Wednesday, December 1, 2021

China's invasion of Taiwan theory: A strategic propaganda

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How is propaganda engineered?

Over the past few weeks, China-Taiwan tension has been the central issue of debate in media, mainly Western and Indian media. People across the globe fear a new war, globally or between China and the US. This war is unlikely, yet the Western propaganda against China's so-called invasion of Taiwan has psychologically upset people.

The American initiative to establish Anglo-Saxon countries' alliance (AUKUS), declaration of China as the strategic rival, the concentration of NATO naval forces in the South China Sea unleash clouds of suspicions. The Western bloc's interest has never been to assist Taiwan; its sole objective is to contain China's rise, oppose socialism, and break the People's Republic of China, which is simply impossible. The ongoing anti-China propaganda is designedly provocative.

The Western corporations-controlled media is adept in playing 'propaganda games' to delude and misinform ordinary people by unleashing a flood of fabricated information. Universities teach that the media's role is to serve the people by communicating messages—to inform and educate them. The Western elites use media to feed the public with biased cooked information to manufacture their consent by launching a series of propaganda missions.

Anti-communism, socialism, and democratic socialism ideology are some of the filters employed by Western corporate-controlled media to disseminate the message to people.

Modern Western media does not believe in what universities teach; instead, it follows what the ruling elites and corporate masters want. James Curran and Jean Seaton have rightly said in their seminal book 'Power without Responsibility: The Press and Broadcasting in Britain, "In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfill this role requires systematic propaganda." Media is a propaganda tool for the capitalist ruling elites: the elites controlling state power pay the media and the media broadcast as per the wish of elites. No dissent exists, nor exists a mission to defend general people.

Anti-communism ingredient is major

Over a decade ago, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky worked on the detailed propaganda ingredients, identifying anti-communism cliché as one of the most stressed ingredients. They point out the anti-communist, socialist and social democrat propaganda has become a national religion of Western capitalist elites and their controlled media. With the rise of China as a socialist world economic power in the past decades, this propaganda mission has received a new vigour and drive. In Western capitalist societies, the corporatized elite domination prevails extraordinarily, leaving no space for dissents; even the people working in the media with professional integrity and fairness follow the direction sign-posted by the ingredients of propaganda mission. The anti-communism ingredient is the most crucial one. This propaganda model of media is bustling presently with the 'news of China's so-called violation of Taiwan's airspace.'   

Anti-communism, socialism, and democratic socialism ideology are some of the filters employed by Western corporate-controlled media to disseminate the message to people. Understandably, the only reason for Western media's recent noises about China's probable invasion of Taiwan is the People's Republic of China's continuous successes in constructing its unique socialist system. Communism is an ultimate evil for Western corporate entities and political elites; it has always been the spectre haunting property owners, as it threatens the very root of their class position and superior status, Herman and Chomsky have said.

China's rise has been a trauma to Western corporate entities and political elites. They consider that the publicity against China contributes and elevates the opposition or rivalry to the socialist system. Therefore, publicity against China has become a fundamental principle of Western ideology and politics. Of course, the propaganda helps to delude and mobilize their populace against China. Western political elites and strategists view propaganda against China's so-called invasion of Taiwan will be a booster to the Indo-pacific strategy, to contain China and its socialist system offensively.

The propaganda has some definite and well-calculated goals. First, it deludes the world populace that China is preparing war against Taiwan. Second, it intends to spread a fake message of China's suppression of the Uyghur minority, thus helping to instigate unrest of the ethnic minorities against the socialist system. This strategy intends to disturb China's socialist modernization drive and Xinjiang province, which provides a major hub for BRI-driven connectivity with Central Asia, Russia, and Europe.

Meanwhile, the intention to disturb the sprawling economic relation between China and Russia is a visible agenda of this propaganda. One more reason behind instigating the Uyghur's suppression propaganda is to shift the Islamic anti-American sentiment against China, thus contributing to China's encirclement strategy of the Western alliance under the US leadership. Third, the propaganda of China's attack against Taiwan is to fume the suspicion of South Asian nations against China and provoke them to reduce economic ties with it. This agenda is a crucial part of China's containing and encircling strategy. Last but not least, the propaganda wants to justify the formation of the QUAD and AUKUS alliance, ensure the rigorous presence of AUKUS in the South China Sea, and equip India with sophisticated weapons under the banner of Indo-pacific strategy. After all, the propaganda plans conspicuously brew up a Cold War situation and prevent China from boosting its economic relation globally.

One more reason behind instigating the Uyghur's suppression propaganda is to shift the Islamic anti-American sentiment against China, thus contributing to China's encirclement strategy of the Western alliance under the US leadership.

Is China invading Taiwan?

Is China opting for a new cold war and war with Taiwan? On October 13, 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the best answer to this question while speaking to CNBC's Hadley Gamble at the Russian Energy Week conference. Responding to her question, he said: "As far as I understand, the Chinese philosophy regarding statehood and its management does not include use of force." He continued, "I think China does not need to use force. China is a huge powerful economy. In terms of per-capita purchase and parity, China is the number one economy, ahead of the US. By increasing its economic potentials, China is capable of implementing its national objectives. So, I don't see any threat."

Against the perspective of anti-China propaganda hatched recently, a rational person must recall and reckon a few historical facts. First, Taiwan was an integral part of China's territory until 1949, before Chiang Kai-shek declared Taiwan an independent nation under the US patronage. Taiwan was never a separate nation regarding national sovereignty, territorial integrity, culture, language, and international recognition. Until 1949, Chiang Kai-shek himself ruled China, with Taiwan as an integral part of the mainland China. Therefore, his declaration of Taiwan as an independent nation was a separatist act, factually and categorically. His act was unallowable and misguided. It was against the will of the people and the territorial integrity of the nation.

Most importantly, China is one of the founding members of the United Nations that signed the UN Charter as a Permanent Security Member, representing Asia. In 1971, the People's Republic of China, ruled by the Nine Political parties under the leadership of Communist Party, officially replaced Taiwan's presence in the UN as an official representative of China. This year, the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 recognized the People's Republic of China as the UN's only legitimate and legal representative of China. Accordingly, the Resolution declared the PRC as the Permanent Member of the UN Security Council.

Taiwan's international or the UN recognition of China's representative was revoked or annulled, without reservation. In terms of international law, under the UN Resolution 2758, mainland China (People's Republic of China) formerly acquired the right and privilege to integrate or unify Taiwan peacefully. The United States formally approved this decision and affirmed the "One China Policy," thus leaving no excuse against the unification of China as a national domestic matter.

That said the United States' policies to supply arms, including missiles and other sophisticated weapons, violate the norms and principles of international law. There are two facts undeniably established. First, China is one of the Security Council members. Second, the revocation of Taiwan Government's status as China's official representative cleared the way for the unification of China into one integrated nation. Thus, the US's policies and activities of sending naval fleets and personnel to the China-Taiwan strait are an open violation of the UN Charter and customary international law. No state, under the UN Charter, can interfere in domestic matters of other countries. The UN General Assembly's "Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty, General Assembly Resolution 2131 (XX)", prevent all member states from interfering in other's domestic affairs. The world community understands this naked fact. The United States also knows very well, by its affirmation of the one-China policy, that Taiwan is an integral part of the Chinese nation. 

The United States' policies to supply arms, including missiles and other sophisticated weapons, violate the norms and principles of international law.

Let us briefly reflect retrospectively on the event of the US takeover of the Hawaiian Islands. The history still is fresh and live that the US merged the Hawaiian Islands through the Joint Resolution passed by Congress on July 12, 1898. The Hawaiian Islands had been an independent sovereign nation with a well-established culture and long history of self-governance. The US also captured the Philippines. These events represented the imperialist-colonialist missions of the United States, as stated by Walter LaFeber in his classic book The New Empire: The Interpretation of American Expansion 1860-1898. The book presents the widely influential argument that economic causes were the primary forces propelling America to world power in the nineteenth century. What moral authority can the US hold to oppose China's peaceful unification of Taiwan in that gloomy perspective of its expansionist mission? It is now plain that the American interest to escalate tension against China's privilege to achieve peaceful unification of its territory is motivated by its vested interests of maintaining the status of global supremacy and controlling the world.

The propaganda of the cold war and the Chinese invasion of Taiwan is nothing but a strategy to 'manufacture global populace's consent' against China's socialist government, socialist system, and in favour of the ruinous Indo-pacific strategy. As rightly pointed by Russian President Putin, China's peaceful international relations policies are plainly articulated and practiced. The Chinese President Xi Jinping's address to the 76th General Assembly Meeting of the UN on September 21, 2021, presents the most definite articulation of China's policies for a peaceful world and refutation of war. On that occasion, he categorically remarked, "We must strengthen solidarity and promote mutual respect and win-win cooperation in conducting international relations." He continued saying: "A world of peace and development should embrace civilizations of various forms, and must accommodate diverse paths to modernization."

Of course, as Chinese President Xi said, democracy is not a special right reserved for an individual country. It is people's right, and they are only masters to determine the structure, principles, and norms of democracy applicable in their respective societies. Asia has a history of showing and practicing tremendous concerns and love for democracy. Both China and South Asia had several benevolent kings and Emperors who dedicated their lives to the welfare and freedom of their peoples, even during the feudal era. The Asian philosophy never accepted a theory that the rulers are the masters of the country—they always are defined as the servants of the people.

Most importantly, Asia is a continent where socialism is thriving promisingly. One of the reasons for this success lies in Asia's cultural foundation of harmony and collective life. These two historical principles of Asian civilization prevented Asian nations from embarking on colonial missions. Further, Asian nations never fought aggression or offensive wars for the sake of colonizing other nations. Indeed, some Asian emperors invaded other nations and controlled them. However, they never ruled these territories directly. They levied taxes and left the occupied to local kings. Asian civilizations believed in 'defensive strategies.' They neither discovered others' lands nor colonized them.     

President Xi’s take in diplomacy

In his speech to the UN General Assembly, President Xi overruled any prospect of China's offensive activities against Taiwan. He reminded the international community that 'we need to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy, and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of forming small circles or zero-sum games.' He further remarked that one country's success does not have to mean another country's failure. As he pertinently stressed, 'the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries.' His following remarks repudiate the Western propaganda of China's invasion of Taiwan. He repeatedly said that the 'the unification is to be done peacefully following the well-implemented principle of One Country Two Systems'.

"The Chinese people have always celebrated and striven to pursue the vision of peace, amity, and harmony. China never has and will never invade or bully others or seek hegemony. China is always a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order, and a provider of public goods. China will continue to bring the world new opportunities through its new development." This statement of Xi Jinping provides a sufficient answer to the Western propaganda game.

The propaganda contains ill-motives of the war-mongers. The issue of Taiwan's invasion is a prelude to 'decouple' Chinese people with their compatriots from Taiwan and to destruct the possibility of peaceful unification of Chinese people.

Therefore, the propaganda contains ill-motives of the war-mongers. The issue of Taiwan's invasion is a prelude to 'decouple' Chinese people with their compatriots from Taiwan and to destruct the possibility of peaceful unification of Chinese people. In the past three decades, the two sides have developed strong trade and commercial ties. The commerce between the two sides has been tremendously increased, besides social communications and family visits. People from both sides can visit their relatives and enjoy their cultural bond. China's economic and political progress is promising to its people, people living in Taiwan, and the people from neighbouring countries, like Nepal and the entire South Asia. South Asia's trade with China exceeds 150 billion dollars presently. The prospect of economic cooperation between China and South East Asia, South Asia is more excellent and undeniable. With induced tension by outsiders, Asia now faces a great challenge to save this opportunity and carry on existing economic cooperation and friendly relations.

The wisdom of Asian nations can only protect Asia from falling into the trap of wars, conflicts, and the cold war. We know that China's success in rejuvenating the nation tormented by foreign occupation, humiliation, and long history of worst feudalism has heightened the sense of patriotism and national spirit among its people, including those inhabiting Taiwan. China's relation with its neighbours is peaceful and cooperative. In this sound background, no insiders or outsiders can thwart the process of peaceful unification. Notably, China's neighbours must respect the principle of non-interference in domestic affairs of each other. China faced a similar situation in Hong Kong a year ago. Though the law recommending a unique system for the appointment of the Chief Administrator of Hong Kong was criticized as an authoritarian piece of legislation, it was no less democratic than the 'American Primary Election System.' However, the outsiders-induced crisis was resolved eventually. Now Taiwan's crisis has been mooted for the same purpose, and everybody understands it.

Recently, many Western media have been busy selling their provocative stuff through interviews and commentaries regarding Taiwan issue. Visibly, these media are carrying propaganda on behalf of people long-involved in anti-China, anti-socialism, and anti-communism activities. Notably, Western media are accusing China of intimidating Taiwan by frequently flying fighters and strategic bombers over Taiwan's airspace. Their particular target is President Xi Jinping's speech, in which he said, "It has never ended well for those who betray the motherland." This statement is neither provocative nor intimidating in any sense. It only morally warns those who tend to betray the motherland. However, attempts are made to project the issues as a crisis leading to war. For instance, Melissa Chan, the presenter of the D.W.'s News Asia show, intentionally linked the issue of Taiwan with the Uyghur minority and Hong Kong issues. She said, "Xi Jinping has gone after China's Uyghur minority, then Hong Kong, and even its tech billionaires. So, why wouldn't he go after Taiwan?" This statement amounts to be un-journalistic, ill-journalistic, and provocative. The Taiwan issue has nothing to do with the Uyghur.

The Uyghur issue is another perennial brand of Western propaganda. Instigating such propaganda, the Western elites and certain media forget what happened in Afghanistan with a sudden attack, long occupation, and abrupt withdrawal of Western forces. Journalists like Melissa Chan ignore the atrocities the people of Afghanistan had to suffer from. Felix Lee, a Berlin-based media person, rightly says, "Will China go for the military option? That depends on the US and its allies." The interesting point is that 'the Chinese fighters have never flown to the Taiwanese airspace.' As some reports have suggested, both sides have flown to a space known as 'identification zone,' where the identity should be given while making a presence. Obviously, there is no issue of violating anyone's airspace.

Therefore, the propaganda is strategic and calculated. It is planned—it is not a reaction to what has happened. The reaction needs action; there is no action to produce a reaction and tension or conflict. The propaganda is strategic, calculated, and massive, indeed. Unfortunately, the Indian media is siding with the Western propaganda of 'China-invasion theory' and relentlessly airing news accusing 'China is building arms strength among the India border.' Some raised the China-Nepal border issue provocatively. Quite surprisingly, a Madhesh-centric political party suddenly staged a protest and even burnt down the Chinese flag. These kinds of activities are deplorable. Nepal-China border agreement has an explicit mechanism to resolve any dispute regarding the demarcation of the border; two sides shall resolve it by mutual consultation. The government of Nepal has not yet proposed any consultation. It means that the propaganda scheme is imported in Nepal also.

Conclusion    

Asia is economically rising, with a greater prospect of becoming a global economic hub. The unity of Asian nations is vital for this accomplishment, irrespective of their political differences. The past has been significantly changed: China has emerged as a global economic power, and India is rapidly emerging as a regional power. Asian nations do not have any apparent reason to fight and treat each other as rival nations. However, the West is wary of its economic decline and loss of its hegemonic domination over the world, which perpetuated for three centuries. In this situation, Asia cannot embroil into a crisis of any kind, thus posing an obstacle for further economic progress.

Asia still has the largest population living in poverty. As a matter of fact, no Asian nation can afford or choose to brew tensions and conflicts, thus obstructing further economic rise. As the Chinese President said in his address to the UN General Assembly, 'it is the responsibility of all Asian nations to strive for the reformation of global governance and encourage practicing a system of true multilateralism.' He says, "In the world, there is only one international system, i.e., the international system with the UN at its core. There is only one international order, i.e., the international order underpinned by international law. And there is only one set of rules, i.e., the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The UN should hold high the banner of true multilateralism and serve as the central platform for countries to jointly safeguard universal security, share development achievements and chart the course for the future of the world."

Many Western intellectuals believe that the 'search for the power' is the only motivation of nations for economic development. This belief may be true for Europe and America, but not for Asia.

These formal words in the world platform are good evidence to assure that China's rise is peaceful. Any nation can grow economically, peacefully. It is not necessary that when a nation rises, it will necessarily seek hegemony. However, many Western intellectuals believe that the 'search for the power' is the only motivation of nations for economic development. This belief may be true for Europe and America, but not for Asia. History shows the rise of European nations was prompted by seeking power and hegemony. As a matter of fact, they scrambled for colonization, hegemony, and domination. The power is not the thrust of motivation for development in Asia. It means that a quest to seek hegemony is not necessarily a drive behind the rise of every nation.

It is time for China and India to sit calmly and seek stability in Asia by overruling the implementation of the Indo-pacific strategy. India is an essential zone for Western alliance to implement its China containment strategy; hence, American interest in building an alliance with India is not favourable to its development. India should develop a capacity to negotiate with China on all issues, including the border. It must be able to place its demand boldly and negotiate candidly, showing that India can resolve issues with China without the backing of the Western power. Only that way, Asian nations will be able to achieve lasting peace and prosperity of their people. Nepal must carefully observe these unfolding affairs and devise subtle policies to deal with both China and India. Nepal must strive to forge a principle of tri-literalism as its foundation of future diplomacy. Hence, Nepal must cautiously avoid any situations that may entangle it into the Indo-pacific strategy. In addition, Nepal must keep itself out of the influence of the Western propaganda of China's invasion of Taiwan theory.

Published on 19 October 2021

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