For non-Americans who, during the years of Donald J. Trump’s presidency, took heart for their own freedom and democracy that was under duress from the encroaching globalist agenda tied to Chinese communism, watching the oath-taking ceremony of Joe Biden as America’s 46th president, which I did as a Canadian, became an exercise in distinguishing between what’s real and what’s fake.
America’s Capitol was turned into a caged arena of fences, barbed wire, and armed soldiers while being mostly empty of people, who should have been there to celebrate the peaceful transfer of power that Americans have taken pride in since the making of their republic.
Two weeks earlier, Washington was swirling with an estimated crowd of more than half a million American patriots and supporters of Trump demonstrating against the ratification in Congress of an election, seen as rigged and stolen, and the declaration of Biden as president-elect.
Non-Americans have seen the celebration of the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another as a touchstone of freedom and democracy. For instance, Liu Xiaobo (1955–2017), the Chinese dissident writer-poet and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, observed that “watching Obama’s elevation to the position of 44th President of the United States underscores the greatness of the American system. … Every four years, the United States can, if it wants, turn itself around by means of a general election that is open to all.”
The November 2020 election and Biden’s elevation to the presidency, with the departing president pointedly not attending the ceremony at the Capitol, undoubtedly cast foreboding shadows over the American republican democracy that will either deepen, or drag on and bring injury before dissipating.
The year 2020 was unlike any other, and it will be marked with an asterisk like other notable years (1776, 1789, 1917, 1941, 1949, etc.) in the history of the world. It was the year of the rat in the Chinese calendar, with predictions of crises and divisions among peoples and countries. It began with the export of the CCP virus that turned into a worldwide pandemic, draconian lockdowns, and, in their wake, economic costs yet to be fully assessed. It turned American politics and society upside-down, and ended with a disputed election that demanded suspension of critical judgment by over 75 million Americans to acknowledge that Biden was elected to the presidency fairly and legitimately.
America presently appears politically polarized as it was during the peak of anti-Vietnam war protests a half-century ago. But the current polarization is fueled by a more sinister aspect than the racial undertones of the social unrest that overshadowed the murders of John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X. This has to do with the suspicion that communist China has systematically infiltrated and corrupted the highest levels of American government and elite institutions of business, finance, education, media, and culture.
Trump’s win in 2016 was in part an effect of the suspicions about China that had been gnawing for some time at the entrails of American politics, and the American elite’s role in contributing, at the cost of the American people, to the emergence of China as the world’s second-largest economy and military power. For concerned Americans, Biden and his son, Hunter, came to symbolize the extent to which Beijing’s money bought influence inside Washington. People and press who came forward during the 2020 election campaign to provide evidence of alleged Biden family corruption were censored or their stories buried by the mainstream corporate media. It’s indisputable that the media’s role in covering-up for Biden helped the Biden campaign in the election.
This same media had gone overboard in trumpeting the fake Trump–Russia collusion narrative through almost the entirety of President Trump’s tenure in the White House. The media’s silence during the election on China’s infiltration into and purchase of influence among the ranks of Washington insiders in both parties, and the lure of China to corporate America are in themselves illustrations of America’s drift in adopting the communist “China way” of doing business and politics.
Pierre Ryckmans (1935–2014) was a Belgian-Australian sinologist who wrote under the pen name Simon Leys. As a young man, he first travelled to China in 1955 and fell in love with its people and culture. His love of China turned him into one of the most astute analysts of Maoism at a time when most China scholars in the West were bending over to present Mao as a great sage leading the re-birth of China.
Leys in “Chinese Shadows” (1974) pulled aside the mask of Mao’s China. Beijing’s communist leaders still derive their legitimacy from the legacy of the man directly responsible for tens of millions of Chinese deaths and whose Great Helmsman role Deng Xiaoping assessed approvingly as 70 per cent correct and 30 per cent in error. “Chinese shadows” refers to the constructed image of China, of a benign state under communism, or Maoism, in transition from a feudal to a modern society. Communist China was sold to the West, in particular America, as non-threatening and peace-loving.
The “China way,” or politics masked by “Chinese shadows,” that now looms above the American republic is the oldest axiom in politics. Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned for his opposition to communism, wrote, “Only money can guarantee the stability of the regime and the interests of the power elite. Only with money can the Party maintain control of China’s major cities, co-opt elites, satisfy the drive of many to get rich overnight, and crush the resistance of any nascent rival group.”
There are trillions of dollars involved for the elites in America and China, and adopting the “China way” in America with Biden as president assures the communist rulers in Beijing and Washington insiders that their partnership so deftly crafted will not be disrupted, as Donald Trump threatened to do.
Salim Mansur is professor emeritus of political science at the Western University, in London, Ontario, Canada.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.