Gavin Wax, Seemingly out of nowhere, the Chinese Communist Party deployed its TV, radio, and print propaganda channels to knock former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon as “ruthless” and “shameless.” Pot, meet kettle.
For years Bannon has been a vocal China hawk, but this week the Red Dragon apparently had enough and breathed fire on the ex-Breitbart News executive.
This onslaught of invectives from four Chinese state media outlets against Bannon comes after three months of Bannon calling out China over the coronavirus pandemic on his radio show and podcast War Room, with the added subtitle Pandemic.
Earlier this week, a broadcaster for China Central Television (CCTV), the communist nation’s main TV outlet that broadcasts to the world in six different languages, called Bannon “one of the most shameless, stubborn anti-Chinese people who ignore the fact and law [and] want to make the world in chaos,” according to a translation shared by Mediaite.
“By following the likes of Bannon,” the broadcaster continued in the 90-second segment. “America would lose even further control of the pandemic, and America would descend into chaos and crisis in the future.”
Despite the lack of effort necessary for this sort of boring vilification, CCTV has carefully chosen its targets. Washington Post reporter Gerry Shih noted that only Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has received similar treatment by the TV network.
On Monday, two other Chinese state media agencies went after Bannon. Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of China, ran a column complaining of Bannon’s “fanatic right-wing oratory” and “inhuman style.”
“Whenever he opens his mouth, he just talks on and on in his particular aggressive way,” the article author Chen Chen wrote. “But when he speaks, you can not feel a human heart beating, but a ruthless geo-political calculating machine humming.”
Notice a pattern forming? More flailing hot air than a waving tube man on a used car lot. And it continues, but let’s pause here to turn to Bannon himself. Last week on CNBC’s SquawkBox program, Bannon brought up real issues, like the tens of millions of unemployed Americans and hundreds of thousands dying worldwide as a result of COVID-19 and its consequences.
“We know for a fact [China] knew they had human transmission and community spread in mid-to-late December,” Bannon said, demanding China pay up for its misdeeds.
Bannon hammered on China’s willful omission of the risks posed to the world by the Wuhan virus. While shutting down travel in and out of Wuhan, they allowed travel abroad, Bannon said. He also mentioned the Chinese signing a trade agreement with the U.S. while withholding crucial information about the virus and buying up personal protection equipment as well.
For all of that, Bannon says China owes the US and the world up to tens of trillions of dollars, “not just the cash we put in, it’s the opportunity cost of what we’ve had to forgo.”
What did China Radio International interpret from that? “Steve Bannon Wants World Chaos” their op-ed reads.
We can also compare Bannon’s statements with the China Global Television Network’s Hannan Hussain, whom the state media fraudulently claims to be a “security analyst at the London School of Economics.” Hussain hilariously titled his column “Here’s Why Steve Bannon Can’t Be Trusted.”
Shortly after Hussain’s article ran Monday, the London School of Economics clarified that Hussain wasn’t associated with them and that they didn’t have any position titled security analyst, the National Pulse reported.
Incredibly, Hussain noted Bannon’s history of hawkishness toward China but also spewed this: “His vitriolic offensive against the Communist Party of China is also an attempt to gain political relevance at a time when Bannon has been operating at the fringes of American politics, unable to undo his rapid fall into oblivion since first leaving the White House.”
Bannon has been consistent on China, since before he was in the White House, so why is he now being charged with attention seeking? It doesn’t make sense. What’s more likely is that the Communist Party perceives a benefit in no longer ignoring him.
Since Bannon’s appearance on CNBC, it’s clear that his view of China is entering the mainstream in America. The Communist Party’s depravity can’t be ignored any longer after the coronavirus episode. And it’s no longer 2017, when Bannon was so often slanderously pilloried as a “white nationalist” or even “nazi.”
Of course, it is the Chinese Communist Party that is perpetrating untold crimes on the Chinese people. Bannon has no qualms with the people, obviously. Bannon sees nothing less than regime change ultimately being necessary for the Chinese people’s sake, as well as America and the world’s.
To China, that’s intolerable.
China’s Ministry of State Security, their top intelligence agency, just told their President Xi Jinping that war with the U.S. is as likely now as it was during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
No one wants that war. However, it won’t be any less inevitable if the Chinese Communist Party is appeased.
China is not in a good place right now. As far as their Bannon coverage is concerned, they’re more than a little desperate. All the more reason to take Bannon seriously.