China is building a network of international apologists for its vicious attack on the dissidents who share its ideals, says my book, “Captive Audience: China’s International Network of Ideological Propagandists.”
This network includes scholars and newspapers and organizations with international reputations.
It includes the Terry Jones Foundation, a Maryland-based school for anti-Western ideology.
And, it includes Demarest, N.J.-based Human Rights Watch and New York Times columnist Charles Taylor, a no-think tank that regularly schedules a series of conferences to explain China’s “victimization” of human rights defenders.
We, Americans, often see a kind of twisted hypocrisy when the Chinese violate basic rights, sometimes with the aid of the U.S. government. Yet, we don’t question the motives behind their actions. In fact, most Americans call Chinese the “biggest victims” and speak openly of “creating a niche for themselves” within this new international network.
China’s share of global wealth, their economic prowess, and their global hold on energy and resources ensure they will always have a place on the international stage. What few observers of China consider is that there is a Chinese policy of reinventing itself. And, the Chinese have been evolving toward becoming an extreme dictatorship over its own citizens.
China’s elite are “invested” in an international network that reflects a more positive model of what a modern nation should be.
This can’t be debated. It is evident to us in our daily conversations with people on the ground in China. It is evident to us as we conduct our own research in China.
This international network presents a serious challenge to the U.S. government and can influence the actions of foreign countries, including the United States.
And, this network plans to reach beyond the realms of academia and policymaking in order to influence foreign nations, such as Canada, Mexico, Germany, Japan, India, Italy, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and Australia.
Extensive research in China and overseas reveals a pattern of distribution. Among its group of cadres, there are professors at Harvard, Rutgers, Harvard, Oxford, and Georgetown. From the New York Times to the Voice of America to The New Yorker, the network has many reporters in China to give it its global voice.
They all know the reality: China has very little interest in listening to what we have to say.
This disdain was evident in one incident on the Sydney Morning Herald’s website when staff, under the assumption that the story they wanted a representative for quoted was Chinese, but with no one there in China, the reporter clicked on to another story.
Journalists were shocked when it became clear it was an entirely different story. Only after a classic Chinese (singing) connection did the reporter retrieve the story.
As we discovered during a 2012 tour of China, the London-based Gordon Institute for International with a severe history of anti-Westernism and Marxist thought decided that one of its scholars, Dr. Giandomenico Pignataro, could tell them the whole truth about China.
Several years ago, Pignataro published a scholarly book, “Red China: The Tao of Mao.” He joined the Gordon Institute and wrote and edited a series of articles about China’s apparent reemergence as a “great power.”
It was in the Gordon Institute publications that several Chinese human rights advocates and journalists wrote carefully considered articles. These articles were all about human rights and the democracy and civil rights movements in China.
These well-meaning Chinese human rights advocates wanted to see China develop a constructive alternative to China’s current path.
But, this path is starting to resemble the path of Venezuela, which Xi Jinping was handpicked to lead. Yet, the free flow of ideas into China from abroad has been cut off. China is shutting down the only channel it had for disseminating ideas.
Individuals have tried to make their own way into China and can’t get visas.
As a result, many consider it impossible to seek the answers they seek.
They may not be happy about this situation. But, they must remember that China is becoming a totalitarian country, armed with the power of its land, wealth, and resources. They have no influence. The Chinese government is locked in a battle with the people it believes is revolting from the outside.
Professor Hao Jian is a world renowned scholar and analyst. His book, “Captive Audience,” is about the establishment of an international network of ideological