Western activists, academics, and business leaders applauded communist China’s track record on state-run media this week as General Secretary Xi Jinping stands poised to become dictator for life.
As the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) gets underway, Chinese state-run media outlet CCTV News has been conducting a series of interviews featuring foreigners singing China’s praises in the run up to the announcement of China’s next leader.
Xi repealed a constitutionally mandated restriction barring leaders from serving more than two terms and theoretically may now be reelected for a third term at some point during the 20th Party Congress.
“I would say ‘stupendous,’ ‘remarkable,’ you know, road map for the world,” Charlotte Christensen, vice president of the Oregon China Council, told CCTV News. “China gets things done because the people of China understand that collectivism is stronger than individualism. … You will bring hope to the working people of the world.”
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Christensen’s Oregon China Council hosts “guests” from Chinese consulates and facilitates delegation visits between Oregon and China, according to the organization’s website, despite the Director of National Intelligence warning that Chinese influence operations often feature “paid trips to China for U.S. state and local leaders” and “PRC delegation visits to U.S. localities.”
John Milligan-Whyte, the founder of another pro-China organization, the America-China Partnership Foundation, told CCTV News that in the last 40 years China was a “perfect example” of “a country that makes the well-being of its people — all its people, not just some of its people — its highest priority.”
Milligan-Whyte’s interview made no mention of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre or the ongoing genocide China is committing against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, a crisis which has been recognized by the U.S. government and several other nations.
Similarly, Jeffrey Greene, executive director of the Sino-American Aviation Heritage Foundation, told CCTV News that “China is playing the role of a very responsible, very positive world power.” Greene’s interview omitted mention that China is responsible for producing more greenhouse gas emissions than all other developed nations combined, according to Rhodium Group.
Several Western academics also had high praise for the totalitarian nation.
“I would choose a word like ‘extraordinary,’” James McKusick, an English professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, told CCTV News. “And I’ll choose one more word, which is ‘exemplary’ — it’s an example for the whole world.”
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McKusick went on to describe communist China as a “shining example” which was “making wise investments that will build lasting benefits for people throughout the world.”
An Irish academic, Sean Slattery, who is the copy editor for the English translation of Xi Jinping’s National Congress speech, also heralded the Communist Party’s accomplishments.
“There’s one line that says that the Communist Party of China is dedicated to achieving lasting greatness for the Chinese nation and is committed to the noble cause of peace and development for the world,” Slattery told CCTV News. “I think this is a really profound summary of the goals that the party is trying to achieve.”
Slattery’s interview failed to mention China’s live-fire war games around Taiwan, which have included large-scale invasion “rehearsals,” such as occurred in May.
Craig Allen, president of The U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) — which counts over 250 American companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Nike as members — also expressed admiration towards communist China.
“The combination of speed and scale I think is something that is really quite unique,” Allen said in reference to the nation’s economic growth in recent decades.
USCBC lobbied against the Uyghur Foreign Labor Prevention Act in March, a bill which now requires companies to ensure their supply chains are free from products created using Uyghur slave labor. USCBC argued that the legislation might lead to regulatory uncertainty and compliance issues for U.S. businesses at the time.