The CCP´s struggle for a better image: Not „The Ugly Chinaman“ and Fu Manchu, but more cute Pandas and Olympic Spirit

The CCP´s struggle for a better image: Not „The Ugly Chinaman“ and Fu Manchu, but more cute Pandas and Olympic Spirit

China tries to create a positive image of itself and therefore the latest decisions of the Communist Party show what is the preferred image and what is not. After Marvel produced the superhero film “Shang-Chi” with the first Chinese comic hero which the 1970s was already known as comic “Shang Chi, Son of Fu Manchu”, the CCP let the Chinese discuss the movie in social media, even if the movie was not yet released in China. While some commentators thought, it was more Blockbuster-pop corn- action-entertainment, the CCP now officially decided that the movie will not be released in China as it would spreads a bad image of China, racist stereotypes and Yellow Peril images in the tradition of the earlier Fu Manch novels and movies. Fu Manchu as symbol of brutal and cruel Asian despotism is not the image the life-long one-man-neototalitarian wolf warriorlike dictatorshipwith aOrwellian „social credit“surveillance system likes to see. “The first Asian superhero”, and Asian means: Chinese would not meet the demands of the Chinese audience and will therefore not released. The CCP pretends to know better what the demands of the Chinese audience are and how the movie will be received and therefore censors it and Shang Chi won´t be shown in Mainland. The case is also an appeal to Western filmmakers which Chinese images they should produce if they want to get access to the billion cinema supermarket China. As the mouthpiece of the CCP The Global Times reports:

Marvel’s first Asian superhero fails to win Chinese audiences’ hearts

Falling short

By Wu Yu Published: Nov 18, 2021 07:13 PM

It seems it must be the only right move that Disney made: Asian superhero movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was not released in the Chinese mainland yet, because even if mainland audiences had been given the opportunity to see it in cinemas, it very likely would have received the same reception as Disney’s Mulan, a 2020 work aimed at Chinese audiences that met its Waterloo in the country.

Shang-Chi is full of Chinese cultural elements, the most highlighted part is that lead character Xu Shang-Chi, played by Canadian actor Simu Liu, saves people through Chinese martial arts, or kung fu. But no amount of kung fu can save a movie containing Western stereotypes about Chinese culture and a character originating from a racist background when it was originally created for the comics.

That character is Shang-Chi’s father, who was called The Mandarin in the original comic, while the movie producers gave him a new name „Xu Wenwu.“ 

The character is played by actor Tony Leung from Hong Kong.

The Mandarin’s origins are associated with an early-20th century novel featuring Fu Manchu, a representative of the „Yellow Peril“ in the West. This connection sparked controversy in 2019 when Marvel first announced the project. 

The film tries its best to distance the character played by Leung from Fu by having Wenwu explain to his son that he is not „The Mandarin“ and that the name was used by someone pretending to be him. 

Despite this, the movie is still based on the original comic and the image of the character in the comic looks nearly the same as the traditional image of Fu in the West that stands as an insult to Chinese people, so the explanation in the movie only serves to further highlight Marvel’s guilty conscience and cannot erase the memories of the controversial character’s origins from Chinese audiences‘ minds, even those who are fans of Marvel.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings finally launched on Disney’s streaming platform over two months after its cinema release in North America, meaning the film is sure to reach a broader audience around the world.

Sadly, the many Chinese elements in the movie are likely to misguide these overseas audiences and might give them wrong impressions of Chinese culture, similar to the problems seen in Mulan.

The movie is like Chinese food in the US. It suits the tastes of US audiences, but it’s not really Chinese. 

For example, the film included several types of fantastical creatures from Chinese mythology and showed them living together, but actually these creatures would have fought each other in a fierce battle if they ever ran across one another.

Even the kung fu scenes fall short. The action choreographers should have included more fight scenes in order to show the various styles of kung fu.

Some Chinese who have watched the film in places such as Singapore and the US have already uploaded reviews on Chinese media review platform Douban, where it currently has a low 6.3/10.

„The story of the film takes too many liberties with Chinese culture. Hollywood added their own understanding of Chinese culture to the movie but that did not please Chinese audiences. Why did they not find more creative talents from China in Hollywood? That would be a good way to capture the hearts of Chinese audiences,“ Chinese film critics commented after Mulan had been released in the mainland. Similar reviews appeared after Shang-Chi was launched. 

If Western filmmakers want to produce movies about Chinese culture that will become truly popular in China, they should do more research on the subject they are trying to depict.

Also bad for the Chinese image in the perception of the CCP  is the book “The Ugly Chinaman”. Sounds a little bit like the Chinese version of “The Ugly American”.  The wife of the author decided now that the book can´t be used and published in Taiwan anymore as it would create a bad image of China as backward, reactionary, primitive and give the young Taiwanese an allegedly wrong image and impression of China. Even if the book is mostly about the Chinese KMT in the 20st century, the book is perceived as potential catalysatorfor a de-sinification of the Taiwanese, especially the youth and could be used by seperatist forces like the DDP:

Wife of author of The Ugly Chinaman to halt book publication to prevent content being misused by Taiwan secessionists

By Liu Xin, Fan Lingzhi and Lin Xiaoyi Published: Nov 19, 2021 12:03

The wife of Bo Yang, deceased writer born in the Chinese mainland and based in the island of Taiwan, announced that the publication of one of Bo Yang’s books that criticizes bad habits of Chinese people in the 20th century was to be halted as some of its content might be used by secessionist forces to insult China. This has attracted attention on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. 

Chang Shiang-Hua, Bo Yang’s wife, refused to include a passage from The Ugly Chinaman and the Crisis of Chinese Culture into the teaching materials for middle school students in the island of Taiwan. Chang announced that she would no longer release the book after the current contract with publishers on both sides of the Taiwan Straits expires in 2024. 

„Bo Yang once said: ‚when China progresses, then we can stop reading this book,‘ meaning that when the Chinese people stop indulging in closed, conservative and unrealistic problems of the past and have new goals to pursue, this book should be scrapped,“ Chang told the Global Times in an exclusive interview where she shared her decision to stop publishing the book. She also mentioned she hopes publishers will stop publishing the book from now on.

The Ugly Chinaman and the Crisis of Chinese Culture, published in Taiwan island in 1985, was the island’s bestseller of the year. The book is a collection of dozens of essays by Bo Yang, mainly criticizing the deep-rooted bad habits of Chinese people in the 20th century. With an attitude described as „wishing iron could turn into steel at once,“ Bo Yang called various drawbacks of traditional culture „soy sauce jar culture,“ which aroused strong cultural shock in the Chinese world.

Chang told the Global Times that at that time the book was directed at the Kuomintang (KMT) cadres in the island of Taiwan, noting that the interpretation of this book cannot be separated from its background and it is necessary to have the corresponding historical knowledge to understand the meaning expressed by Bo Yang.

„Children who are just in their first year of junior high school between the ages of 10 and 12 have absorbed very little Chinese culture. But now, the education authority of Taiwan is trying to implant a subjective sense of [hating the mainland] in the youth first,“ Chang said. 

She noted that the publisher did not negotiate with her on the exact essay to be used and she was concerned that under their deliberate title of „The Ugly Chinaman,“ young people in the island would easily misinterpret the concept of China.

The main reason for Chang to make the decision not to publish Bo Yang’s book is that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wants to use his book in their de-Sinicization campaign. „Tsai Ing-wen once said she is Chinese and grew up by reading Chinese books. But what she did was the opposite. She is not a reliable person and the DPP is pushing de-Sinicization in classes. They are ruining our Chinese people!“ said Chang. 

Chang noted that in the island, no writer would refuse to publish their work or refuse to use their work in teaching materials. „But this is the ‚honor‘ offered by bad people. What kind of ‚honor‘ is it?“ asked Chang. 

Chang noted that if Bo Yang was alive, he would be very angry when seeing that young people in the island of Taiwan are gradually being brainwashed by DPP’s de-Sinicization campaign and are resisting cross-Straits reunification. 

„He told me more than once that ‚the time of ‚Taiwan independence‘ is the time of the reunification,'“ said Chang.  

Chang noted that compared to people in Taiwan that rarely talk about Bo Yang except to misinterpret his work and slander China, in the mainland, The Ugly Chinaman and the Crisis of Chinese Culture has always been a best seller.

„In the past, people on the mainland said that Taiwan residents are highly literate. But now, it may be the other way around because under the brainwashing of the ‚Taiwan independence‘ education by the DPP authorities, the Taiwan youth have become short-sighted and only care about themselves. The government has only educated a generation of useless young people.“ Chang remarked. 

Times have changed and the mainland has developed so much in recent years. Chang said that „the last time I went to the mainland was in 2019. Compared with the 1980s, I saw more smiles in people’s faces. What touched me the most was the taxi drivers. They were so warm-hearted to offer help to us. I can feel their happiness and self-confidence,“ said Chang. 

While the mainland is developing quickly, some people in the island of Taiwan are acting exactly like what Bo Yang criticized in his book. For example, Chen Shih-chung, the head of Taiwan’s health authorities, has been under criticism for violating prevention measures and dining and drinking with a group of people. „He is totally the ugliest Chinese Bo Yang criticized in his book,“ Chang said.

According to local media in the island, the DPP pushed the „anti-infiltration law“ that went into force to create a „green terror“ and obstruct cross-Straits exchanges. Chang also worries that she will become a target of DPP’s attacks for her cooperation with mainland publishers.

When asked if she was worried about her personal safety while firmly exposing the true nature of the DPP, Chang replied that this was why she was willing to speak to the media. „According to the unscrupulous character of the DPP, to speak out loudly in the media is a kind of self-protection,“ she said.”

Countering these bad images, the Global Times prefers to use Panda diplomacy and reports in full length about the birth of two Panda babys in the French zoo which would be a symbol of deep and stable Chinese-French relations. And cute Panda babys are not perceived as cruel yellow peril:

“Two panda cubs born in France named Yuan Dudu and Huan Lili highlighting deep China-France ties

By GT staff reporters Published: Nov 19, 2021 01:09 PM

Two Giant Panda cubs born at Beauval Zoo in central France have been officially named Yuan Dudu and Huan Lili at a ceremony on Thursday. Photo: French Embassy in China

Two Giant Panda cubs born at Beauval Zoo in central France have been officially named Yuan Dudu and Huan Lili at a ceremony on Thursday. Photo: French Embassy in China

Two giant panda cubs born at Beauval Zoo in central France were officially named as Yuan Dudu and Huan Lili at a ceremony on Thursday, a fresh highlight for China-France relations.

The Global Times learnt from French Embassy in China that Thursday was the first public appearance of the two panda cubs and for their official public naming, in the  presence of godparents, Chinese diver Zhang Jiaqi and French football star Kylian Mbappe.

Huan Lili -„Huan“ was named after their mother Huan Huan, and „Lili“ represents Paris. Yuan Dudu – „Yuan“ was named after the dad Yuan Zai and „Dudu“ represents Chengdu in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

Born in August, the twins are already over a hundred days old, with their weight growing from 149 grams and 128 grams at birth to nearly 6 kilograms each now.

The elder sister Huan Lili has a longer mouth, fluffy hair, and looks alike to her father „Yuan Zai“ while the little sister Yuan Dudu inherits the beauty of her mother. The two panda babies can already crawl freely and will soon learn to walk. In the Pairs‘ frequent pillow fights, Yuan Dudu tends to always come out on top.

At the ceremony, Yu Jinsong, Charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy to France, said that Huan Huan and Yuan Zai have been expanding their family since arrival, thanks to the joint efforts of Beauval Zoo and China’s Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. They are symbols of Sino-French friendship.

Yu said giant pandas bear the beautiful vision of „harmonious coexistence between man and nature“ and believed that China and France will continue to jointly lead the global biodiversity protection and make greater contributions to building a community of life on earth.

Born on August 2 to Huan Huan, a giant panda that has lived in Beauval Zoo since 2012, the baby pandas have been nicknamed „Little Snow“ and „Cotton Flower.“ Their official Chinese names „Yuan Dudu and Huan Lili“ were chosen from a pool of five possible names. 

Each panda has an infant name and a formal name which will be put into the panda pedigree, said Yang Yi, staff of Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, People’s Daily reported. 

A giant panda’s formal name can be selected from public submissions or decided by official announcement. It can also be given by personnel or organizations for public welfare or follow the usage of the panda’s original infant name, Yang explained. 

In 2017, Huan Huan gave birth to twin cubs, the first panda babies born in France. The first cub died shortly after its birth with the second named Yuan Meng.

Next big topic for the Chinese image and propaganda are the coming Winter Olympics in China  2022 that should send the world the image of China as a healthy, strong, but peaceful and prosperous nation after Japan due to the Covid pandemic and its economic recession had more the image of „the sick man of Asia”. However, in the USA and parts of the West there are now voices for a boycott of the Winter Olympics in China. Biden thinks about it, many Congress members are already drafting bills as at the moment there is only a bill not to finance any institutions who support the Winter Olympics, but not yet a law prohibiting the athletes to participate. Also disturbing for the CCP is the case of Chinese Wimbledon star Peng Shuai who accused a top political cadre of the CCP for sexual abuse and rape. Since then Peng disappeared from the media and social media as “persona non grata” and it is also not known where she is at the moment. However the USA use the case as a foreign policy tool for a Me too and human rights campaign against the CCP as it as known that there will be millions of Chinese Harvey Weinsteins which could potentially bring the CCP in trouble. Some so called “anti-Chinese forces”also want to use the Peng Shuai case as pretext for the boycott of the Winter Games.  While the Global Timesis very silent on the Peng case and tries not too mention it, it voices strong critism about the boycott calls, however also points out that it hopeully won´t influence the potential relaxing strategic Sinoamerican relations after the virtual XI-Biden meeting :

FM slams Biden’s ‘diplomatic boycott’ of Beijing Winter Games

By Wang Qi

Published: Nov 19, 2021 08:47 PM Updated: Nov 19, 2021 09:20 PM

The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the US for politicizing sports, which goes against the Olympic spirit and damages the interests of athletes from all countries, after US President Joe Biden said the US is mulling a diplomatic boycott to the grand sports gala in China in February 2022 due to so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang. 

Experts said Biden’s remarks, which came a few days after the Xi-Biden summit, showed Biden conceded to hawks at a time when his domestic support is waning, and the re-hyping of the Xinjiang issue is also a warm-up to the US-initiated „democracy summit.“  

Biden’s remarks on Thursday mark the first time that he had confirmed a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Games is something they’re considering, when he met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Oval Office, CNBC reported.  

Zhao Lijian, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, responded on Friday that politicizing sports goes against the Olympic spirit and damages the interests of athletes from all countries. 

Using Xinjiang affairs as an excuse to boycott, Zhao said the US smear of „genocide“ and „forced labor“ in Xinjiang is „nothing but a joke to the Chinese people,“ and the US accusation against China on other human rights issues is even more groundless.  

Also on Friday, Russian media reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was invited to attend the opening of the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. After all the details are agreed on, Russia and China will announce the trip together. Putin said one day earlier that Russia-China relations have reached their highest in history, and Russia knows the West is trying to provoke the relations, but the two countries will ignore that and continue expanding interactions.

Biden’s remarks were meant to appease hardliners in the US, particularly Republicans, who were unhappy with Biden’s „conciliatory gestures“ toward China at the Xi-Biden virtual summit, Liu Weidong, a research fellow at the Institute of American Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Friday. 

US media reported that some Republicans have even suggested not sending US athletes to Beijing, but an official said a full boycott is unlikely.

The Hill reported on Thursday that some Democrats are questioning whether Biden will run for reelection in 2024 amid anemic approval ratings and rising worries about next year’s midterm elections. 

„On the other hand, Biden is also aware of China’s position and the importance it attaches to the Winter Olympics. If China is excessively provoked, China will surely respond to it, which is not what Biden wants to see,“ said Liu, noting Biden’s main concern is the balance between diplomacy and internal affairs. 

According to the public statements of China and the US, the Beijing Winter Olympics issue did not come up at the Xi-Biden meeting. Based on statistics, since the beginning of the 21st century, the US President has attended only one Olympic opening ceremony held outside the US, namely the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Before the 2008 Beijing Games, then president George W. Bush met with Chinese „dissidents“ in the US, under pressure from domestic hawks. 

Observers said that in the context of the pandemic and domestic pressure, perhaps US leaders and politicians lost interest in the Olympics, which represents human solidarity. So the boycott under the human rights issue looks like a perfect cover. 

Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Friday that in the US Innovation Competition Act passed by the Senate in June, there is a special provision requiring that no federal funding be given to any government official to attend the Winter Olympics in Beijing–that is to say, the US has a boycott in the legislative sense.

The US‘ attempt to rally its allies in so-called Western democracies to boycott the Winter Olympics was long in the making and did not represent the international mainstream, Diao said, noting that China is fully prepared to deal with any situation.  

Observers pointed out that the US used the Olympics to stir up the Xinjiang issue again in order to build momentum for the democracy summit. The US no longer has an absolute advantage over China in terms of power, and can only play a role in the field of ideology, even though its actions in Afghanistan and ethnic issues at home have nothing to do with democracy and human rights. 

„I am very surprised to see that some countries are desperately trying to impress the world as ‚the model of democratic countries‘ when they themselves are still struggling with domestic problems,“ Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov told the Global Times on Friday. „They divide the world into ‚democratic‘ and ‚undemocratic‘ ones according to their own Western criteria, and yes, I am referring to the US,“ he said.

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is a great occasion to show human solidarity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Politicians who do not want to come to Beijing and cry about „human rights“ reveal their hypocrisy – they are not willing to participate in an effort to unite the world and overcome difficulties. This is not China’s problem, Diao said.  „

However, the Global Times proposes as reaction not to invite US officials and celebrate the Winter Olympics without them:

“Winter Olympics doesn’t need to invite insincere US officials: Global Times editorial

By Global Times Published: Nov 20, 2021 12:38 AM

US President Joe Biden said Thursday that backing a boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics in February is „something we’re considering.“ The diplomatic boycott means Biden will not attend it, and the US will not send officials. 

Prior to the virtual summit between Chinese and US leaders, there was opinion in the US that the two leaders would discuss Olympic-related issues. It predicted that Beijing will invite Biden and Biden will set some conditions. But various reports show that China did not raise the issue of the Winter Olympics. The US lost a chance to make a bargain.

A state invitation will only be sent when the other side is understandably willing to accept the invitation. As the US has always been trying to politically exploit the Winter Olympics and put pressure on China, top US officials are unlikely to become kind guests at the Olympics. We believe it is time China stops inviting Washington to send top officials to the event. 

The Olympics is a sporting event, and the athletes are the main players. Dignitaries from countries come to encourage their athletes and give a boost to the Games. 

It is just petty and an insult to the Olympic spirit that Washington views the participation of its leaders or dignitaries as a favor to Beijing and something that could be exchanged for interests. 

The Olympics shouldn’t welcome such officials. They harbor ill intentions. Even if they come, they will just create trouble. Without them, the Olympics will be pure. China has no time to accommodate them.

The worsened relationship between the US and China is globally known. The American attitude toward the Beijing Winter Olympics will not change the pattern of China-US strategic relations, but it can test how much rationality they have and how sincere they are when they say they want to manage China-US competition. The US has shown its unwillingness to promote the Olympic spirit with major powers like China and Russia and most countries in the world. It is prompting other countries to cooperate less with it on matters the US is concerned about, such as climate change.

US Senator Tom Cotton on Thursday arrogantly called for a boycott of the Winter Olympics. He demanded the US not send athletes and sponsors to quit. 

He behaves like political rubbish. Some US politicians are extremely conceited. They believe they can represent the international community and their opinion can dictate the glory or shame of an Olympic event. 

China must host this event with rightful justice and tell hostile US politicians that they are not welcome to the event. Coincidentally, Cotton is on China’s sanctions list. He is not allowed to enter China for life.

This Olympic Games will be held successfully, because Beijing is the safest capital around the world against the COVID-19 pandemic. There is the least risk that athletes from around the world could get infected with the virus. They can enjoy the Games with a relaxed mind and show the charm of the Winter Olympics to the global audience.

China does not miss the presence of leaders or senior officials from the US or its allies. China’s grace does not need their support. China’s grace is displayed as long as the Olympics are held successfully and athletes come and go safely.

After the little summit of democracies in Prague which foucsed on Taiwan and the Uigurs, the USA want to hold a “Summit of Democracies” from December 9th to 10th  in the USA which is also perceived as a bad image for neototalitarian China as Asian despotism . Therefore the Global Times let the Russian Ambassor in China comment the Summit of Democracies and show the strength of the Sino-Russian partnership:

US ‘democracy summit’ another misguided attempt to divide world: Russian Ambassador to China

By Fan Anqi and Fan Lingzhi Published: Nov 19, 2021 10:25 PM

The so-called „democracy summit“ to be held by the US in December is another misguided attempt to divide the world into categories of „superior and inferior,“ Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov told the Global Times on Friday, adding that „some diplomats from Western countries also disagree with the US way of categorizing democracy when talking to me in private, but they are just too embarrassed to say it out loud.“

Denisov made the remarks in Beijing prior to the convening of a briefing on the sixth plenary session of the 19th Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, which has invited hundreds of foreign delegates and ambassadors to attend through online and offline channels. 

„The sixth plenary session was held at a key historical juncture marking the centenary of the founding of the CPC, and a systematic summary of past experiences is key to China’s future development,“ Denisov said, adding that at a time when international situations are going through rapid changes, China not only has to deal with internal issues but also external challenges. 

He emphasized China’s achievements in winning the battle against poverty and the completion of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. „Under the leadership of General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping, 100 million people have been lifted out of absolute poverty. This is the most remarkable achievement, and I hope China will only get better and better.“

The US has said it will hold a so-called „Summit for Democracy“ on December 9-10, which has been widely interpreted as a move aimed against China and Russia

When asked by the Global Times for his comment on such a move, Denisov said, „I am very surprised to see that some countries are desperately trying to impress the world as being ‚a model of a democratic country‘ when they themselves are still struggling with a bunch of domestic problems.“

„They define others as ‚poorly developed‘ and ‚undemocratic,‘ and divide the world into ‚democratic‘ and ‚undemocratic‘ countries according to their own Western criteria. And yes, I am referring to the US,“ he said. 

The US has experienced some serious domestic problems in recent years, putting them in a position which is far from one that could be considered a good example, Denisov said. China, on the other hand, has presented the world with some distinguished achievements both in battling the epidemic and the economic crisis it created. 

There are over 200 countries in the world, but only 30-35 could be regarded as „democratic“ according to the US standard. „Obviously, they are not the majority, so this standard is incorrect,“ Denisov said. 

The Friday event discussed a landmark resolution on the major achievements and historical experience of the CPC’s 100 years of endeavors, which was reviewed and adopted at the sixth plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee. It reaffirmed and strengthened that „the Party’s leadership with a strong core“ is the key to answering the questions: „Why were we successful in the past? How can we continue to succeed in the future?“

To show that these Western democracies including the Asian democracies are not as united as portrayed by the USA, the Global Times reports on the failed meeting between the USA, Japan and South Korea which also made clear that territorial claims and island conflicts in Asia don´t have only China as their cause:

‘Differences’ between Japan and South Korea derail US press conference

By AFP Published: Nov 18, 2021 04:53 PM

A joint press conference in Washington between the deputy foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea was canceled at the last minute because of „differences“ between the two US allies, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, who had been due to host the event, said on Wednesday.

„As has been the case for some time, there are some bilateral differences between Japan and the Republic of Korea that are continuing to be resolved,“ Sherman said. 

„And one of those differences which is unrelated to today’s meeting, has led to the change in format for today’s press availability,“ she said, standing alone on the podium where she had been scheduled to be joined by Choi Jong-kun of South Korea and Mori Takeo of Japan. 

She did not give any details on what that „difference“ entailed.

But Japan did say why it objected to the press conference: It said that on Tuesday the commissioner-general of South Korea’s National Police Agency visited islets that are claimed by Japan and administered by South Korea.

Japan calls them Takeshima and says they are part of its Shimane Prefecture. South Korea calls them Dokdo.

This was the first time in 12 years that a commissioner-general of the National Police Agency landed on the islets, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.

A Japanese Embassy spokesperson in Washington said the islets are „indisputably an inherent part of the territory of Japan“ and that Japan lodged a protest with South Korea over the visit by the police official.

„Under these circumstances, we have decided that it is inappropriate to hold a joint press conference,“ the spokesperson said.

The trilateral meeting between diplomats from the three allies did take place, behind closed doors. 

Sherman said the talks had been „very constructive,“ which, she noted, „demonstrates exactly why the trilateral format with the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea is so important and powerful.“

Tokyo and Seoul have had strained relations for decades due to Japan’s brutal colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula between 1910 and 1945.

On the one side it is not easy for the CCP to create a positive image as the hard facts often counter the own propaganda: Neototalitarian lifelong one-man-dictatorship with Orwellian „social credit“ control system, new assertivness in foreign affairs and wolf warrior diplomacy and open military threats. Therefore it tries to censor negative images and spread more positive images: Not „The Ugly Chinaman“ and Fu Manchu, but more cute Pandas and Olympic Spirit. However, the USA for its Summit of Democracies also has problems to give a positive image of Western democracies as Bush jr. and Trump and the financial crisis 2008 and other capitalist crisis symptoms already ruined the sex appeal of political and economic system of „the Land of the Free“ and the West whch in turn is the best propaganda for the CCP.

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