Complex struggle over simplified characters

Already the big intellectual guns of US imperialism—powerful professors and leading editorial writers—are being hauled out to tell us that there will not be a “new cold war” with China. Someone should have told the lackeys that their masters have actually increased the pace of the military, economic and ideological war with People’s China while they were busy pumping out their propaganda.

Military provocations are one part of the new cold war with China: antics in the South China Sea and a ramping up of the “Quad Alliance” of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. All this and much more are just rather clumsy and obvious attempts to trap China in a military-spending spiral—a ruse used against the USSR in the first cold war. After all, who was it that spent nearly $1 billion on their military while nearly 12 per cent of their population continue to live in poverty? Not the country that announced the complete eradication of extreme poverty back in February, the result of seventy years of struggle since the Chinese Revolution in 1949.

And the economic and trade war against the People’s Republic continues full blast as well. Up to now, sixty-one countries have “agreed to” (been strongarmed into) dropping the Chinese tech giant Huawei as their preferred 5G supplier. In addition to successfully cutting off Huawei from its semiconductor suppliers. And attempting to extradite the chief financial officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, from Canada on charges of “bank and wire fraud”!

And these are just a few examples. After all, US imperialism has long practice in conducting boycotts and embargoes against countries that “threaten” it with models of real democracy (i.e. socialism) and not the phoney stuff it peddles.

Viva Cuba!

On the ideological front there is also no let-up. The phoney “human rights campaign” drummed up by the far-right Christian fundamentalist Adrian Zenz and backed by a coalition of the United States, the EU, NATO, the arms industry and a plethora of right-wing and militarist think tanks continues unabated. The Hong Kong “freedom” movement sideshow (organised and financed by the United States) also continues its run.

As for social media—well, just turn off your phone if you have a low tolerance for lies and hypocrisy, because this hybrid war allows no rational discussion of China in imperialist-controlled spaces.

In fact these psy-ops even extend to Ireland. Take the Leaving Certificate examination. An exam in Chinese was introduced a few years ago, when capitalism still thought it was useful for future entrepreneurs to learn a bit of Chinese. This was also about the time when a few universities here set up “Confucius Institutes” to teach Chinese.

Now the universities and those behind the exam are being accused of being tools of the Chinese government! The issue? It seems the course designed and examined by the Department of Education makes use of the simplified Chinese characters introduced in the People’s Republic of China in order to eliminate illiteracy in a country where an estimated 85–90 per cent of the population were unable to read at the beginning of the twentieth century. (It was a success, by the way, and has been called “the greatest educational effort in human history”!)

The simplified characters are used in the People’s Republic (population 1.4 billion) as well as by Chinese populations in Malaysia and Singapore. Protesters claim that the use of simplified characters discriminates against those children with roots in Taiwan or Hong Kong (which still use the so-called traditional characters), who are not familiar with the simplified characters.

The main point of this tempest in a teacup is to extend the ideological war against China beyond the constant bombardment of anti-China news and anti-China social media to Irish social reality. And the ultimate goal is to cut off any errant independent thought in regard to the People’s Republic of China and ensure that the Irish people are marching in step to the imperialists’ anti-Chinese tune.

We who march to a different drummer will of course continue to obtain our info from untainted anti-imperialist sources and to form our own independent opinions on the People’s Republic of China.