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China’s ‘Soft Power’ & a Real Red Dawn

Toby Westerman
The most under-reported but potentially explosive story of 2013 is shaping up to be the rise of the “Soft Power” tactic currently being implemented by the People's Republic of China in the United States.

That is to say, China has decided its vaunted economic power is not enough. It now wants to be loved, and aims to yield the tools of public diplomacy to manipulate public opinion and present a new image abroad.

China is constructing more movie theatres

China is on course to build a record number of movie theaters this year

Because America's debt is exploding to unmanageable proportions, the United States finds itself financially dependent on China as one of its main creditors. We owe the People's Republic well over a trillion dollars and are going further into debt, but the communist ruling oligarchy in Beijing is not satisfied with having the U.S. as a virtual debtor client State. China's political leaders are also using their financial power to manipulate how Americans think - or don't think - about China. Along with computers, electronics, and house wares, a new kind of Political Correctness is also being manufactured in China.

Since the time of Lenin, communists have understood the value of mass propaganda through the entertainment industry. In the 1930s and early ‘40s, individual writers and producers in Hollywood actively towed Moscow's political line. (For instance, they were against U.S. involvement in World War II when the Soviet Union was allied with Nazi Germany, and then in favor of entering WWII when Hitler invaded the USSR).

More recently, top Hollywood figures have fawned over the tropical Gulag, that is, communist Cuba. China, however, is going beyond merely relying on sympathetic Hollywood stooges. Beijing is now a major financial partner in Hollywood, a place where money has always trumped art, let alone truth. Communist China will now take a direct hand in the manufacturing of what American audiences see.

A ‘soft face’ to keep us oblivious to danger

The communist oligarchy which controls China wants Hollywood to portray the People's Republic in a favorable light to American audiences, while rewarding the hard Left U.S. film industry with hefty profits for their cooperation.

The main goal is to desensitize the American people to Communist China's growing military power, outright aggression against its neighbors, and the continuing brutal oppression of its own people.

An image from kung fu panda

The success of Disney movie Kung Fu Panda led to a deal to develop China’s animation industry

China now has a “blue water” navy, which is capable of not only intimidating its neighbors, but eventually challenging the U.S. fleet in the Pacific. Beijing boldly claims the entire South China Sea, which puts America's allies Japan and Philippines in danger, and China's 600 missiles aimed at the free, democratic island of Taiwan is a stark warning that the People's Republic is ready to use force to bring 23 million Taiwanese under its control.

These are dangerous events that directly threaten the United States. These are also developments that China's smiling communist leaders do not want Americans to think about. Rather, we are to think of the People's Republic as a valuable business partner and graceful practitioners of Tai Chi.

The threats offered by an increasing powerful Communist China are already all but ignored by the American mass media, both on the Right as well as on the Left. Beijing's oligarchy, however, is taking no chances. Ignoring the China threat is not enough, the American people must be made to love the People's Republic and all its works.

And the new leader selected by the Communist Party is the man for the job.

Conquering Hollywood

The new General Secretary of the China's Communist Party and the man who will be China's new president, Xi Jinping, is interested in Hollywood, and Hollywood is interested in Mr. Xi. China is “keen to influence Hollywood's perception of China,” stated one overseas report. Xi visited Hollywood in February 2012 to introduce himself and his ideas to the Hollywood leaders.

Xi, Brown, and Villaraigosa in LA

Villaraigosa and Gov. Brown welcoming Xi at his arrival in Los Angeles in February 2012

This was no problem for Xi, in view of Hollywood's fondness for communist rulers.

As a result of Xi's efforts, more Hollywood films will be heading toward China, and a joint China-American film partnership is developing. The Communist Party directors will be better able to tell their story to the American people.

Chairman Mao, please be ready for your close up.

Communist China's interest in the U.S. film audience, however, did not begin with Secretary Xi's travels to tinsel town. In September of 2012, Wang Jianlin, the owner of the Dalian Wanda Group, the world's biggest owner of movie theaters, purchased the AMC theatre group, the second largest movie chain in the U.S. Wang now owns the largest chain of theaters in the world. Ironically, this writer saw the most recent version of Red Dawn in one of Mr. Wang's AMC theaters. It is no coincidence that the producers of Red Dawn changed the communist attackers from Chinese to completely improbable North Koreans for the film to be shown.

Wang is also interested in co-producing films with Hollywood, as well as buying hotels and other significant holdings in the U.S. All of these actions are examples of “Soft Power,” using economic muscle to attain Party goals of influence and prestige instead of using raw power to gain national goals.

Winning hearts and minds

The more diplomatic definition of “Soft Power” is “cultural diplomacy” to win “hearts and minds.” For example, the term was used by Reuters  to describe Mr. Wang's talks with leading Hollywood studios to co-produce films and with other magnates to buy and build hotels in major U.S. cities on a proposed $10 billion spending spree.

Jeffrey Immelt claims that communism works

Immelt: "Communist State may not be your cup of tea, but its government works"

One individual whose heart and mind has been won over by PRC “Soft Power” is none other than Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of General Electric and chairman of the President Barack Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Immelt recently praised China on CBS. “Their government works,” he stated.

Immelt demonstrates that “Soft Power” does lead to soft thinking. General Electric is making billions in China, and Immelt is profiting from how Communist China “works.” In an earlier era, other captains of industry and politicians echoed Immelt's sentiments about the effectiveness of the dictatorships in Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union. The praise ended, however, in the face of aggression and war.

Inside the velvet glove of “Soft Power” is the steel fist of growing military might. China has launched its first aircraft carrier and plans as many as five carrier task forces in the future. Advanced stealth fighters will be on the flight decks. China is also forging ahead with sophisticated cyber war techniques, powerful intercontinental missiles, and is aiming at establishing a lunar colony, possibly with Russia.

China's espionage against the United States is at Cold War levels, and Beijing, along with Moscow, is taking full advantage of Cuba's sharing of its highly effective spy operations directed against the U.S.

The rise of China's “Soft Power” must be recognized as the threat it is. Americans must demand that the mass media, especially the Conservative mass media, address the reality of the growing power of the People's Republic “Soft Power” phenomenon. Americans should contact their representatives, call talk radio programs, and insist that news outlets inform the public of the dangers China's “Soft Power” presents to the U.S.

We must counter China's “Soft Power” now, or wake to a real Red Dawn in the not too distant future.


Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted January 11, 2013

Toby Westerman publishes
International News Analysis - Today
An investigative & uncompromising weekly analysis of the world situation

Contact T. Westerman at
or P.O. BOX 5182, Rockford, ILL, 61125-0182

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