Part Three: Unholy Anti-China Soft Alliance on the rocks?
A Voice of America report on April, 2019 said that Vietnam has slowly added buildings on some of its 10 major islets since 2017.
Development of military-controlled islands that Vietnam has occupied for decades in the South China Sea’s Spratly Island chain involves landfill work plus installation of solar panels on some buildings, the initiative report says.
The report points also to 25 “pillbox” forts that Vietnam has built on sometimes submerged reefs or banks. Also tracked were a new communications equipment, a sports field and the extension of a runway from 750 meters to 1,300 meters on its largest holding Spratly Island.
In 2013, Vietnam put up a supermarket in Pugad Island or Southwest Cay in the hotly contested Spratly archipelago to cater to the needs of the growing number of local and foreign tourists visiting its occupied area. This feature was taken through subterfuge by Vietnam from the Philippines in 1975.
VOA was of course reporting findings of pro-West Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, an initiative under the U.S. neo-conservative think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies.
But the narrative became carelessly revealing in the VOA news when it glaringly editorialized saying, “Both China and Vietnam are building up tiny islets across the South China Seas, but while China receives international criticism Vietnam receives very little, and even gets some support because its pace of construction is slower and widely seen as defensive.”
The report carried statements by geopolitical karaokists but the one of Alan Chong, associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, spilled the beans revealing the story’s real intentions – “I think there’s this intra-ASEAN consensus, that within ASEAN the claimants do not rock the boat so as to present a common front towards China”.
Of course, Washington DC’s neo-conservatives have gone across the board from the Republicans to the Democrats.
These are the people who invented “regime change” in the world starting from the People Power “Revolution” in the Philippines in 1986 from the egalitarian visions of President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos to thirty years of liberalization, deregulation and privatization in the Philippines.
They must be gloating over the recent Thailand elections where the young reformist opposition beat the military-backed parties that have ruled the Southeast Asian country for nearly a decade.
Support for the opposition came by way of heavy funding from George Soros Open Society Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy, among others, with some projects directly funded by the US Department of State. US Meddling in Thai Elections Seek to Create a Hostile Anti-China Proxy
The victory of a pro-American party and candidate in its latest elections shows that unlike China that does not meddle in another country’s internal affairs, the United States cannot get out of its American “exceptionalism” syndrome.
Half-billion Info-war Budget
According to Xinhua, the US has become the greatest enemy of press freedom and in the interest of editorial integrity and copyright nuances, I am quoting its February 23, 2022 article, verbatim:
“The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the America Competes Act, appropriating 500 million U.S. dollars for news coverage to malign China.
“The move makes people wonder how the self-styled ‘beacon of press freedom’ dares to openly manipulate media in an attempt to squeeze China out of what it calls a ‘Great Power Competition’.”
“The bill, passed earlier this month as an industrial policy plan sugar-coated as ‘semiconductor production and supply chain resilience’, will direct funding to the U.S. Agency for Global Media, a U.S. media service, as well as local outlets and programs to produce journalism that is critical of China, particularly the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
“From the Spanish-American War and World War I to the Cold War, the Gulf War and the Iraq War, U.S. propaganda has been omnipresent. These days, Washington’s disinformation campaign against Beijing is reminiscent of its playbook during the Cold War, when it denigrated the Soviet Union through mass media, stoked hysteria over the ‘Communist Threat’ and boycotted the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics.
“Last year, Zimbabwe’s The Herald newspaper revealed that local journalists were allegedly offered 1,000 U.S. dollars by a proxy of the U.S. embassy for each anti-China story they wrote to portray Chinese businesses based there as unethical, reckless and harmful to local communities.
” ’Out of sheer jealousy, envy and pique, Western countries have begun a spirited campaign against Chinese investments in Zimbabwe using a phalanx of corrupt media, paid activists and civil society organizations,’ The Herald wrote.
“Not coincidentally, in September 2021, Javier Garcia, then head of the Beijing office of Spain’s EFE News Agency, announced his decision to leave journalism because ‘the embarrassing information war against China has taken a good dose of my enthusiasm for this profession.’
“This time, the bill claims U.S.-funded media coverage would be ‘independent.’ Considering the news reports are sponsored by Washington with the precise aims of crowding out Chinese investment in developing countries and smearing China’s projects, the claim is nonsense.
” ‘If the government is setting out ahead of time in legislation what the conclusion and the point of coverage is going to be, that doesn’t really qualify as genuine journalism,’ Tobita Chow, the director of Justice is Global, a U.S. advocacy group, was quoted by the American Prospect magazine, as saying.
“By spreading misinformation and disinformation in traditional and social media, Washington is trying to enclose audiences at home and abroad into echo chambers built on its Cold War mindset. Nonetheless, its old playbook no longer applies in today’s world, where truth and multipolarity prevail over lies and hegemonism.
“Obsessed with meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, the United States has failed to understand why Chinese businesses and investment overseas continue to thrive: Because China has always upheld the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits when partnering with other countries and abstains from internal interference.
“Meanwhile, suppose Washington does hope to create some competitive advantage for its foreign investment. In that case, it should provide mutually beneficial loans to developing countries instead of narrowly focusing on its own interests and pouring money into shaming China.
“Between the infrastructure plan proposed by China and the versions by the United States and the European Union, many low- and middle-income countries prefer Chinese investment, since rich countries, which see developing countries as high risk plus low reward, often impose onerous conditions that delay project implementation and increase costs, according to a recent article in The Diplomat magazine.
“China’s approach is different: It speaks up for developing countries and thus obtains their support.
“In the wake of increasing rhetoric against China, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa reiterated that investments from the Asian country are most welcome.
“Additionally, in the State of Southeast Asia 2020 Survey by Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, which interviewed some 1,300 respondents from the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China’s activities were given the nod by the majority of respondents from seven of the 10 regional countries.
“By funding journalism as a political tool, Washington has turned itself into the greatest enemy of press freedom, and its propaganda is set to proliferate in the coming years. Just don’t buy any of it.” End of quotation.
The article was entitled “Anti-China disinformation – Washington’s geopolitical weapon under pretext of so-called press freedom.”
House Resolution 6971 when it was introduced to the US 117th Congress was cloaked with the objective of supporting information and media literacy education and preventing misinformation and disinformation.
What it is actually doing on the ground is the opposite.
It uses all sorts of strategies and tactics to distort the truth and weaponize lies in order to unlevel the playing field in favor of the United States.
We are no longer shocked in Manila about the prostitution of news reporters and even opinion writers, that the locals have coined a word for them – “presstitutes”.
In fact, the Americans have upped the ante by putting up fake media organizations like Rappler. The license to operate of this outfit has actually been revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission for circumventing the Constitutional provision requiring media to be 100% Filipino-owned.
In order to hide the transaction, it acquired at least $1 million worth of Philippine depositary receipts and more in grants and loans from Omidyar Network, yes the same American group that financed the “orange” Maidan violent protests in 2014 that started a series of events leading to the present war in Ukraine.
Two of Rappler’s officers have also been convicted of cyberlibel on a separate criminal case filed by a private businessman.
National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the overt face of the US Central Intelligence Agency, is also funding Vera Files, the fact-checking arm of Facebook in the Philippines and has a long list of grantees among non-government organizations and even academic institutions.
Just like NED, Soros’ Open Society and other 501-c-3 American foundations are active in-country, funneling disinformation money even to the point of partnering in-stealth with local oligarchs and rich politicians in acquiring print media organizations, radio stations and television networks.
Suffice it to say, the so-called traditional or mainstream media in the Philippines has become so compromised that today, most people no longer buy newspapers, listen to radio or watch television for news.
The public now relies mainly on social media where they are no longer limited in their search for the truth.
To be continued. Next – Clinics on how disinformation functions and contradiction even among its agents
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