Guardian Writer: ‘China World’s Only Imperialist Power’

It’s revealing how alarming empire propagandists find China’s simple warning to defend itself from aggression, writes Caitlin Johnstone. 

By Caitlin Johnstone

Another cartoonish anti-China propaganda piece has been published in the Western mass media, this time by The Guardian, which at this point could arguably be labeled the single most destructive promulgator of empire propaganda in the Western world. It is authored by Simon Tisdall, who could most certainly be labeled the single most destructive promulgator of empire propaganda at The Guardian.

The article “In China’s new age of imperialism, Xi Jinping gives thumbs down to democracy” is subtitled “Beijing is aiming for global ascendancy – but its leader’s vision of world dominion is centralised, oppressive and totalitarian.” None of these claims are substantiated in the text which follows.

It’s pretty cute how the only time you’ll ever see the word “imperialism” used in The Guardian (without scare quotes) is when it wants to criticize a nation the world’s actual imperialist dominator, the United States, doesn’t like. You will never see that word used to refer to the behavior of the cluster of US-aligned nationswhich functions as a single empire on foreign policy, nor to the government which has circled the planet with hundreds of military bases and works to kill, starve and subvert any population who refuses to be commanded, controlled, exploited or plundered.

In fact, Tisdall goes so far as to promote the hilarious idea that the days of any Western power having imperialist inclinations are long gone.

“Imperialism, in all its awful forms, still poses a threat,” Tisdall writes. “But it is no longer the imperialism of the west, rightly execrated and self-condemned. Today’s threat emanates from the east. Just as objectionable, and potentially more dangerous, it’s the prospect of a totalitarian 21st-century Chinese global empire.”

Well cool. The Western world at some point in history apparently renounced imperialism, and now the east is the only direction from whence that threat emanates. Not sure when that happened, but Tisdall appears quite certain that imperialism has been completely stomped out everywhere west of Xinjiang, including in the United States government.

“[N]ascent empires establish an (often delusional) narrative, or ‘mission statement’, to justify their activities,” Tisdall writes. “British imperialists claimed to be a civilising force, bringing law and Christianity to the great unwashed. The postwar American empire was, supposedly, all about championing democracy.”

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“Was.” The postwar American empire, back in the days when it existed, “was” supposedly about championing democracy. You know, back when it would exert force upon nations on the basis that they were insufficiently democratic. Again, Tisdall does not say on what precise date this ended, or name the point in history when the entire U.S. empire blipped out of existence.

This would be the same United States that is currently constructing long-range missile systems on a chain of islands near China’s coast for the explicit purpose of threatening China. One need only imagine what would happen if China began building long-range missile systems off a U.S. coastline to understand who is the real imperialist aggressor between these two nations.

There exist all kinds of arguments that can be made about whether or not the Chinese government is imperialist and if so to what extent. What absolutely do not exist are arguments that China is more imperialist than the United States and its tight cluster of allies, or anywhere remotely close. The government which continually uses its military and economic might to bully and manipulate the world into aligning with its geostrategic interests is indisputably the more imperialist force, by a massive margin.

Watch John Pilger’s The Coming War on China (English subtitles) 

As evidence for his pants-on-head gibbering that China has completely supplanted all Western powers as an imperialist force in our world and is trying to become a globe-dominating empire, Tisdall cites three points: (1) that China engages in trade, (2) that China has a single military base in Djibouti and (3) that the U.S. intelligence cartel has asserted that China plans on building a second military base in Equatorial Guinea, with perhaps more to follow.

“The first phase of China’s new imperial age is already in train. Xi’s ambitious belt and road investment and infrastructure initiative (BRI) touches 60 countries,” Tisdall writes. “China is the world’s largest trading nation and largest exporter, with $2.6tn worth of exports in 2019.”

So, trade. That’s trade. The idea that an investment and infrastructure plan rises to anywhere near the level of US wars which have killed millions and displaced tens of millions just since the turn of this century is risible.

“The CCP’s focus is meanwhile shifting to empire phase two: military bases,” says Tisdall. “US media reported last week that the port city of Bata in Equatorial Guinea could become China’s first Atlantic seaboard naval base — potentially putting warships and submarines within striking distance of America’s east coast.”

Antiwar’s Daniel Larison has a great article out mocking and debunking the foam-brained hysterical shrieking about how the completely unsubstantiated U.S. intelligence claim that Beijing is trying to establish a military base in Equatorial Guinea “some six thousand nautical miles away from the US mainland” poses any threat to the United States.

“The US faces very few serious threats from other states, and the United States is extraordinarily secure from physical attack,” Larison writes. “To make other states seem remotely threatening to US security, the government and cooperative media outlets have to exaggerate the power of other states and inflate their ability to threaten Americans. Because of the huge mismatch between the demands of propaganda and the less alarming reality, this often creates absurd results.”

Absurd results indeed.

“China already has a naval base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa,” Tisdall writes. “It is said to be considering an island airbase in Kiribati that could in theory threaten Hawaii. Meanwhile, it continues to militarise atolls in the South China Sea. A Pentagon report last month predicted China will build a string of military bases girdling the world, including in the Arctic. CCP ‘target’ countries include Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya and Angola, it said.”

So, one single foreign military base in the whole entire world, plus a bunch of imagination and conjecture by military and intelligence operatives. This compared to the 750 military bases that the U.S. actually, physically has around the world. Some “empire” you’ve got there, Xi.

Not only is it laughable to claim that the US is no longer imperialist, there’s not even any evidence that China seeks to replace it as the unipolar global hegemon. Western spinmeisters have been churning out think pieces for years claiming that China is trying to rule the world, but if you actually examine the basis for those claims all you’ll find is evidence that China wants a multipolar world of multiple powers as opposed to a unipolar one where the world is dominated by the U.S. or any other nation.

As we discussed previously, it’s not like the floundering U.S. empire has been making the business of planetary domination look sexy. The idea that every nation wants to dominate the world the way the U.S. does is just a dopey projection by propaganda-addled Western minds who’ve been programmed to believe the game of unipolar conquest is normal and desirable.

Tisdall also inserts the obligatory accusation of “genocide” that every Western propagandist is required to bleat whenever the Chinese government is under discussion, which has been thoroughly discredited by many people and even the Western media have been forced to walk back from as tourism surges in Xinjiang.

Tisdall also cites a quote by Xi Jinping in which the Chinese premier says his country will defend itself from those who try to bully, oppress or subjugate it as evidence that the leader has “combative ideas” and believes “imperial might makes right”:

“We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token we will never allow anyone to bully, oppress or subjugate [China],” he said. “Anyone who tries will find themselves on a collision course with a steel wall forged by 1.4 billion people.”

It is very revealing how many empire propagandists keep interpreting a warning that China will defend itself from aggressors as a menacing and aggressive act. Almost like they believe it is their right to bully, oppress and subjugate all nations without opposition or resistance.

Agreeing with Simon Tisdall on any foreign policy issue is nature’s way of telling you to revise your media consumption habits.

The mass media have been growing astonishingly forceful in their efforts to manipulate the world into being so terrified of China that they’ll consent to any agenda no matter how insane and dangerous. The more forceful they become with their manipulations, the more important it is to counter their lies.

We’re being shoved in a very bad direction at an increasingly frenetic pace. This is being done for a reason. Be alert.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.  Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative MatrixRogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article is from and re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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10 comments for “Guardian Writer: ‘China World’s Only Imperialist Power’

  1. Jeff Harrison
    December 22, 2021 at 11:04

    The gem in this piece is right here:
    “Agreeing with Simon Tisdall on any foreign policy issue is nature’s way of telling you to revise your media consumption habits.”

  2. RR
    December 22, 2021 at 06:14

    “We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token we will never allow anyone to bully, oppress or subjugate [China],” he said. “Anyone who tries will find themselves on a collision course with a steel wall forged by 1.4 billion people.”

    Some leftists choose to defend China’s “peaceful liberation” of Tibet or the Russian invasion of Afghanistan (as distinct from the ‘imperialist’ US some 22 years later). No doubt those leftists try to justify China’s involvment in Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia. It’s not difficult to guess they side with Nicaragua and Venezuela in their territorial disputes with Columbia and Guyana respectively. But, there is, in fact, no reason to have a debate about which nations belong in the ‘imperialist” premier league as we workers have no country.

    ‘China’s super-wealthy got $1.5trillion richer during pandemic that began in Wuhan, with one analyst saying: ‘The world’s never seen this much wealth created in one year’ (Daily Mail, 20 October 2020). ‘Since the onset of Covid-19 in early 2020, the combined wealth of the 650 American billionaires has increased by nearly $1 trillion’ (Alternet, 1 December 2020). And ‘Russia’s 500 Super Rich Wealthier Than Poorest 99.8%’ (The Moscow Times, 10 June 2021).

    Warren Buffett: ‘there’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’ Winning worldwide.

      December 22, 2021 at 06:30

      Which foreign country has China invaded and occupied in the past 30 years? Which foreign governments have China recently overthrown?

  3. Francis Lee
    December 21, 2021 at 03:27

    Simon Tisdall is the arch proponent of double-speak, double-think as is the Guardian – or the ‘Graun’, as we love to call it. Using the Orwellian lexicon such a state of mind is extremely prescient in hacks like Tisdall. Orwell described a similar mindset (‘nationalism’) when describing this phenomenon – as follows.

    ”All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British conservative would defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassinations, bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by OUR side.”

    George Orwell – Notes on Nationalism – 1945.

    Perhaps Mr Tisdall has somehow missed the five hundred thousand children in Iraq who a were starved to death as a result of US sanctions. But suffice it to say that, during an interlude on TV the lovely US Ms Albright, Secretary of State waived aside such sentimental nonsense as being ”worth it.” But of course! They were only WOGS (an insulting British term standing for Western Oriental Gentlemen). Anywhere else in the world would put on trial Ms Albright on crimes against humanity.

    • John Ressler
      December 21, 2021 at 08:10

      The Orwell quote you posted here is G O L D . Thank you Francis.

  4. MTMT123
    December 21, 2021 at 00:59

    the Guardian has been the most ardent supporter of british imperialism, colonialism etc for 200 years – dont expect them to change anytime soon …

  5. Rex Williams
    December 20, 2021 at 18:46

    The fact that Tisdall writes under the Guardian masthead when added to their double dealing against Julian Assange, just adds one more reason to never spend a dollar to keep that organisation afloat.While they haven’t reached the total truth-compromised status of US publications like the New York Times, they are fast catching up to being totally corrupted like the majority of the MSM. There was a time when The Guardian would never countenance such unverified tripe as identified by Caitlin in this article. Anything goes these days, so it seems.

  6. robert e williamson jr
    December 20, 2021 at 17:16

    At this point absurdity rules the day. It is very hard not to notice the “dumbing down” of world leaders who yield to U.S. on anything. U.S. history itself and that regarding U.S. leadership of the “free” world is obviously very problematic.

    Resisting such madness is the only avenue to ending it.

    Thanks CJ & CN

  7. rosemerry
    December 20, 2021 at 15:30

    I realised the Sycophant(aka Guardian) was bad throughout the Skripal fantasies of Luke Harding in 2018, but only recently found Simon Tisdall, and found him so extreme I wondered if it was irony!!
    We see the same with Iran and the JCPOA rerun. All Iran asked in order to agree to return to the broken agreement was for the illegal sanctions to be removed first of all. Months of “debate”, the US refusal, the EU blaming Iran for wanting input and daring to enrich further so that now, Israel demanding it of course, US invasion is being considered. Nobody, especially China, Russia, Iran is allowed to have “red lines” or territorial integrity except if the USA decides.

  8. susan
    December 20, 2021 at 14:14

    Thanks for your reason Caitlin! I’m so tired of the fear mongering spread by the likes of this truly ill-informed Guardian writer but there are so few truth seekers and so many who spread lies and misinformation as a matter of course. These liars could care less about the potentially dire consequences of their words and actions even though the repercussions will affect them too…

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