Propaganda is older than the medieval printing press, and every communications innovation increases the propagandists’ reach. Westerners most often think of propaganda coming from its two ardent twentieth-century practitioners: the German Nazis and the Soviet communists.
“So let me say here that, in front of the Chinese side, the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength,” said China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, at the now-famous showdown in Anchorage in the middle of March.
Among the container ships waiting for a berth at the port of Long Beach during the ocean-carrier traffic jam early this year were vessels of COSCO Shipping. The Chinese state-owned shipping company sails under the guidance of Captain Panda, a jolly stuffed-bear skipper decked out in crisp blue and gold nautical officer’s garb befitting the leader of one of the most powerful organizations of the Middle Kingdom.