The United States is a failure, loser, China says, and counts the ways via American media
We already know how the Chinese government is defiant and proud about its zero-Covid policy, especially when it compares China’s case numbers and deaths with those of the United States. Chinese media, for instance, has called the U.S. the biggest failed country in fighting the pandemic, from coronavirus to monkeypox. China’s newspapers also couldn’t wait to translate a Financial Times article from early October by the U.S. national editor and columnist Edward Luce, “America is history’s most successful failing state,” along with a subtitle, “Toxic paralysis at home shows that a nation can be rich yet ungovernable.”
There are many ways the U.S. is a failure and loser, as China’s media shows its readers by pick and choose of stories from the American media.
--It is losing talents
Back in the summer, on Aug. 15, Bloomberg News had this story, “Decline in Chinese Students in the US Is a Bad Sign.” Due to both the pandemic and negative views of young Chinese towards the U.S., the article said, U.S. student visas issued to Chinese nationals in the first half of 2022 plummeted more than 50% of the pre-pandemic levels. It was not only bad news for the financially strapped American universities, it continued, but also for both countries losing a crucial bridging of the bitter relationship. Two days later, on Aug. 17, China’s Global Times picked up the Bloomberg piece in a translation with this title, “U.S. media: Number of Chinese students declining, America losing more than tuition.” It included a passage which said the interest among Chinese students in studying in the U.S. began to decline in 2017, with more students expressing interest in going to the U.K. instead.
On Sept. 22, the Wall Street Journal ran a piece with a long title “U.S.-China Tensions Fuel Outflow of Chinese Scientists From U.S. Universities; Harvard, MIT lose experienced scholars as fear of government surveillance prompts 4 in 10 to consider leaving.” It said more than 1,400 U.S.-trained Chinese scientists had dropped their U.S. academic or corporate affiliation for a Chinese one in 2021, a 22% jump from the previous year, including a winner of the Fields Medal, the highest honor in mathematics. The Journal described this as a sign of the U.S.'s fading appeal for a group that had been driving innovation. Two days later, China’s Reference News posted its full translation with this title, “With politics and race relations ever more hostile, American media: U.S. appeal to talents is decreasing.”
--It has lost the war in Ukraine
On Aug. 21, National Interest published a piece titled “No Matter Who Wins Ukraine, America Has Already Lost.” It stated, “Regardless of who wins the Ukrainian war, the United States will be the strategic loser” and “Just as President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger played the “China card” to isolate the Soviet Union during the Cold War, presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will play their cards in a bid to contain U.S. global leadership.” China’s Reference News followed it up on Aug. 26 with its abbreviated translation and almost the same title, “U.S. media: Whoever wins in Ukraine, America has already lost.”
--It is losing the fight against inflation
On Sept. 22, Fortune carried a piece titled “Billionaire investor Carl Icahn warns ‘the worst is yet to come’ for investors and compares U.S. inflation to the fall of the Roman empire.” It quoted Icahn, “We printed up too much money, and just thought the party would never end,” and now “the party’s over.” Icahn also said, “Inflation is a terrible thing. You can’t cure it,” and told Fortune that rising inflation was one of the key factors that brought down the Roman Empire. On Sept. 27, Reference News in China again posted a partial translation of the Fortune story, with a somewhat different title: “Foreign media: U.S. economic policy suffering series of mistakes, dragging down the world.”
--It has failed in its China tariff war
On Oct. 10, The Hill ran a story titled “The China tariffs have failed economically, politically and legally,” which stated that the full price of the tariffs had been paid by American wholesalers, retailers and consumers while China had simply diverted its exports to third markets. In stead of protecting American manufacturing jobs, the tariffs saw a 2% decline of those jobs. And most of all, the tariffs were hard to defend at the WTO. On Oct. 13, CCTV News responded with its own piece titled “International commentary: U.S. side should learn a lesson in ‘total failure’ of its China tariff war.” It mentioned The Hill story, quoted Department of Commerce statistics showing U.S. trade deficit with China for 2021 had increased by 14.5%, an all time high since 2018, and said with the tariff war, the U.S. had picked up a rock and dropped on its own foot.
--It is losing the battle for influence in developing countries
On Oct. 25, Newsweek published an article titled “China is Beating U.S. in the Battle for Influence Over Developing Countries.” It said data from 30 global survey projects spanning 137 countries by the Centre for the Future of Democracy of the University of Cambridge, U.K. showed that 62% of people in developing countries were now favorable towards China, while 61% saw the U.S. positively. It was the first time, Newsweek said, that China had beaten the U.S. in the ideological and political battle to win people's favor in developing countries. Next day, China’s Global Times ran a full translation of the Newsweek story, with this title, “American media: 30 global surveys show developing countries increasingly favoring China.”
--Its big tech is losing the boom
On Oct. 27, the Wall Street Journal posted this report, “Big Tech Stocks Plagued by Disappointing Earnings.” It talked about a round of disappointing tech-stock earnings, including that afternoon’s miss from Meta Platforms, having pulled down internet stocks and the Nasdaq, with Apple shares down 1.9%, and Amazon shares down 3.5%. China’s Reference News picked it up on Oct. 30 and posted its own piece titled “American media: U.S. tech boom is coming to an end,” including paragraphs of how American big tech companies were talking about cutting staff, reducing office space, and saving money, preparing for next year’s headwinds.