US campaign to smear China knows no limits
The three-hour first hearing by the new US House Select Committee on China on Tuesday was nothing but another anti-China farce staged in Washington, with clowns such as former US national security adviser H.R. McMaster and his deputy Matt Pottinger, who was sanctioned by the Chinese government, in attendance.
That the people invited to testify are known for their hate speeches and baseless remarks against China shows that US lawmakers are not interested in hearing different voices on any issue or in understanding the real situation. Instead, they are interested in deliberately misleading the US public.
Perhaps the only sensible voice was heard 21 minute into the hearing when two protesters from peace group Code Pink stood up to interrupt a virulent speech by McMaster. One woman held a slogan "China is not our enemy", followed by a man holding a sign "Stop Asian hate". Both of them were quickly taken away, and subsequently cuffed and arrested.
US politicians like to project such bipartisan committees as if they are a proof that they are doing the right things. Yet the disastrous Iraq War launched 20 years ago was overwhelmingly approved and zealously supported by both the Republican and Democratic parties. The war not only ruined Iraq and the lives of its people but also destabilized the whole region.
The hysterical smear campaign against China is reminiscent of the days when the US manufactured the biggest lie of the century to fool the world into believing that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and thus justify its invasion of Iraq. Colin Powell, then US secretary of State, made the case at the United Nations Security Council holding a tiny vial of white powder in hand.
Now, without any solid evidence, senior US officials, from the US Energy Department to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have again become busy, spreading lies about the "probably" of the novel coronavirus leaking from a Wuhan lab, a conspiracy theory first floated by the administration of previous US president Donald Trump but never supported by leading epidemiologists and medical scientists, including those at the World Health Organization or Anthony Fauci, the top US public health expert who has served as adviser to every US president since Ronald Reagan.
The latest US strategy to smear China is using words such as "likely", "probably", "may" and "if" to make irresponsible and libelous accusations against, and spread disinformation about, China.
The US' purpose is clear: To paint China as an evil and aggressive nation, one that does not abide by established international rules. But none of these are supported by facts, especially given China's good track record of not having engaged in any war for decades and its huge contribution to the global economy.
Should China return the favor by making similar unsubstantiated and speculative allegations against the United States? The answer is "no".
Unlike the US administration, most governments in the world do not indulge in such political farce.
When one witness at Tuesday's hearing blamed China for the US' trade deficits, like Trump did as US president, I wondered why the committee didn't invite an economist to educate them about the real cause and meaning of trade deficit.
The hearing started like a sham when witnesses took oath, pledging they would tell nothing but the truth but almost all of them violated the sanctity of the oath.
In a speech at the Brookings Institution on Feb 15, US Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman accused China of spreading disinformation, but then bragged "we are doing better". It is an extraordinary confession.
The US is a master at feeding the world disinformation due to its powerful diplomatic presence across the world and powerful propaganda machines. But even people who were duped by the US' claim that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs have woken up and become more skeptical about Washington and its claims.
The author is chief of China Daily EU Bureau based in Brussels. firstname.lastname@example.org