Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Cold War Mind-Set in Chinese Video ; Circulating on Internet, Film by Military Depicts America as a Menace

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Cold War Mind-Set in Chinese Video ; Circulating on Internet, Film by Military Depicts America as a Menace

Article excerpt

Circulating on the Internet, a film produced by the People's Liberation Army depicts the United States as a menace.

A conspiracy-minded 100-minute film produced by the Chinese military accuses the United States of trying to undermine the Communist Party's control of the People's Liberation Army and impose American values on China.

Among the American tactics assailed in the film, which was circulating widely on the Internet on Thursday, are military-to- military exchanges, which Washington has long promoted to improve communications in the event of a crisis. The video, complete with an ominous soundtrack, warns instead that such visits are intended to corrupt Chinese officers.

The strikingly hard-line film, titled "Silent Contest," takes aim at Western nongovernmental organizations, the American and British consulates in Hong Kong, and prominent reformers inside China. It accuses Washington of sponsoring exiled minority leaders such as the Dalai Lama and the Uighur dissident Rebiya Kadeer.

It is not clear whether the video was intentionally released online or somehow leaked, but it began disappearing from Chinese websites on Thursday night. Its heavy ideological content and propaganda style suggest it may have been produced to support the work of the military's political commissars, who are charged with the ideological indoctrination of troops and maintaining their morale, discipline and loyalty. As such, the film appears to offer a remarkably straightforward glimpse into the Cold War mind-set of the Chinese military leadership, as well as the deep suspicions of the United States festering inside one of the most influential institutions in the Chinese political system.

Cutting from crude graphics of American dollar bills to standard shots of the Statue of Liberty to blurry footage of American leaders from George Washington to President Obama, the video bemoans the fall of the Soviet Union and warns that China faces a similar fate if it fails to counter Washington's nefarious efforts to infiltrate Chinese society.

The General Staff Department of the People's Liberation Army is listed as a producer of the film, along with the army's National Defense University and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The university's president, Wang Xibin, a lieutenant general, appears on camera describing how the United States grooms "friendly forces, so-called democratic forces" inside China, and on the "exterior goes against the party's absolute control of the army." He also criticizes visits by American and Chinese military officials to each other's countries, saying that the exchanges will increasingly be used by the United States for "infiltration."

"We have to take careful precaution and look out for the smallest detail, and build a strong political and ideological line of defense," General Wang says. …

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