Mythbusting China Cold War 2.0: Debt Traps and Bird Flu

| September 12, 2018

This week was Xi Jinping’s big Africa moment, the Forum on China Africa Cooperation or FOCAC. Maybe you didn’t hear about it a lot because the PRC was counterprogramming against the West’s debt trap diplomacy talking point with some success.

And maybe you did hear about China’s plot to kill us all with bird flu.

China’s trying to get traction as the anti-Trump: a responsible, capable force in the world order promoting win-win cooperation, prosperity, and a better, healthier tomorrow.

It isn’t easy with Western government and media continually on the prowl to identify and package anti-PRC talking points.

This week China Watch looks at two stories making the rounds: Zambia falls into China’s debt trap…and…China’s going to destroy the world with bird flu.

To me, both stories don’t quite pass the smell test…but they were winners in the China-bashing sweepstakes.

The Zambia story dissipated the feel good vibes surrounding China’s Africa project, the PRC’s most significant claim to global good citizenship.

The bird flu story fed a “China’s the evil empire/existential threat” narrative.

I argue it is no coincidence that these stories fed into two emerging anti-China strategies: using the IMF as a club against China and China’s allies, and advancing the US strategy to legitimize Taiwan on the global stage via the World Health Organization.

This week: how the China threat sausage is made and marketed. A China Watch exclusive. Because you sure aren’t going to find it anywhere else in the Western media.

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