This is an incredibly interesting report focused on Chinese “racism”:
THE STRATEGIC CONSEQUENCES OF CHINESE RACISM: A Strategic Asymmetry for the United States
Whether China and the United States are destined to compete for domination in international politics is one of the major questions facing DoD. In a competition with the People’s Republic of China, the United States must explore all of its advantages and all of the weaknesses of China that may provide an asymmetry for the United States. This study examines one such asymmetry, the strategic consequences of Chinese racism. After having examined the literature on China extensively, this author is not aware of a single study that addresses this important topic. This study explores the causes of Chinese racism, the strategic consequences of Chinese racism, and how the United States may use this situation to advance its interests in international politics.
In Chapter One, the study finds that xenophobia, racism, and ethnocentrism are caused by human evolution. These behaviors are not unique to the Chinese. However, they are made worse by Chinese history and culture.
Chapter Two considers the Chinese conception of race in Chinese history and culture. It finds that Chinese religious-cultural and historical conceptions of race reinforce Chinese racism. In Chinese history and contemporary culture, the Chinese are seen to be unique and superior to the rest of the world. Other peoples and groups are seen to be inferior, with a sliding scale of inferiority. The major Chinese distinction is between degrees of barbarians, the “black devils,” or savage inferiors, beyond any hope of interaction and the “white devils” or tame barbarians with whom the Chinese can interact. These beliefs are widespread in Chinese society, and have been for its history. Modern Chinese views on race are no better than they were in the past. The study reviews the racist views of major Chinese political thinkers and the Communist Party. Racism remains a key component of how the Chinese see the world, their central place in it, and the world’s other, inferior inhabitants. The chapter concludes with the recognition that China has been and remains a racist state, where racists and eugenicist beliefs inform the Chinese worldview.
Chapter Three evaluates the nine strategic consequences of Chinese racism. First, virulent racism and eugenics heavily inform Chinese perceptions of the world. United States decision-makers must recognize that China is a racist state, much closer to Nazi Germany than to the values upheld in the West. Most often, the Chinese do not even recognize their racism as a problem. They believe that racism is a Western phenomenon and that Westerners are obsessed with race. This obsession is seen by the Chinese to be a strategic vulnerability of the West, whereas China is not affected by racism. Second, racism informs their view of the United States. From the Chinese perspective, the United States used to be a strong society that the Chinese respected when it was unicultural, defined by the centrality of Anglo-Protestant culture at the core of American national identity aligned with the political ideology of liberalism, the rule of law, and free market capitalism. The Chinese see multiculturalism as a sickness that has overtaken the United States, and a component of U.S. decline. Third, racism informs their view of international politics in three ways. First, states are stable, and thus good for the Chinese, to the degree that they are unicultural. Second, Chinese ethnocentrism and racism drive their outlook to the rest of the world. Their expectation is of a tribute system where barbarians know that the Chinese are superior. Third, there is a strong, implicit, racialist view of international politics that is alien and anathema to Western policy-makers and analysts. The Chinese are comfortable using race to explain events and appealing to racist stereotypes to advance their interests. Most insidious is the Chinese belief that Africans in particular need Chinese leadership. Fourth, the Chinese will make appeals to Third World states based on “racial solidarity,” that is, the need of non-white peoples to unite against Western imperialism and racism. Racial solidarity claims are easy for Chinese to accomplish since the Chinese can make strategic racist claims. For example, they can frame international politics in terms of a “racial balance of power,” and cast appeals to the Third World along the line of: now is the time for non-whites to dominate international politics. Fifth, Chinese racism retards their relations with the Third World. Chinese racism makes it difficult for China to advance a positive message in the Third World, especially Africa, but also in Latin America and the Middle East. The Chinese have a hierarchical representation of looking at other groups, darker skin is lower class, and race matters. In this sense, the racial stereotypes of the Africans commonly found within Chinese society suggest that this population is backward and dirty, and prone to crime, particularly violent crime. These beliefs surface regularly in China’s relations with the Third World and these beliefs, coupled with clannish and ruthless Chinese business practices, generate enormous resentment in the Third World. Sixth, Chinese racism, and the degree to which the Chinese permit their view of the United States to be informed by racism, has the potential to hinder China in its competition with the United States because it contributes to their overconfidence. This overconfidence is a result of ethnocentrism and a sense of superiority rooted in racism. The Chinese commonly believe that they are cleverer than others, and so may shape events in an oblique manner or through shi [势], the strategic manipulation of events. This conceit among the Chinese that they can manipulate others is supremely dangerous for Asian stability. At the same time, it is a great advantage for the United States to play upon that overconfidence. An overconfident China will continue to make the mistakes it is presently in the South China or East China Sea disputes. That is, making threats, issuing demands, heavy-handed shows of force, are generated by China’s overconfidence. Seventh, as lamentable as it is, Chinese racism helps to make the Chinese a formidable adversary. There are three critical consequences that result from this. The first is the sense of unity the Chinese possess. Second, it allows the Chinese to have a strong sense of identity, which in turn permits them to weather adversity, and to be focused and secure confidence that the rest of the nation is with them. Third, China is not plagued by self-doubt or guilt about its past. Eight, the Chinese are never going to go through a civil rights movement like the United States. This is because, first, they have no freedom of the press, freedom to petition their government, freedom to assemble, all of which are necessary to support a civil rights movement. Second, there is no political drive or consciousness for equality in Chinese thought. Equality is associated with Maoism and rejected in today’s China, where inequality is accepted and celebrated. In addition, there is no notion of civil rights in Chinese political thought or, practically, in jurisprudence. Ninth, China’s treatment of Christians and ethnic minorities is poor. The government recognizes that religion is able to do many positive acts in a society, and they do see the need for people to have a moral, religious grounding provided by religion since a moral framework may be lost in the demands of a market economy. The current debate is an echo of the one they had in the 1800s, how do they preserve the essence of what is Chinese in an era dominated by Western ideas. Yet, the government is fearful of religion in the sense that uncontrolled religion may be a threat; a challenge to Beijing’s authority. Not surprisingly, the treatment of ethnic minorities is equally bad.
Chapter Four considers the five major implications for United States decision-makers and asymmetries that may result from Chinese racism. First, Chinese racism provides empirical evidence of how the Chinese will treat other international actors if China becomes dominant. One of the key insights into Chinese future behavior is its behavior in the past. Analysts do have insight into how China will behave in the future based on its behavior in the past, when it was the hegemon of Asia, the known world as far as China was concerned. China sees itself as the center of the universe, all others are inferior, with varying degrees of inferiority. That is not an attractive model of winning allies and influence. United States Defense decision-makers might draw upon the following themes as asymmetrical messages to weaken China’s influence in the world. The first of these themes should be to advance a “reality check” to the global community: “how do Chinese words match Chinese deeds when it comes to treating people fairly and equally.” The second theme is to introduce fault. “Why do the Chinese refuse to change their racist views of the rest of the world?” Or more succinctly, “Why don’t the Chinese like black people; or Indians; or South East Asians; or Latin Americans?” Attention needs to be called to its eugenics policies as well. “Why do the Chinese support eugenics generations after it was discredited in the West?” Likewise, explicit ties to the policies of Nazi Germany may be made since both Berlin and Beijing embraced eugenics. Beijing continues to do so long after it has been discredited. A third theme is to suggest that there is something profoundly wrong with China’s worldview: “Why are the Chinese unable, or unwilling, to change their racist views?” Or that there is something deeply iniquitous with China itself, that is to say there is something profoundly wrong with the Chinese people, or with their elite: “Why is China a racist state?” “Racism has been confronted and defeated worldwide, why is it celebrated in China?” These themes allow the United States and other countries to challenge China’s projected image of an oppressed victim of racism with actual empirical reality: China is a racist superpower. It practices discredited eugenics policies. It does not equal the horrors of Nazi Germany, but it is far closer to Nazism than it is to a free, open, and tolerant society. Second, it allows the United States to undermine China in the Third World. The essence of the Chinese message to Third World states is a straightforward rhetorical query: Has the United States or the Europeans ever treated you as equals? In contrast, China portrays itself as an apolitical rising superpower that does business in your country, pays a fair price for your commodities, and builds your infrastructure with no string attached.
The United States needs to counter the expansion of Chinese influence by tying in to the messages stated above, but adding the important point that there is no culture of anti-racism in China, and so there is little hope for change. Messages may be advanced along the following line: “The West confronted racism and developed a strong culture of anti-racism, China has not, nor is it likely to do so.” Second, the United States should highlight that Chinese business practices are destructive. There often is considerable resentment toward the Chinese due to their ruthless business practices, which undercut and destroy African businesses. The combination of the two messages, “China is racist with no culture of anti-racism, and their businesses practices are destructive for the locals,” would be most effective in making appeals to the Third World. Third, it is an obvious point, but it must be made: the Chinese are hypocrites when it comes to race and racial equality. For all of their rhetoric on Africa and their “African brothers,” the cold facts of Chinese racism triumph paeans to “Third World solidarity.” Fourth, the message of the United States should be: We are better than the Chinese for Africa. We will assist you with economic aid to offset what you receive from China. In sum, culturally, socially, and politically, the United States is better, citizens are equal, racial equality, and civil rights are recognized. Third, it permits a positive image of the United States to be advanced in contrast to China. The direct fact is, when compared with China, it is easy to convey to the rest of the world the message that the United States is open and inclusive, whereas China is not. This is because to do so is completely in accord with the principles of the United States and its history.
The messages should be, first, the United States seeks the best from around the world, and will permit them to come to the country so that they may prosper, fulfill themselves as individuals, innovate, and, in turn, aid economic growth and innovation in the United States. Second, the United States opens its society, educational system, Universities, military, and economy to immigrants as countless examples demonstrate. Third, it has in place Affirmative Action policies as a matter of state policy that benefits immigrants from racial minorities and/or those who are women. In sum, the United States is one of the most transparent societies in the world for immigrants. Fourth, calling attention to Chinese racism allows political and ideological alliances of the United States to be strengthened. Political alliances particularly with Third World states are an obvious benefit. Equally important are the ideological alliances that the United States may augment. Intellectual circles in Europe, Canada, and the United States value multiracial and multicultural societies. Journalists and media opinion-makers frequently share a multiracial and multicultural vision of their societies as well. Yet, thus far, they have not treated the problem of Chinese racism with the attention it deserves. The “China is a racist state” message of the United States will help win allies in global, popular culture, which is heavily influenced by ideals rooted in Western, left wing political thought, including strong currents of anti-racism. Popular cultural figures from film, music, television, and sports, will be far better able to call attention to China’s racism for younger audiences worldwide than will official or semi-official Washington. It is to the advantage of the United States to have the world consider the costs of Chinese dominance in order to grasp what will be lost. This is an exercise that most of the world has not done, and as a result there is no appreciation of what will be lost; or how hypocritical, domineering, and imperialistic China will be. Fifth, United States defense decision-makers must recognize that racism is a cohesive force for the Chinese. Racism does benefit the Chinese in four major ways. First, the Han Chinese possess a strong in-group identity with a polarized and tightly defined out-group. This allows the Chinese government to expect sacrifice as well as support from a considerable majority of the Chinese people. Second, based in this identity, the government has the ability to focus with great willpower on the demands of the state. All governments make patriotic appeals, but the Chinese government is able to do so effectively because any entreaty is based on patriotism as well as nationalism. When we reflect on the tools the Chinese government has to extract support and resources from the population, only one conclusion is possible, they are formidable. Third, they have strong societal unity and purpose, which supports Chinese power. The Chinese do not have a culture that is self-critical or one that ponders its fundamental faults. Fourth, China’s racism and ethnocentrism serves China’s teleological worldview. History, in the Hegelian sense, is moving in China’s direction and the future belongs to it, China’s political beliefs, civilizational culture, and economic might triumphed over the West. While racism can be a great strength for China, it also gives the United States an advantage.
The lack of any desire by the Chinese to self-reflect on the profound faults of their society means that there is no motivation to solve these faults. Accordingly, a powerful message may be that China will not change because it has no desire to do so. In essence, with China, “what you see is what you get.” The country is a civilization, and that yields them great strength. At the same time, there cannot be fundamental change. China is not an open society, transparent and porous for new ideas that would challenge its core beliefs. For those states and peoples whom the Chinese see as inferior, dissatisfaction with core Chinese beliefs is certain to increase as Chinese power expands. Thus, the United States may tap into that “market of dissatisfaction” by calling attention to China’s lack of flexibility and flexibility, contempt for, and dismissal of the rest of the world. Finally, the United States may make appeals to those actors in international politics that do not desire China to be at the center of the world either, first, because their interests directly conflict with China’s, like India, Japan, Russia, and Vietnam; second, because they resent being excluded from consideration, treated equally, or with respect; or third, because they reject China’s values and worldview.
The study’s fundamental conclusion is that endemic Chinese racism offers the United States a major asymmetry it may exploit with major countries, regions like Africa, as well as with important opinion makers in international politics. The United States is on the right side of the struggle against racism and China is not. The United States should call attention to this to aid its position in international politics.
You can download or read the full report here:
It’s difficult to continue to call the Chinese “communists”, as they are moving away from that system into a more nationalistic one.
The Chinese do not care for virtue signalling, heterogeneity, or the moral flexibility exhibited by the West. For this reason, they are growing in power. And will continue to do so.
Our fixation on pathological altruism and diversity will destroy us. The path to a better future is definitely not in following the Chinese, but they are uncovering the lost secrets of the importance of strength and cultural homogeneity. Meanwhile, we continue to splinter our own culture for the “strength” of diversity and continue to destroy our own history because of supposed racism.
The world is rapidly heading to a multipolarity situation where the United States is no longer the dominant force and other countries that put focus on their culture, history, and strength (China, Russia) do become equal partners in influence.
The report is long, so read it only if you have time. If not, the executive summary concludes most of the important points. It’s very interesting to get an inside look at the Chinese philosophy of state survival and propagation.
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