Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chinese Invective on U.S. Grain Subsidy Complaint

Chinese nationalist netizens responded to a complaint about China's farm subsidies with invective about "shameless" American conspiracies.

On September 13, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced an enforcement action to challenge China's use of market price support for rice, wheat, and corn. A Chinese Commerce Ministry statement said support for agriculture is common international practice.

As of today, Chinese netizens had posted 17 uniformly caustic comments about American intentions in response to a brief article reporting the U.S. action on the web site of Global Times, a nationalist-leaning newspaper published by the Chinese government.

Here are the unvarnished opinions of Chinese observers and propagandists:
  • "Grain is the most basic need. American dogs can control China by controlling its grain more easily than by using force."
  • "China's farmers are in the weakest position. America's complaint about the State's protection price policy is disgusting in the extreme."
  • "America is like a rabid dog biting China's trade."
  • "It is well known that America's subsidies are the highest in the world. Protection price procurement of grain is the nation's main policy for maintaining grain production. America wants to shake the country's foundation."
  • "Ha, ha. America laughs at the misery of Chinese common people while not letting the Chiense government help them. Ha, ha. America is really too shameless."
  • "The American government has nothing better to do than continually looking for an excuse to suppress China. Afraid of being surpassed by China, its most insidious threat. Of course, I believe China can deal with the problem."
  • "Can't a thorough investigation of GMOs be done?"
  • "China has never had a surplus of grain production. America has always dumped wheat, corn, and soybeans. China should assess anti-dumping duties on the Americans."
  • "'No stability without an army, no security without grain.' In the struggle against American imperialism we should take up the secret weapon of our forefather Mao Zedong. With this cruel trick the Americans plan to shake our nation’s grain as the foundation of security."
  • "America is the country that stirs up the [poop] in the world!!!"
  • "Good people being bullied. Adding to crimes."
  • "American tactics are: First, use market rules to undermine the competitiveness of China’s agricultural production and allow low-priced American grain to enter the Chinese market. This takes the initiative away from China’s grain and forces China’s government to give in. Second, American grain companies seize the top position in China’s market and raise the grain price, creating social turmoil in China within 10 to 20 years, then forcing the Chinese government to obey the commands of the Americans. Third, how can we deal with the American devils’ conspiracy to change the bad situation? Already 40% of our grain seed industry market has been monopolized by American companies when we were not paying attention. Hope building a brick house is not a bad idea."
  • "Our country’s Ministry of Agriculture has a problem, American transgenic food entered China, creating low-price pressure on incentives to produce grain, shaking the foundation of the country, while transgenic grain also affects the health of Chinese people; China’s Ministry of Agriculture has been defeated by the Americans."
  • "Please don’t interfere with China’s internal affairs. Do you have time to pay attention to your Hillary’s health?"
  • "Can China slap antidumping duties on American apples? American dogs have no shame."
  • "Americans are too @#$% shameless, saying that China’s agricultural subsidies are more than America’s; they are conspirators."
  • "Does China have any actual strength? Westerners previously set up cannons on the shore to plunder Asian countries. Now without killing a single person, without firing a gun or a cannon, they make China into their source for low-price industrial raw materials and laborers, dumping high value added products this what we want China to be?"
  • "To what degree do we have to patiently appease them before we speak boldly? Who is the protectionist here? A government that can’t preserve the interests of its people must step down."
Three comments use variants of the phrase "shake the foundation of the country," which also appeared in the Ministry of Commerce's statement. This is apparently the party line. A google search for the Chinese phrase "shake the foundation of the country" (动摇国本) indicates that it previously was used mainly to comment on the effects of corruption in China. Now there is an external threat to divert attention from internal systemic weakness.

1 comment:

Godfree Roberts said...

'Now there is an external threat to divert attention from internal systemic weakness.'

Corruption? Internal systemic weakness? Hardly. It's a public nuisance, but nothing more, as survey results show: according to a recent World Values Survey,  96 percent of Chinese expressed confidence in their government, compared to only 37 percent of Americans. Likewise, 83 percent of Chinese thought their country is run for all the people, rather than for a few big interest groups, whereas only 36 percent of Americans thought the same of their country.