Sinophobia: Communist as a Pejorative

From the Red Scare of the 1920s to the McCarthyism of the 1950s to the Reagan Crusade against the Evil Empire of the 1980s, the American people have been subjected to a relentless anti-communist indoctrination. It is imbibed with their mother’s milk, pictured in their comic books, spelled out in their school books; their daily paper offers them headlines that tell them all they need to know; ministers find sermons in it, politicians are elected with it, and Reader’s Digest becomes rich on it.

— William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II – Part I, Zed Books, 1986, p 9)

On 11 June, a headline bannered: “”Disqualified Conservative leadership hopeful Brown met twice with Vancouver allies of Communist China.” Brampton mayor Patrick Brown who failed to become leader of Canada’s federal Conservative Party came under suspicion because he had met with “politically active figures in the [province of BC’s] Lower Mainland’s Chinese community.”

A question: If Brown had met with politically active figures in the Lower Mainland’s American community, would the media and security services of Canada have raised suspicions?

Many politicians of sparsely populated Canada are well known to be wary of its more populous southern neighbor. As former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau framed the US-Canada relationship: “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

People’s World did not point a finger at China. It pointed a finger elsewhere: “Canada’s new McCarthyism: Searching for foreign interference? Look to the U.S. and NATO.”

Nonetheless, anti-communism remains a virulent strain infecting the US media, its political sphere, and too many US citizens (as well as too many other western-influenced peoples).

On Face the Nation, retired lieutenant general H.R. McMaster lamented Blinken’s trip to China in June 2023: “The optics of this meeting, and I am sure that secretary Blinken is quite aware of this, is to create a perception that we’re going there [China] to pay homage to the Chinese Communist Party.”

Revealing extreme worry about wayward drifting weather balloons, a former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, warned, “The Chinese Communist balloons could be trial runs for low visibility deliver[y] of devastating EMP weapons.”

House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Michael McCaul hypothesized about a continuously heard threat: “If Communist China invaded Taiwan, …” then US troops might be sent to Taiwan.

Since Taiwan is a part of China, and since “The government of the United States of America acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China,” then one must assume that McCaul either speaks from ignorance or prejudice. Or is he, in fact, saying: “If China invades a part of itself…” that the US will inject itself into what would then be a civil war?

Representative Carlos Gimenez, spoke of the malignity of communist China: “Communist China is proactively undermining the United States across the Western Hemisphere and I urge this Administration to build a robust, comprehensive, and expedient strategy to counter the CCP’s malign influence with neighboring states.”

Gimenez is echoed by a fellow Republican, senator Rick Scott, who sought “action to push back on Communist China’s unacceptable aggression” for China allegedly setting up a “spy base” in Cuba.

Donald Trump has boasted, “I took on Communist China like no administration in history.” It didn’t help Trump get elected to a second term as president. Maybe Biden should consider that or at least those around Biden who do the considering for him.

To be sure, Sinophobia is not just a Republican condition, as is demonstrated by president Joe Biden’s calling the chairman Xi Jingping a “dictator” and instigating several provocative measures against China. Or take former president Barack Obama who pivoted the US toward East Asia, which Chi Wang, who served as an advisor on China affairs for several US presidential administrations, specified in his book’s title as: Obama’s Challenge to China. This orientation was affirmed in the Korean Journal of Defense which concluded,

Failing diplomatically, the Obama administration is rebalancing U.S. naval /air forces toward the Asia-Pacific region. This marks a shift from a diplomatic constrainment policy to a pivot strategy that is predicated on American military power.

A Business Insider headline read: “Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan criticized for ‘sinophobic’ campaign ad referencing ‘Communist China’.” In a video posted to X, Ryan says: “American can never be dependent on communist China.”

Even the insightful analyst Scott Ritter has on, at least, one occasion attached the label “communist” to China, as he did, hypothetically, in an interview with judge Andrew Napolitano: “If a situation were to happen where communist China took over Mexico …” As far as I am aware, Ritter referring to a “communist China” would likeliest be a misspeak on his part, as Ritter does not come across at all as a Sinophobe.

That the academic John Mearsheimer would refer to “communist China” is not a misspeak. (See “Realism and Restraint” in Horizons, Summer 2019: p 21) Mearsheimer asserts that China covets power. This is despite China seeking win-win peaceful relations and disavowing hegemony.

A question: Do any of these anti-communist types ever refer to Canada as “capitalist Canada” or the United States as “capitalist United States”? Does the monopoly media ever preface the name of a country as “capitalist,” as a pejorative?

China is communist. (That is the end goal. However, at this stage China states that it is in the earliest stages of socialism.) It is ruled by the Communist Party of China. So it is correct to call China communist. So what is the problem? In the western media, the term communist is treated as a pejorative, and it is used to defame the country to which the descriptor is affixed.

Author William Blum considered anti-communist sentiment to be an “insidious assault upon the intellect.” (p 9)

Pingtang Grand Bridge

Communist China has eradicated extreme poverty; has built stupendous buildings, bridges, and a high-speed rail network; developed advanced rocket technology; sent Chinese taikonauts into space; has its own space station, Tiangong, in orbit around Earth; launched a successful Mars mission on its first attempt that included the Zhurong rover on the Martian surface; it is the the only nation to manage successful landing on the far side of the moon; AI technology; remote-control robot surgery; 5G; photonic microchips; EUV lithography; electric vehicles; pharmaceuticals; renewable energy production (wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric); China is at the forefront of nuclear fusion technology; ship building; mining; defense (air, naval, radar, hypersonic weapons, etc); supercomputing; etc, etc.

China accomplished all this without demonizing other countries as a member of an evil axis; it did it without colluding with Israeli genocide against Palestinians (never mind the ludicrous disinformation alleging a genocide in Xinjiang); it did this without surrounding the nations of the world with hundreds and hundreds of military bases; it did this without weaponizing financial sanctions, which are designed to cripple other nations. China did this by pulling its people, all ethnicities, out of poverty; by prioritizing education; by focusing on development of its economy for the benefit of all its citizens — not just a few mega billionaires.

Is China perfect? No. But China is always trying to become better, and not by putting down other nations.

So, just what is so bad about being communist, anyway?

Kim Petersen is an independent writer. He can be emailed at: kimohp at Read other articles by Kim.