On Tuesday, as President-elect Joe Biden continues his transition into the White House, the paper of record published an opinion article authored by a high-ranking Chinese government official titled, “Cooperative Competition Is Possible Between China and the U.S.”
The story’s subhead reads, “A former vice foreign minister of China proposes a way forward for the world’s two leading powers.”
As of this writing, there has been no general outcry from New York Times employees over the paper’s decision to run an op-ed promoting a genocidal dictatorship. Imagine that.
Here is just a small sampling of the bad-faith, pro-China, anti-United States language included in what amounts to a full-page advertisement for a genocidal communist regime:
– “Washington started bullying Chinese high-tech companies and making things difficult for Chinese students.”
– “Washington … should ensure a level playing field for Chinese enterprises to operate in the United States. America’s fear of Huawei’s cutting-edge advantages should not be expressed through government bullying: This not only hurts the company; it also limits many people’s access to technological progress.”
– “It is high time that the United States drop its habit of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs. One hopes that Washington will learn from its unsuccessful interventions the world over, for example in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. America’s concerns that foreign forces might interfere with its presidential elections should serve as a good reminder of why other countries are so sensitive about U.S. intervention in their own domestic affairs.”
– “China finds it offensive when the United States points a finger at the Chinese system or takes action against Beijing for its policies on domestic matters.”
There is no mention, by the way, of China’s imprisonment of its Uighur population.
The United States’ insensitivity toward China’s concerns over Taiwan and territorial disputes in the South China Sea can only make Beijing suspect Washington’s motivations: Does America want to help Taiwan go independent? Is it siding with the other claimants in the region in order to humiliate China as the imperialists did in the past?
Perhaps anticipating a negative response to the overt advertisement for a murderous police state, which is engaged in the wide-scale genocide of Uighur Muslims and the brutal suppression of dissent in Hong Kong, the New York Times preemptively affixed to the op-ed a link to an editor’s note explaining its decision to run the communist agitprop.
“As the 20th century closed, I sat as a teenager in a lecture hall and listened to Henry Kissinger declare that China would soon be the next global superpower — and all young Americans needed to know more about it,” writes New York Times acting editorial page editor Kathleen Kingsbury.
She adds, “For reasons I still can’t fully explain, the message resonated.”
Taking cues from Kissinger was her first mistake.
Interestingly, Kingsbury then concedes that China is essentially one giant human rights violation:
As both The Times’s news and opinion pages have extensively documented, as its economy and industrial policies drove generational change, China has corralled as many as a million ethnic Uighurs and other religious minorities into internment camps. It has denied basic human rights to its citizens. It has smothered any hint of political opposition. And it has made menacing moves, through militarization and land grabs, toward the United States and its regional rivals.
“This Op-Ed is the only official statement,” she continues, “beyond the usual platitudes, that has come from the government about the election of Joe Biden to the presidency, and for that reason we thought it was worth publishing. There’s no denying that U.S.-China relations have been damaged over the past four years. [It] is setting out the terms under which her government plans to work with a new Biden administration.”
The New York Times editor adds, “Those terms, which include both veiled threats and olive branches, could have significant consequences for American foreign policy for the rest of our lifetimes.”
Kingsbury, by the way, was promoted to her current position after the paper’s employees staged a revolt and forced the James Bennet, the then-editorial page editor, to resign, following the publication of a June 3 opinion article by Cotton, originally titled “Send in the troops,” which recommended the deployment of National Guard to police districts overwhelmed by anti-police demonstrators.
Not long after that episode, the New York Times published an op-ed taking China’s side against pro-freedom Hong Kong demonstrators. The paper’s staffers had nothing to say about it. Some employees even explained later that they did not feel a similar need to lash out and demand an editor’s head for the anti-Hong Kong op-ed because they were just simply too “exhausted” from screaming about the Republican senator’s article.
On Tuesday, as New York Times staffers have yet to say boo about the paper’s latest pro-China op-ed, it seems clear they are still tuckered out from that time they got angry about Cotton’s op-ed.
One wonders whether they will ever recover.