Executive Intelligence Review


The New York Times Shows Its Fangs in Mega-China Series

Nov. 25, 2018 (EIRNS)—The Sunday New York Times launched a mega-series on China last week in their Nov. 18 edition, with six long reports, essentially reassessing the American approach to China. Today, that series was completed with four long studies by Times journalists. The general message is that the current China-bashing campaign can’t work, but that confrontation, or even possible war, is inevitable, so the U.S. must devise a new strategy.

At the very end of today’s fourth article, the Times quotes from one of the more sane U.S. China scholars, Jeffrey Bader (Brookings, former Obama China advisor before the “pivot”):

“Americans need to understand that if we go down the road of disengagement from China in pursuit of unbridled competition, it will not be a repetition of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. The rest of the world, like us, is deeply entangled with China.” Most other countries, Bader says, “will not risk economic ties [with China] nor join in a perverse struggle to re-erect the Bamboo Curtain, this time by the West. We will be on our own.”

Despite this truthful statement, the series is replete with all the now-common diatribes against China, making clear that the Times, as the foremost media outlet for Wall Street and British policy in the U.S., is advising a reassessment, not to join the Belt and Road, but to find the necessary means to contain China, and to stop the Belt and Road and other manifestations of China’s effort to supposedly take over global domination from the Anglo-Americans.

The series is as much an attack on President Donald Trump as on China. The China-bashing of the recent period is described as Trump’s policy, naming Steve Bannon as the key architect of that policy. It mentions only in passing that Trump “speaks often about his friendship with Mr. Xi,” then claims that Kudlow, Mnuchin and Ross have tried to “put the brakes on Trump’s most belligerent trade moves,” when in fact it is obvious that Kudlow is working with Trump to make the Argentine summit a success. Instead, the Sunday New York Times emphasizes Bannon’s role, quoting him saying: “It’s either going to be the Confucian mercantilist model, or the democratic Western model handed down from the Greeks.” The Times also points to Graham Allison’s book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? and Vice President Pence’s Oct. 4 Hudson Institute speech “making the case for confrontation.”

The titles of the five-part series reveal the intent: “The Land That Failed To Fail”; “How China’s Rulers Control Society: Opportunity, Nationalism, Fear”; “Money and Muscle Pave China’s Way to Global Power”; “China’s Economy Became No. 2 by Defying No. 1”; and “The Road to Confrontation—The U.S. Adopts a Hard Line against China, and An Era of Engagement Recedes into the Past.”