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Politico says 'the verdict is in' and China has won the PR war over the US because 'Chinese social media' says so

You’d think the media’s shoulders would be beyond sore, given all the water they’ve carried for China over the past couple of months. But nope. They’re still doing it, readily and willingly.


Over to you, Politico:

“The verdict is in.”

David Wertime writes:

Chinese social media is a highly imperfect lens into widespread public sentiment, full of hot tempers, trolls, and the ever-present specter of censorship, particularly given the ruling Communist Party’s power and proclivity to punish dissenting voices. It is emphatically not real life; American visitors to China generally describe encountering warmth, or at least respect, even during times of high tension between the countries.

But even though Wertime acknowledges that “Chinese social media is a highly imperfect lens into widespread public sentiment,” he’s more than happy to use it to make the United States look like the bad guy.


Wertime’s piece concludes:

If many Chinese are susceptible to triumphal propaganda, it’s partly because, for an increasingly large share of the population, nothing in their lived experience contradicts it. For all the doubt about the veracity of Chinese GDP growth numbers, the improvement in the quality of life for countless millions of Chinese citizens in recent decades is real, palpable and impressive. Younger Chinese “are accustomed to the Olympics, high-speed rail and mobile payments, and have no direct personal memories of poverty, hunger, or turmoil,” Huang says. They have been raised to believe their government can deliver the goods; now, they are being taught that America’s government cannot.

“One month ago they told me the U.S. had developed testing,” began a popular comment on Weibo, posted in early April. “One month ago, they told me the U.S. could take care of its own health; one month ago they told me the U.S. would stabilize as soon as it mobilized; one month ago they said U.S. industry was developed enough to produce the needed ventilators. Now I finally understand; it was all just talk.”


Thank you, David. You’ve been an enormous help.

Pathetic. But sadly, not unexpected.


Politico certainly isn’t trying to disabuse anyone of that notion.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional text and tweets.

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