China’s communist leaders have clamped down on coverage and commentary of the Winter Olympic games. Ask Dutch correspondent Sjoerd den Daas, who was manhandled by a security guard during a live report. The dictatorship has attempted to gag foreign athletes, banning mention of Chinese aggression (e.g., territorial theft in Asia) and repression of domestic minorities.
Beijing demands Olympic media coverage portray 21st-century China’s economic and cultural power and show the world that China’s authoritarian governance model works, in contrast to the social turmoil in “liberal” states like the United States and Canada.
The strategic propaganda message: demonstrate China’s growing dominance.
Though seldom acknowledged, an ugly motive guides communist China’s drive for dominance: Han Chinese ethno-centrism.
In an April 2020 column discussing Xi Jinping’s “Four Confidences,” I interpreted his “confidence in culture” dictum to mean confidence in ethnic “Han Chinese culture as curated by Beijing’s 21st-century urban communist authoritarian elites ... it stinks of ethnocentrism, which could be a euphemism for racism.”
The Han matter. China’s estimated population in 2017 was 1.4 billion and 90 percent were ethnic Han Chinese.
According to a newly available Pentagon analysis, deep-seated Han racism drives the cultural arrogance and vanity.
The study, “The Strategic Consequences of Chinese Racism: A Strategic Asymmetry for the United States,” was apparently leaked to the internet. Someone redacted the author’s name but at one time he was a professor in Missouri State University’s Department of Defense and Strategic Studies.
The study’s four chapters and conclusion are too long and detailed to summarize. I’ll provide a sketch with quotes and paraphrase.
Chapter 2 “recognizes that China has been and remains a racist state” and “racists and eugenicist beliefs inform the Chinese worldview.” The author names names. “Racism remains a key component of how the Chinese see the world, their central place in it, and the world’s other, inferior inhabitants.” Ponder that.
Chapter 3 evaluates “nine strategic consequences of Chinese racism.” The author says the United States “must recognize ... China is a racist state, closer to Nazi Germany than to the values upheld in the West.” Moreover, most Chinese don’t see their racism as a problem. They believe “racism is a Western phenomenon ...”
Consequence 6: Racism can lead to overconfidence. The Chinese commonly “believe that they are cleverer than others” and can shape events subtly using ‘shi,’ a “strategy of strategic cleverness.” More: “In their self-image, the Han are more cunning and virtuous than the rest. The United States, in contrast, is easily manipulated, although strong and violent, just like an adolescent.”
In the world of statecraft, however, overconfidence breeds catastrophic mistakes—ask Adolf Hitler.
A yearning for Chinese imperial kowtow is another motivator: “Their expectation is of a tribute system where barbarians know that the Chinese are superior ...”
Consequence 7 is a problem: “Chinese racism helps to make the Chinese a formidable adversary.” It provides a sense of unity and identity. And “China is not plagued by self-doubt or guilt about its past.”
Chapter 3 includes detailed information on the racist component of Beijing’s genocidal repression of Turkic Uyghurs and Tibetans.
Chapter 4 describes “Five Major Implications” for U.S. leaders. Implication 1: “Chinese Racism Provides Empirical Evidence of How the Chinese Will Treat Others Now and If/When China Is Dominant.” Han disdain for black Africans has negative consequences for Beijing.
Alas, racist ideology informs Beijing’s fundamental goal of dominance; Han “race-civilization” justifies goals and motivates ethnic will. The author argues Han racism must be publicized and used to defeat communist China’s grand drive for global dominance.
By documenting communist China’s racist policies, the Net Assessment study exposes truly “systemic racism.”