A darling of China’s state media, economics professor Jeffrey Sachs is also seen a ‘CCP propaganda machine’
According to the website of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Jeffrey D. Sachs is the University Professor and Director of the Center for Sustainable Development. a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, etc.
On his own website, under INTERVIEWS & MEDIA, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs proudly lists his appearances on China’s official media, including CGTN (China Global Television Network), Global Times, CCTV (China Central Television), Xinhua News Agency, etc.
To see how popular Prof. Jeffrey Sachs is in China, just do a keyword search “American Economist Jeffrey Sachs” on Baidu, China’s equivalent of Google, you will get 76 pages filled with article links. One link from 2020 will give you a taste of Jeffrey Sachs, in the form of a tweet by China’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying,
“Renowned Columbia University economist Jeffrey D. Sachs said U.S. administration’s big lie that China is the cause of America’s problems reminds one of the McCarthy era. ‘You have done enough. Have you no shame?’ Indeed, ENOUGH LIES.”
A more recent link from early October takes you to a video clip where Jeffrey Sachs said he would bet that the destruction of the Nord Stream pipeline was a U.S. action. He said those words originally in an interview on Bloomberg, which you can find in this New York Post story from Oct. 4 titled “Columbia professor Jeffrey Sachs yanked off air after accusing US of sabotaging Nord Stream pipeline.” When asked about the evidence, Sachs said U.S. helicopters were over that area, President Biden said we were going to end Nord Stream one way or another, and Secretary of State Blinken said this was also a tremendous opportunity.
What else did Jeffrey Sachs say that China’s state media enthusiastically followed, quoted, and translated?
Back in April 2021, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs along with Prof. of Law William Schabas of U.K. wrote a piece in Project Syndicate titled “The Xinjiang Genocide Allegations Are Unjustified.” They argued that claiming genocide in Xinjiang was needless escalation of U.S. rhetoric against China, that the charge was flimsy made by Mike Pompeo who had once admitted to lying by U.S. government, etc. The story was picked up by Beijing Daily, with a partial translation, with this title, “U.S. and U.K. scholars: Xinjiang ‘genocide’ allegation unjustified."
On Aug 18, CNBC carried a piece titled “U.S.-China tensions are not helping Biden in inflation fight, economist says,” and quoting more from Jeffrey Sachs, “Biden’s pretty much following the same anti-China line, almost perhaps even intensifying it relative to Trump,” and “I think that’s bad for the world for a lot of dangers. It doesn’t help the inflation side.” On Aug. 24, China Daily published its own mirror piece titled, “Insight--American economist: U.S. China tension not helping Biden curbing inflation.” It included a translation of the CNBC piece and part of a Washington Post story titled “It's time for Biden to lift Trump's China tariffs.”
In early September, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs gave a written interview to Xinhua News Agency, which published it on Sept. 5, in English and Chinese, with this title, “West's manipulation of narrative ‘extraordinary dangerous’ -- U.S. scholar.” The leading paragraph of the piece quotes Sachs, "At the core of all of this is the U.S. attempt to remain the world's hegemonic power, by augmenting military alliances around the world to contain or defeat China and Russia," and "It is a dangerous, delusional, and outmoded idea." He gave a similar interview to Democracy NOW days before as posted here titled “Jeffrey Sachs: ‘Dangerous’ U.S. Policy & ‘West’s False Narrative’ Stoking Tensions with Russia, China.”
In late September, at an Athens Democracy Forum, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs talked about different narratives in the world that had merit and should speak to each other, that the Chinese senior officials he had spoken to were the most informed professionals in the world, that a country could be democratic at home but imperialist abroad, and that the most violent country in the world since the 1950 was the United States. A video of his talk was posted on YouTube, not by the above-mentioned forum, but by Beijing Evening News.
China’s CCTV News ran a piece in late October about Sachs’ talk at the forum, with this title, “Renowned American scholar denounced Western democracy: The most violent country in the world since 1950 was the United States,” along with a screenshots of the Athens forum.
Most recently, in October, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs gave back-to-back interviews to China’s Global Times and CGTN. With the former, as posted by Global Times on Oct.21, the interview video was titled “A Decade of Inspiration: Interview with Jeffrey Sachs,” with this lead paragraph, “Interview with the director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University Jeffrey Sachs: the American foreign policy toward China is misguided and ‘a mistake.’” With the latter, as posted by CGTN on Oct. 29, the interview had this title, “Expert: It is dangerous for U.S. to raise tensions with China,” and with this quote on the top, "The U.S. is raising tensions with China. We don't need these conflicts. They're extraordinarily dangerous. We should celebrate China's accomplishments, not view them as threats."
Regular Americans may not follow Prof. Jeffrey Sachs as China’s state media does. One American, however, has been paying attention. In response to Jeffrey Sachs statement that the U.S. was responsible for the Nord Stream pipeline sabotage, Gen. Robert S. Spalding III, now senior fellow at the Hudson Institute focusing on U.S.-China relations, tweeted, “This guy is a Russian and CCP propaganda machine.”
Wen, you should seek to interview him yourself. That would be an even greater article to read!