Blind activist Trump team’s stale China card

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Source: Global Times

Chen Guangcheng Photo: AFP

Editor’s Note:

Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng was invited to speak at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday. During the address, Chen accused the Communist Party of China (CPC) of being “an enemy of humanity” and tried hard to endorse US President Donald Trump for reelection. Why did the Republican Party invite Chen? Will Chen’s groundless smear have any substantial effect on Trump’s campaign? Global Times reporter talked to two Chinese experts on these issues.

Shen Yi, professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University

By inviting Chen to the convention, the Republican Party aims at smearing China and playing the ideological card. The party could not find any more decent people to give a speech, nor could it find any new topic. Chen has been wandering in the US for almost 10 years since he arrived in the country in 2012. He has no other value for the Republican Party except to blacken China. Such slander will not have any substantial impacts on China.

The convention demonstrates that under the strong influence of the Trump administration, the whole Republican Party is turning from a party of elites into a street gang. The convention looks like a large party of third-tier talk show actors.

Now, the US is immersed in blindness as an anti-intellectual and hysterical perspective with which to comprehend China.

The right-wing of the Republican Party has gone too far to target China. It is exhausting its tricks. The Republican Party has almost run out of new strategies for the 2020 election. It has no new tools to smear or suppress China. Facing the November election, all it can do is using stale methods of creating an external enemy.

At present, all of America is being hijacked by irrational and fake facts about China. This is not because of what China has done, but because Washington wants to use such hysterical emotions as a substitute for failing to respond to realistic challenges. The US is anesthetizing itself, trying to use such madness toward China as morphine to relieve its pain. But in the end, the morphine will lose its effect and the pain in the US will be so acute that Washington will no longer be able to ignore reality.

Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University

Inviting Chen to deliver an address at the RNC is consistent with Trump’s election strategy and China policy, one of which is to “split” the Chinese people from the CPC. The Trump administration is aware that if it continues to lash out at China, it will arouse public outrage among 1.4 billion Chinese people. So it has altered its strategy and began casting the CPC as an evil force that undermines the interests of the Chinese people. In this way, the Trump administration hopes to win the support of the Chinese people. This is a grave misjudgment. It proves that the Trump administration has little knowledge about China’s current conditions.

In terms of the tactic on the general election, China seems to be the only card that Trump can play.

This is why Chen was wheeled out for the TV cameras. Such tactics tend not to end well. Problems in the US were not created by China. Everyone in the international community can see how Trump and his advisors are ignoring their failures and using the CPC as a scapegoat.

This seems ridiculous to the Chinese people.

According to historical traditions and customs, Chinese people tend to believe that government, country and the people are integrated. They cannot be separated. China is led by the CPC. An assault on any of these three truly hurts the feelings of the Chinese people. Under the leadership of the CPC, China has made great achievements and everyone knows that. The support of the Chinese people for the CPC is deep and sincere. Therefore, the Washington will not see the powerful relationship between the CPC and the Chinese people waiver for one second. The US’ empty tactic will never win the goodwill of the Chinese people.

By applying such tactics, the Trump administration may win support from some Americans – many of whom lack real understanding of China. The majority of Americans, especially Republican voters, lack basic information about international affairs and China. They read either fake news or filtered messages. Against this backdrop, such tactics are likely the result of careful calculations by Republicans. Sadly, such tactic may have some effects to get more voters for the upcoming election.

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