US Secretary of State Antony Blinken defended his predecessor's move to declare Chinese media outlets in the US as foreign missions. He said during a media roundtable on Wednesday that the US didn't ban those Chinese media outlets but wanted to make sure that "people had full knowledge that what they were reading was, in effect, produced at the behest of the government in Beijing."
It was among symbolic moves of the Trump administration's China policy to designate several Chinese state media outlets as foreign missions, identifying them as agencies controlled by Beijing. As US President Joe Biden hit the 100-day milestone, his secretary of state defended such a wrongful move. At least in the diplomatic sphere, the Biden administration will hardly avert the impact on China-US bilateral ties left by its predecessor.
Blinken emphasized that the Chinese outlets are different from Western ones, and they use "propaganda and disinformation overseas" with a purpose of "interfering or undermining democracy." What Blinken tried to convey was nothing different from his predecessor. By saying so, he aims to deepen uninformed Americans' and other Westerners' distrust in Chinese media, fanning a flame of discontent against China. Then, he could use people's grievances as leverage to support the US' tough stances on China.
The Western media outlets' reports, or frankly propaganda, about China have had a total lack of reciprocity - exactly in contrast to what they claim to have. As a result, Westerners can only read about a demonized China. In comparison, Chinese outlets' coverage about the Western world is way more objective. Consequently, Chinese people's knowledge of the West is far more than Westerners' understanding of China. But to make it worse, the Western media outlets are further enlarging such differences.
Former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had made a fuss around the world with his rhetoric to antagonize Chinese people with the Communist Party of China, in a bid to strengthen political mobilization against China. Such attempt was despised by the Chines people, but it still worked among Westerners who have only a biased knowledge of China. The Biden administration wants to imitate it. We can see the consistency in the US' propaganda war against China in this regard, and it is precisely reflecting the continuity of Washington's political hypocrisy.
"In the US political climate, the boundary between truth and lies has long been blurred. Americans cannot even tell what is genuine and what is hypocritical in their own businesses. How can they tell right from wrong in China-related topics?" Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday. He noted that such a scenario is closely linked to the current chaotic situation in the US.
Due to the need to gain support from within the US and retain influence in the international community, although the Biden administration has expressed its willingness to join hands with China in some spheres, it can hardly circumvent the already formed consensus over China-related issues - that means being tough on China.
Such consensus is taking deep root in the US, and the Biden administration is unlikely to reverse its lack of constructive view with regard to China-US ties, Li said. "As a veteran politician, Biden's China policy won't deviate from the mainstream or the majority's consensus. Otherwise, he will face problems when addressing his voters. He won't do things that will undermine his political base."