The voice of China’s establishment intelligentsia has spoken out strongly against President Obama’s March 28 speech on Libya, asking “Who authorized you to play such a special role in global security?”
The Guangming Daily, a Communist Party-owned publication aimed at intellectuals, joined the chorus of denunciations in Chinese state media against the West , particularly the United States, for their bombing raids on Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya.
Obama had given his speech, the first since the Libyan mission began on March 19, at National Defense University.
The tone of the Guangming Daily rebuttal was decidedly reproachful.
“Before he had even finished speaking, the audience was trembling with fear, full of dread,” it said. “Obama spoke bluntly, saying that America plays a special role in world security… We can’t help ask, does this special role mean using military force to bombard a sovereign country and kill innocent civilians?” the March 29 article asked.
A partial translation was published by Chinascope, a media research group in Washington, DC, while The Epoch Times translated other parts .
“He made no mention of how America hopes for peace,” the article said. “His mouth was full of how America is this and that… full of talk about military force being the American responsibility, it was simply a raping of public opinion.”
The author condemned the speech as “showing the hateful face of United States hegemony.”
“The United States practice is extremely despicable, according to either the international community's acknowledged rules or the common sense of human rights,” the article continued.
Communist Party media have been engaged in rhetorical sorties of this kind since China abstained from the United Nations Security Council vote to implement a no-fly zone in Libya, on March 17.
While the public statements have focused on concern for human causalities, experts interviewed by The Epoch Times say that these are covers for more realpolitik concerns: not setting a precedent for international intervention against strikes on civilians protesting against a repressive government.
Domestic Chinese propaganda against the intervention has been particularly vigorous, as the Party seeks to make sure the Libya case does not become an object lesson for the Chinese people in democracy via popular revolt, assisted by the West through force.
Richard Fisher, senior fellow on Asian Military Affairs at the International Assessment and Strategy Center said, “If Libya goes belly up, and especially if some kind of pluralistic direction emerges from all this, then that’s a major disaster for the [Chinese Communist] Party.”