The threat of war and the role of the propaganda machineMar 20, 2023
The relentless drive to war against China goes on. There is no longer any pretence that China is in the US sights and so Australia is prepared to spend whatever it takes to prove its fealty to Washington. No military outlay is too much, no threat to our economic future too risky for the Australian government. Warmongers, ‘experts’ such as the infamous Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a few too many academics, and a pompous and self-righteous media all work to ensure that the imagined threat becomes reality.
War, we are told could come within a very few years. China, we are told, is about to invade Taiwan. War, we are told, would mean an attack on Australia by China. We are told many things but rarely the truth. The truth has been airbrushed away. Today only 15 per cent of the US population do not consider China to be the enemy. The figure for Australia is no different. The propaganda machine has done its work.
At the National People’s Congress meeting in Beijing, the Chinese leadership used the name United States explicitly in describing what it sees as a real threat. Will Glasgow, in The Australian, repeated a comment that was doing the rounds of the international media, quoting Xi Jinping’s description of an ‘all-round containment, encirclement and suppression’ of China that has been instigated by the United States.
The odd thing in all this is that it has taken the Chinese so long to name the US as the actual aggressor. The west long ago ceased to be so coy. Time and time again the claim has been made that there is real threat coming from China. It has never been substantiated but that is not the issue. The same propaganda machine points to China’s economic growth of 5 per cent as a ‘weakness’ and a problem Oh that the US or Australia should have such an economic problem of 5 per cent growth!
It is, when all is said and done, that very economic growth, that is the source of the problem. The rise of China at the expense of US economic hegemony, was the motivating force behind the campaign to undermine and contain China’s economic rise. There has been a relentless campaign, economically and militarily to weaken China.
Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ saw a two-pronged attack. There was the ill-fated Trans Pacific Partnership which was ostensibly a free-trade agreement that included just about every economy in the region except China. Free-trade or a trading bloc? The economic threats were given extra muscle with the decision to relocate 60 per cent of the entire US navy and air force to the region. Why? There was one reason and one reason only for this. That reason was to seek to not simply ‘contain’ China but to provoke China.
What was seen as a potential assault on its sovereignty was met with the creation of the artificial islands and the militarisation of the region hastened. Chinese officials have claimed that the US is seeking to encircle China. This is so obviously the case. It has an echo with US foreign policy in eastern Europe admitted by US officials at weakening Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Just two years ago, the US Senate Armed Services committee, heard Philip Davidson, head of the Indo-Pacific Command declaring that ‘we absolutely must be prepared to fight and win should competition turn to conflict.’ At the same time the US military asked Congress to double its budget in the Pacific. The Pentagon made the request as part of its Pacific Deterrence Initiative. The focus of the ‘initiative’ is based on providing a network of missiles sites that include Taiwan and which directly target China in order to ‘sustain combat operations for extended periods.’
These missiles are only a few minutes flying time to Beijing.
The pressure that was being applied has only grown. The new Marcos government in the Philippines has granted access to the US, which completes its arc of alliances, bases and missiles sites that stretch from Japan to Australia. China is encircled. Japan has just placed an order for 400 US Tomahawk cruise missiles that will be aimed at China. This ongoing belligerent policy from America only serves to make China feel more and more threatened. The Australian people are simply told and told again that all this is to keep us safe from an aggressive and assertive China. Taiwan is, we are told, in imminent danger of Chinese invasion.
Washington, it must be remembered severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979, recognising the legitimacy of China’s claim to Taiwan. It was a move that was all but universal. This did not stop the US from supplying Taiwan with ‘defensive’ weapons and pledging support for the island in the event of a conflict. What is now happening is that conflict is becoming a reality and so, the USA can ‘legitimately’ intervene.
Last August Nancy Pelosi, in a provocative move and one of her last as speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited Taiwan. It was aimed to get a response from China who maintain that the island is a province of China. This claim has merit. The Chinese response was furious. The new speaker, Kevin McCarthy is due to visit Taiwan this year. It will add fuel to the fire.
One of the more recent developments is the decision to station more US troops on Taiwan. Admittedly 200 troops might not sound all that significant, but given the heightened tensions it is one more provocation. It makes a mockery of the United Nations long-held position that the People’s Republic of China has sovereignty over all of China.
The propaganda machine continues its work. With every opinion poll that is published, the success of the campaign to demonise China becomes more complete.