From The Washington Post to Fox News, China is consistently depicted as a threat to American interests, whether it be through online spying or military incursions into the South China Sea. This narrative is not only inaccurate but also serves the interests of the military-industrial-complex.
The impact that these false narratives have on the public's perception of China is dangerous. Many Americans may not know how to identify what is true and what is not, and this can have serious consequences for our relationship with China.
Just like with the US propaganda campaigns that manufactured consent for invading Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a concerted effort by intelligence agencies and pro-war propagandists to misinform people about China, keep tensions with Beijing high, and provoke conflict with another nuclear power.
The US government has killed 4.5 million people in the War on Terror and edges us closer to world war over the Russia-Ukraine conflict. More escalation is out of the question. We must reject a war on China and instead cooperate with China to solve the greatest issue of our time: climate change. That starts with spotting the disinformation, picking it apart, and seeking truth from facts.
Lawson Adams is a former NSA translator stationed in Hawaii and Cale Holmes is an international relations analyst who has lived in Beijing. Together, they will break down how key stories - such as the Chinese meteorological balloon saga, tensions over Taiwan, and fear-mongering over the tech arms race - are reported based on omissions, selective leaks, shoddy intelligence, lazy journalism, and often mere rumors, which all help to make a mythical fiction out of a very real place with real people.
It is important to have a balanced and nuanced understanding of China, especially in today's world where tensions between our two countries are high. From sanctions on Chinese tech and agriculture to anti-China military bases, disinformation warfare is already being waged in tandem with American policy. Disarming the Pacific can start by disarming the discourse. Join us for “Disarming the Discourse: How the Media Pushes War on China.”