China Takes U.S. Aim In A War Of Words

With guest host Jane Clayson.

A Chinese blogger whose harsh anti-American essays have a huge following in China just got a big embrace from China’s top leadership.

Anti-American Chinese blogger Zhou Xiaoping, seen here in his Sina Weibo account profile pic with Chinese president Xi Jinping. (Sina Weibo)

Anti-American Chinese blogger Zhou Xiaoping, seen here in his Sina Weibo account profile picture with Chinese president Xi Jinping and other high ranking Chinese officials. (Sina Weibo)

China’s General Secretary Xi Jinping praised a blogger at a forum celebrating China’s art and literature for spreading “positive energy” online.  The blogger’s strong nationalist tone is paired with a deep disdain for the West. Smack talk from a rising power. New media skewering a traditional global power. Crafting a new political dialogue with a big shout -out to a younger generation. Big time politics for a usually distracted social media generation. This hour, On Point:  China’s new blogger and a message for the West.

— Jane Clayson


Ian Johnson, Pulitzer-Prize winning correspondent for the New York Times, the New York Review of Books and the New Yorker. Advising editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. Author of “Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China.” (@iandenisjohnson)

Dali Yang, professor of political science at the University of Chicago. Author of “Remaking the Chinese Leviathan.” (@Dali_Yang)

Kang Liu, professor of Chinese studies in the department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University, and director of the Duke China Research Center. Author of “Globalization and Cultural Trends in China.”

From The Reading List

Associated Press: Blogger’s sketchy anti-US facts draw fans in China — “Take a look at Zhou Xiaoping’s blogs and learn that in the U.S. you would have to shell out $3,500 in mandatory car insurance a year and spend $30,000 for a low-end domestic car, and that more than half of the kids in most public schools don’t graduate. All those numbers are way off. Even Chinese propaganda officials agree he makes mistakes. But while Beijing campaigns against what it calls online misinformation, erasing critical online comments and arresting dozens of bloggers over the past 18 months, the Communist Party has embraced Zhou.”

Los Angeles Times: China’s President gives blogger 15 minutes of fame — and scrutiny — “The apparent endorsement from the most powerful man in China brought instant fame – and withering scrutiny — to Zhou and Hua. Both have been bombarded with interview requests from domestic and foreign press, which they politely declined via their social media accounts.”

Foreign Policy: Is This the New Face of China’s Silent Majority? — “Both Zhou and Hua are young Internet writers who espouse strong nationalistic ideas, making them a digital addition to the ranks of China’s “art workers,” a term the party adopted in earnest after Mao’s Yan’an talk. On Oct. 16, Reference News, one of the major news outlets for party officials, devoted an entire page to three articles written by Zhou. They were titled “Broken Dreams in the USA,” “Fly, Chinese Dreams,” and “Their Dreams and Our Flags.”

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