Saturday, May 09, 2020

Not Sanguine About Common Citizens Fathoming The Unadvertised Behavior Of Their Elites


reuters |  An internal Chinese report warns that Beijing faces a rising wave of hostility in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak that could tip relations with the United States into confrontation, people familiar with the paper told Reuters. 

The report, presented early last month by the Ministry of State Security to top Beijing leaders including President Xi Jinping, concluded that global anti-China sentiment is at its highest since the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, the sources said. 

As a result, Beijing faces a wave of anti-China sentiment led by the United States in the aftermath of the pandemic and needs to be prepared in a worst-case scenario for armed confrontation between the two global powers, according to people familiar with the report’s content, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter. 

The report was drawn up by the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), a think tank affiliated with the Ministry of State Security, China’s top intelligence body. 

Reuters has not seen the briefing paper, but it was described by people who had direct knowledge of its findings. 

The report described to Reuters warned that anti-China sentiment sparked by the coronavirus could fuel resistance to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure investment projects, and that Washington could step up financial and military support for regional allies, making the security situation in Asia more volatile.

Three decades ago, in the aftermath of Tiananmen, the United States and many Western governments imposed sanctions against China including banning or restricting arms sales and technology transfers. 

One of those with knowledge of the report said it was regarded by some in the Chinese intelligence community as China’s version of the “Novikov Telegram”, a 1946 dispatch by the Soviet ambassador to Washington, Nikolai Novikov, that stressed the dangers of U.S. economic and military ambition in the wake of World War Two. 

Novikov’s missive was a response to U.S. diplomat George Kennan’s “Long Telegram” from Moscow that said the Soviet Union did not see the possibility for peaceful coexistence with the West, and that containment was the best long-term strategy. 

The two documents helped set the stage for the strategic thinking that defined both sides of the Cold War.