A further Tienanmen in China? Exclusive interview to Michael Yon

(di Maria Grazia Labellarte)

China is more and more becoming a leader nation all over the world, starting from its business in Africa, Europe and South America and US as well. We have tried to share our opinions about China’ s new policy with media and about the geopolitical future Asia map with Michael Yon an American writer who served in the Special Forces in the early-1980s, and became a writer in the mid-1990s. Focused on military writing, Yon's editorial columns have run in National Review Online and in The New York Post. In 2008 he won Weblog Award Poll for 'Best Military Blog' on December 31, 2008, and he won the 2007 Weblog Award for 'Best Military Blog' on November 1, 2007. In 2005 he won Weblog Award for 'Best Media/Journalism Blog' as well. Websites for the CNN, ABC, and CBS networks have referred to his work. He has appeared on the CBS Early Show and Good Morning America shows.

Mr Yon, do you truly think Americans are bombarded with carefully coordinated imagery and messages designed to show the Beijing police state in a favorable light by ignoring past crimes? Which crimes they are ignoring about?

Those who do not see by now the heavily funded and orchestrated propaganda drive by Beijing and specificly the apparatus of president XI are either not paying attention, or intentionally supporting it. It doesn't take a long memory to see how Beijing needed to distract from massive internal civil unrest and political dissent after Tienanmen Square in 1989 by focusing on both a foreign enemy (initially a revamped anti-US campaign but quickly shifting to the easier target of Japan) and an invented internal enemy (The "Jews" of China: Falun Gong/Falun Darfa). The crimes are so numerous and begin at the very inception of the CCP itself: Massive crimes against humanity in Yunan during Mao’s brutal insurgent state there in the 1930s and 1940s, the political extermination of enemies, ethnic genocide of non Han minorities in Tibet, Xinjiang, Manchuria, and elsewhere up to the present day, the euphamistically named "Great Leap Forward", continued political extermination of enemies by Xi, and now the militarist expansion across the borders especially the South "China" Sea. Their aquisition of American media companies and distribution networks, the strong arm bullying of media producers and distributors that dare to contradict the party line, and continued barrage of outright deceptions among multiple traditional and social media are obvious.
Perhaps the most egregious crimes of all are those perpetrated against the weakest of China’s population. Millions died during famines caused directly by Mao’s disastrous economic policies, but those numbers pale in comparison with the number of forced abortions and sterilizations carried out by the Chinese police state in service of its draconian “one-child policy.” According to government statistics, there have been more than 330 million abortions in China since 1971. Some researchers estimate that the majority of these have been involuntary (i.e., ordered by the state). There have been nearly 200 million surgical sterilizations in that same time period, and more than 400 million IUDs inserted. Again, it is likely that most, if not nearly all, of these procedures were done against the woman’s will. It is little wonder, then, that the female suicide rate in China is, by far, the highest in the world. China is just one of two places (the other being São Tomé/Principe) where women’s suicide rate is higher than men’s. China accounts for about one fifth of the world’s population, but for 56% of women’s suicides. Not only this, but violence against women is rampant. And this violence is not limited to adult or even adolescent females—there is a gender gap in China because, for decades, elective abortions have targeted females in favor of sons. Add to this the practice now favored by the Chinese government of arresting and convicting political dissidents on trumped-up charges in order to harvest their organs for ready cash, and there are the makings of a nightmare polity.

Would you give me a practical sample of how do China tries to drive this favorable light currently in media for example or literature ?

The examples would fill volumes: Amazon’s Man in the High Castle, Iron Man III, Red Dawn (where the enemy was digitally altered to remove the Chinese as the invading army in favor of the laughable invasion of North America by North Koreans), and a host of over-the-top movies and books mythologizing the CCPs role in WWII, where Mao was at times a passive and active supporter of the Japanese at various times against the fascist Kuomintang government of China under Chiang Kai Shek, the CCPs real enemy at the time. With the continued aquisition of American production and distribution (the bid for 1 Billion of Dick Clark Productions being the latest) we will see more of these in the near future. Thankfully the US government is finally beginning to take notice and the US Congress has introduced S.2692 Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016 by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio to identify and combat Chinese disinformation and propoganda tools designed to "undermine the national security of the United States and key allies and partners". "Key allies" includes South Korea and Japan.
One key example is the use of Confucius Institutes, which are essentially funnels for Beijing power to flow into the American academy and educational system as a whole. These Confucius Institutes are marketed as cash-flow enhancers for typically cash-strapped foreign language/East Asian Studies departments at American universities, for example, but as soon as the institutes become established they begin to make demands about faculty hiring and promotion, curriculum development, research parameters, and the like. They also act as espionage arms of the Beijing intelligence agencies, monitoring opinions and applying pressure—diplomatic, economic, political—to control what is said about China and who gets to say it.Then there is Global Alliance. This organization, which receives financial backing from Beijing, was behind the publication of Iris Chang’s Rape of Nanking (1997), and has also been a behind-the-scenes force in helping to mold the narrative coming out of the American academy and media. In a much more visible way, Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda, has been aggressively purchasing key Hollywood assets in a bid to establish a full pipeline of propaganda coming directly out of American movie studios. All of these pieces working in tandem creates a very powerful system of thought control.
I researched this information war issue in eleven countries. This includes the so-called “comfort women” or sex-slaves. The allegation is that Japan kidnapped 200,000 to 400,000 women as sex-slaves. I could go on for hundreds of pages with my findings. The countries I travelled to for research include China, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Philippines, Myanmar, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the United States.
What I found was astonishing. It never happened. It is a complete lie. Japanese did employ comfort women (ianfu), but the allegations of large scale kidnapping is a lie. There were scattered cases such as in Indonesia, but those were handfuls of random cases, not a system. Japan-haters will fall back and say things like, “What about Bataan”? Yes, war crimes occurred there, and our prisoners were badly abused in some cases and in other cases not, but treatment of allied prisoners was sometimes horrific. Japanese were not angels but nor were they Nazi devils. As example, Japanese saved Jews from Nazis in World War II. This is a fact, recognized and honored by Israel. War is a rough thing, and Japan was desperate, often their own troops were starving and without ammunition.
That some allegations are true does not imply that all allegations are true. As example, the famous author Laura Hillenbrand alleged that Japanese killed 5,000 Koreans on Tinian Island. This is a lie. Hillenbrand did cut and paste “journalism” and carried the lie in her bestselling book unbroken. I challenged her on it and she turtled up. Finally, I offered a $20,000 reward for anyone who could prove the claim, which would be easy to prove if true. My team dug in and found it was a complete fabrication. The $20,000 reward still stands.
Each case must be taken separately – and amazingly enough, media outlets around the world carry the allegations about sex-slavery despite no evidence whatsoever, and much counter-evidence, such as formerly secret US documents. This is total information war.
Japan is today one of the most civilized countries the world has ever seen. That did not happen overnight, and was not the result of World War II and American occupation. Japan was civilized before. China is the barbarian at the gates, while Korea is envious of Japan and desperate for constant Japanese attention. China uses this Korean tendency for their own ends. Japan just wants to be left in peace, but China and Korea will not have that. And China’s ultimate target is the United States, and that is where my interest comes in.

Is the Chinese Government trying to influence American public opinion currently to isolate Japan whose Sino–Japanese relations for centuries have tended to wars, threats and depredations?

The question itself highlights the effectiveness of Chinese propoganda. Japan has NEVER been at war with the current Chinese government (CCP) and only the government currently based in Taiwan (KMT). As mentioned earlier the CCP was all too willing under Mao at various times to support Japanese in the fight against the KMT. As Phillip K. Jowett pointed out, up to 6 million Chinese at varous times were either allied or served directly with the Japanese in what was the failed states of mainland China during the 1930s and 1940s. The only time the Japanese fought the "Chinese" if we collectively label the various nations that China claims today, was when the Mongols invaded Japan twice, in the 1890s, during the Boxer rebellion alongside the US, UK, Russia, and five other nations in the 1900s, and the 1930s. The majority of depredations against the Chinese people have been from various governments that ruled China, be they Mongol, Manchu, Han, etc.
Quite the contrary—the Japanese have historically been rather in awe of Chinese civilization and have not, as the question puts it, tended for centuries toward wars, threats, and depredations. (Japan, an island nation with approximately the natural resources of the state of Mississippi, was hardly in a position to threaten or make war upon one of the mightiest military powers of the past two millennia. It was only in the late nineteenth century, when China had grown politically moribund and militarily weak, that Japan, which was able to industrialize first, could mount a serious challenge to China’s longstanding hegemony over all of East Asia.)As historian YayamaTarō has outlined in a recent historical essay, Japan has a long tradition of reverencing China and overestimating her. The notion that Japan has been the predator of Asia for “centuries” is grossly in error.

You have spent more than a decade in more than twenty Asian countries, what is your opinion as a writer about the future geopolitical map in such a crucial area ? in your opinion would China participate to a new hypothetical Cold War between Russia and US, as Russian allied?

We have been in a Cold War with China since the 1950s, but it easy to either ignore or forget this. We still are at war with North Korea and their ally China who fought openly against the United Nations forces during the Korean war and were key in maintaining the division of the penninsula and state of perpetual conflict at the 38th parallel, and recently have been forthright in bold statements about beating the US globally. The "new/hypotetical Cold War" is very real.