger for another economic meltdown ... only without the safety next of a wealthy China growing at full throttle. China has the best potential to thrive but has a ticking time-bomb credit bubble of 250 per cent of GDP. ... continues

Wednesday, 6 July 2016
CHILCOT REPORT confirms anti-war movement was right from the start: Tony Blair trampled over the truth for the Iraq War
The Chilcot report on the Iraq War has finally been published and all eyes are on Tony Blair.
It's taken seven years and 2.6 million words to confirm what anti-war voices were saying from September 2001 — do not invade Iraq on a flimsy pretext, because the results will be dire for the Iraqis and for the world.
Chilcot says the inquiry does not accept Blair’s claim that it was impossible to predict the post-invasion problems. Those problems, he says, were indeed anticipated.
"Mr Blair had been warned, however, that military action would increase the threat from Al Qaeda to the UK and to UK interests. He had also been warned that an invasion might lead to Iraq's weapons and capabilities being transferred into the hands of terrorists," Chilcot said in this morning's opening statement. ... continues

Thursday, 17 May 2012
The Opium War by Julia Lovell book review: Smoke and mirrors
The West's culture warriors get into gear, bending the narrative to warm us up for what's coming down the pike.
With renewed calls for the West to assert its imperial might in the interest of "capitalism and democracy ... if necessary by military force " (historian and BBC Reith Lecturer Niall Ferguson), it's useful to examine one episode in Britain's history when we attempted to do so, with catastrophic results for the conquered nation. ...
Lovell seeks to make a case against the communist government, but her thrust replaces one orthodoxy with another. In describing the fundamental rottenness of an ossified and decadent empire (China's, not ours) she inadvertently stirs a degree of sympathy with those men and women who tried to build a better society in response to the horrors visited upon a country on its knees but who have tragically failed to avoid writing their own catalogue of misery despite doubling life-expectancy and raising 600 million out of absolute poverty. As a demolition job on the upstart rival on the global stage, this book is sure to do well among those less scholarly than the professor who will seize on this exercise in exculpation with glee. ...continues

Thursday, 17 November 2011
Obama in Yo Mama war with China: Pacific Rimmers look out!
Is it my imagination or is cuddly President Barak Obama picking a fight with China?
No sooner has the world begun to heal after the Bush neocon excesses that led to such bloodshed in the Middle east, not to mention an enormous fillip to the arms industry, than Obama announces a tectonic shift in US imperialist policy.
Only a few weeks since Hillary Clinton announced that the new superpower was in the queue not so far along from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Syria, Iran and Korea for whipping into shape, I listened to Obama's speech to the Australian Parliament last night, struck by sabre-rattling out of a bygone age. "The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay." Is he on something? ... continues

Thursday, 10 March 2011
Working for the Clampdown: Niall Ferguson's testosterone theory of history
Culture warrior lays out US empire's core strategy and aims in his Channel 4 TV series.
Coming on like an Oxbridge Jeremy Clarkson, Ferguson promises an explanation as to why the West is in decline and about to be overtaken by Asia, as represented by China in the first programme. However, instead of presenting a cool economic and political analysis of history since 1420 when China was the most advanced nation in the world and England was a 'septic isle', this heavyweight intellectual rammed home a barrage of triumphalist tub-thumping which quite startled me. His nostalgia for Empire, as once observed by an astute Eric Hobsbawm, was cranked up to eleven as he attempted to nail his viewers to the headboard ...
Fergy fetishises capitalist competition out of context, out of time. 'By being divided, the West was able to rule the world', he says, as if this is a good thing on its own. He wants this 'killer app' applied as a principle where we are all atomised and competing against each other for dwindling resources ... continues

Thursday, 11 November 2010
Cameron team wears poppies in China
Yes, that's a great idea. Wear poppies on a trade visit to China in the 150th anniversary year marking the end of the Opium Wars when Britain forced cheap Bengal opium on the Chinese people at the point of a gun. Prime Minister David Cameron may think he is remembering the dead of World Wars One and Two, but in China the vivid symbols only serve as a reminder of Western arrogance and corruption and the Chinese who died due to the actions of a ruthless invading force ... continues
[EDIT: This event ended up marking the start of the Golden Era of UK China relations, brought to a close by the US and Boris Johnson.]

Sunday, 8 August 2010
BBC jumps the orientalist shark: Fu Manchu in Edinburgh
Even Radio 4 is at it. Hard on the heels of last week's Sherlock oriental hate-fest, my beloved BBC Radio 4 has just broadcast someone called Miles Jupp presenting a thinly disguised bit of sinophobia celebrating one of the most notorious exercises in colonialist literature: Fu Manchu In Edinburgh.
While it's valid to explore the imaginary world which an iconic literary creation inhabits, the unquestioning depiction of Chinese as dehumanised hate-figures in the almost utter absence of humanised Chinese in the culture is fairly loathsome, not to mention irresponsible. The (il)liberal peppering throughout of orientalised buzz-words such as "fiendish" and "diabolical" only reinforces the suspicion that they've dug up Leni Riefenstahl and hired her as executive producer. ... continues

Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Anna tackles embedded dehumanisation of Chinese in the culture, making visible the invisible. Or, in this case, making audible the unperceived subtleties of manipulation through music.
Chopsticks At Dawn - BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 — 13:30
Tuesday 8th June 2010
Written and presented by Anna Chen with Dr Jonathan Walker. Produced by Mukti Jain Campion and Chris Eldon-Lee for Culture Wise.
What makes certain configurations of notes in Western music sound Chinese? And why does it set my teeth on edge? More here and pictures here
Pick of the Day: The Observer, Sunday Telegraph, Time Out, Radio Times and Mail On Sunday

Tuesday, 22 December 2009
Sinophobia and Copenhagen: open letter to the Guardian's Mark Lynas
PREVIOUSLY: The story so far ... One moment we were told there was a scandal brewing with the leaking of the 'Danish Text', a stitch-up of the poor nations by the wealthy, with the US and Britain among those implicated (8th Dec 2009 onwards), the next moment, this happened.
The Copenhagen blame game continues with the media reaching a hysterical pitch in their attempts to demonise China over the disappointing results at the climate change summit.
The Guardian publishes another lurid smear, this time by someone called Mark Lynas and titled: "How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room"
Starring Mark Lynas as Sax Rohmer which, I guess, makes me Fu Manchu. (I recommend you read all the comments on the Guardian thread.) ...

Saturday, 19 December 2009
Climate change: Is new Independent newspaper regime Sinophobic?
Well, I used to be a fan of The Independent, what with having Robert Fisk and being so brilliant on the Iraq war. But with an article yesterday headlined, "China's delaying tactics threaten climate deal" by Chris Green, and allowing racist epithets in their comments threads, has The Indy jumped the shark? ...
Let's remember it's not China that's been belching out carbon emissions for over a hundred years. America has cheated the Kyoto figures, claiming to aim to cut emissions by a measly 17 percent by 2020. But this is against 2005 levels and not the Kyoto base year of 1990, meaning if we're lucky, the US will have made cuts of only 4 percent. No wonder they put the rat into ratify and refused to sign up.
Currently producing four times the emissions of China per capita, even if all had gone well at Copenhagen, the US would still have been allowed to pollute at twice the rate of the poor countries for each man, woman and child by 2050. ... continues

Sunday, 6 December 2009
China, Copenhagen and climate change
Monday sees the start of the Copenhagen climate conference, marking the end of a two-year period which aims to see a far-reaching and legally binding global agreement on how to combat climate change.
China is widely regarded as the Big Bad in this scenario, called “the world's biggest polluter”, and yet the West has been belching out carbon emissions for 160 years with no serious sign of abatement. The US is still the biggest polluter per capita with Americans still consuming a huge proportion of the world’s resources. I don’t know whether the figure of one American kid consuming the same as 100 Bangladeshi children still holds true, but the nation that wants gas at ten cents a gallon and persists in its divine right to drive Humvees is telling China to shut the fridge door. ...
China has introduced a whole slew of newly released renewable energy and clean technology regulations, while all the West can come up with are delusional carbon market exchanges where rich nations buy carbon allowances from poor nations. Over five million people in the city of Dezhou, Shandong, use electric appliances powered by solar energy.
Each Chinese household will be expected to pay the annual equivalent of $64 to contribute towards the $30 billion dollars per year China needs to invest to meet its climate aims. ... continues

Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Anna's first attempt to introduce a new generation to Hollywood's first Chinese screen legend, Anna May Wong, was rejected by the BBC in 2005 (AMW's birth centenary) on the grounds that, "No-one knows who she is". Second time lucky and it was finally made in 2008.
Anna May Wong: A Celestial Star In Piccadilly - BBC Radio 4
Anna Chen writes and presents a half-hour profile of Hollywood's first Chinese movie star for BBC Radio 4. Produced by Mukti Jain Campion for Culture Wise.
Broadcast 11:30, Tuesday 13th January 2009.
Chosen as Pick of the Week by BBC R4, Guardian Guide, The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday.
Anna May Wong Must Die!

Monday, 30 April 2007
Anna Chen and Culture Wise challenge Chinese invisibility in western culture with this groundbreaking series on the history of the Chinese in Britain from the perspective of Chinese in Britain.
Chinese In Britain — BBC Radio 4
A ten-part series first broadcast April/May 2007, repeated 2014, presented by Anna Chen. Produced by Mukti Jain Campion for Culture Wise. Written by Mukti Jain Campion with Anna Chen, originated by the late Jessie Lim.
A fascinating story” - Chris Campling, The Times
Each episode sounded effortless only because it had been crafted with such supreme care” - Gillian Reynolds, The Daily Telegraph
Repeated as omnibus editions 9pm Fridays 16th and 23rd May 2008 on BBC Radio 4
Visit the Chinese In Britain BBC page
Pictures of the series launch
More info at Culture Wise.

The Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreak Campaign of 2001
(Anna Chen organised the press campaign for the UK Chinese action that surprised everyone by  fighting back against being scapegoated by the government for Tony Blair's failure to deal with the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak that brought rural Britain to its knees. She was also a member of the delegation that negotiated with Minister Nick Brown in the wake of the scandal.)
It is very Goebbelsesque to associate a scapegoated minority with filth and pestilence but, a few months after George W Bush labelled China a strategic competitor in his 2000 election campaign, this is exactly what Tony Blair's government tried to do to the Chinese in Britain ... until we fought back.
When Britain suffered a severe outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in 2001, the countryside was full of burning pyres of animals as the New Labour government got it desperately wrong. The Chinese community suddenly found itself scapegoated for the outbreak in a lunatic briefing by a northern outpost of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) to The Times.
Such was the degree of the disaster that farmers were committing suicide as livelihoods were lost, and anger was beginning to be diverted away from the government and onto one of the minority communities. Broadsheets and tabloids alike carried lurid headlines such as, "Sheep and Sow Source" as the Chinese were primed for blame. ...

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