Pacific Dialogue
U.S. Vice President's China Speech: Propaganda for 2020 Election
By Li Fangfang  ·  2019-10-30  ·   Source: Web Exclusive

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence delivered a so-called “important” speech on China on October 24 that pretty much read like a slightly edited version of last year's speech.

He employed the same tired tactics, attributing U.S. workers' woes to China's emergence.

Well, it was a cheap and blatant attempt to make China the "enemy" to win over right-wing voters who know little about China and whose misperceived notions are derived from U.S. politicians' anti-China rhetoric and biased media reports.

Take the Belt and Road Initiative, for example. In his speech last year, Pence tried to slander it by saying, "Just ask Sri Lanka, which took on massive debt to let Chinese state companies build a port of questionable commercial value. Two years ago,that country could no longer afford its payments, so Beijing pressured Sri Lanka to deliver the new port directly into Chinese hands."

"This allegation, we do not accept it," Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Karunasena Kodituwakku said. "'Trap' means it has to be fixed by somebody, but every loan, every cent we obtain from China was given to us on our request. We were not forced to get these loans."

"Due to some weaknesses in the feasibility studies done or business plans designed those projects do not generate sufficient income. Entering into business collaboration with China means we are inviting Chinese shipping business into Sri Lanka," the ambassador said.

He added that: "We are very hopeful and very optimistic that this project will generate not only sufficient income to pay back the debt. And it will create more jobs and business opportunities."

Could this possibly be why Pence edited out the alleged "debt trap" argument in this year's speech?

Pence's speech started, as it did last year, by criticizing past U.S. administrations that he claims profited from China even though they were aware of so-called abuses. And he conjured up the same bravado as last year, boasting that President Donald Trump's leadership finally responded to China's so-called transgressions with decisive action. But where are the facts to back up all this rhetoric? There seems to be plenty of rabble-rousing but very little truths.

Meanwhile, on Twitter, comments on Pence's speech varied. Some were critical and some were positive. But for the most part, rational people in America understood that the speech was just propaganda to drum up voter support for Trump ahead of the presidential election next year.

Despite Pence's rant against China, the reality that companies such as the NBA and Nike continue to be lured by the Chinese market made him end his speech on a conciliatory note, talking about cooperation.

Former NBA star Charles Barkley said he didn't understand these holier-than-thou politicians in response to Pence's speech. He said, "I think it's unfair for them to do all their business in China, and just because this thing happened, try to make the NBA and our players look bad. All American companies do business in China. Period."

One fails to understand this only because of arrogance and hypocrisy. 

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