“Don’t behave like CNN” is the lesson the Chinese people has learned after the news network’s truth-twisting approach in its coverage and analysis of the unrest in Tibet in 2008. Thirteen years have passed, and it seems that CNN has made few improvements, and this perception still holds. “With fewer academics willing to travel to China, and those who do make it after the coronavirus pandemic encountering a more closed nation, the result could be fewer Western minds reporting on and studying China firsthand at a time when, arguably, the world has never had a greater need to understand the country.”
Here are a few lines from yet another China-bashing article published by CNN Wednesday titled “Westerners are increasingly scared of travelling to China as threat of detention rises,” which is an all-too-familiar attempt to vilify China. But what is ironic is that if we replace “China” with “the US,” the article works perfectly. “Chinese people are increasingly scared of travelling to the US as threat of detention rises.” This is actually very true.
The US should look into the mirror to see who indulges in arbitrary detentions. As the US ramps up its efforts to crack down on China in recent years, there has been a significant number of Chinese being arrested by manipulating the excuse of national security.
In October 2020, the FBI arrested five Chinese on charges they were part of China’s “Operation Fox Hunt” anti-corruption campaign and “harass, stalk and coerce” certain residents in the US. The Department of Justice said in a statement that in many instances the targets of the campaign were “dissidents” and “critics,” who, however, were economic criminals in China.
In 2015, the FBI arrested Zhang Hao, a Tianjin University professor, who landed at Los Angeles International Airport, on charges of economic espionage. The arrest was an apparent trap set by the FBI and a ploy by the US to suppress the Chinese chip industry. Zhang was forced to stay in the US for the following years and sentenced to 18 months in prison with restitution last year. The US targets also expand to the group of Chinese students screened for hours at US airports for their alleged potential involvement in China’s “economic espionage.”
The most prominent case of “arbitrary detention” in the world could be Canada’s arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou directed by the US. Canada is helping the US open Pandora’s Box. While Canada took the initiative to woo dozens of countries to sign a declaration denouncing the arbitrary detention of foreign citizens, it is slapping its own face. The Chinese are increasingly wary of going to not only the US, but also its hatchet men, including Canada, Australia and the UK.
Now, Washington is standing with evils and what it has been doing is sheer political persecution. If CNN thinks China’s action of protecting its national security is threats, but turns a blind eye to US suppression and arrests of Chinese people using national security as an excuse, it is exercising double standards.
China encourages normal exchanges between the Chinese people and Westerners. As long as they abide by China’s laws, any Westerner in China need not worry about their security. It is the US that dares not encourage communication between Chinese and its citizens and tries to isolate China by hyping fears toward China. It is the Chinese people that should have security worries in the US.