China’s Communist Party-controlled media stepped up a war of words with the United States recently urging an escalation of the ongoing trade dispute into a full-scale conflict.
“China must be prepared to fight a protracted war,” states a four-minute, anti-American video posted five days ago on a Chinese video-sharing service.
“Trump’s ‘outrageous and selfish’ strategy might work for smaller countries, but it will never work for China,” the video warns. “To quote a well-written article in the Global Times: If the Americans want to fight, we will fight them until the end! And we will fight until the Pacific Ocean splits into two!” Global Times is the Communist Party of China’s nationalistic and anti-U.S. news outlet.
During the voiceover, images of cargo ships, trucks and shipping containers in China, along with high-technology facilities in China, is shown. An Apple store and a Boeing jetliner also appears in the video and American fast-food companies in China. Criticism of the United States is illustrated with images of the U.S. Capitol.
The video was posted on Watermelon Video, a short-video sharing platform that is under control of Beijing’s State Administration of Radio and Television, the propaganda control office that regulates all online and broadcast content. Anything broadcast or published to the estimated 300 million Watermelon users is therefore considered approved by senior leaders of the ruling Communist Party of China.
Broadcasts or online reports that violate official rules can result in the closing down of the outlet and the imprisonment of its editors or reporters.
The inflammatory video was produced by a militant online propaganda group called Mars Phalanx, which is known for producing radical videos.
Analysts of Chinese propaganda said the posting of the video urging conflict with the United States represents a shift in official Communist Party policy in favor of more hardline anti-U.S. policies.
The report said President Trump’s announcement of increased tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this month was an escalation of the trade dispute.
“This is an undisguised threat from a modern imperialistic country,” the video said. “Now that they can’t scare us with military forces, they resort to economic measures.”
The video said compromises and concessions “cannot win pity from the enemy, just look at the case of ZTE.”
The U.S. government imposed sanctions on the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE in 2018 for violating U.S. laws by exporting goods to Iran and North Korea.
However, the sanctions were inexplicably lifted after several months based on appeals from Chinese leaders to allow U.S. companies to sell American parts to the company.
A second Chinese telecom firm, Huawei Technologies, has been indicted for similar illegal exports to Iran.
China’s Commerce Ministry announced May 19 that China will be forced to launch countermeasures to the new U.S. tariffs.
The video said the Trump administration has launched a trade war “in the name of protecting their own intellectual property.”
“What America is doing is to protect its own competitive edge and hinder China’s progress in upgrading our industry,” the video states, adding that surrender in the competition of high-technology would prevent the next generation of Chinese to “compete and live with dignity.”
In response the video urges the Chinese government to impose sanctions on American companies doing business in China, including Boeing, Walmart, GE, Ford, McDonald’s, KFC, Apple, and U.S. airlines.
China also should sell its large holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and ban the export of rare earth metals.
Further, the video urges cutting off Chinese industries controlled by U.S. companies in China like the fast-food company Yum China and Coca-Cola that the report said were already taking more than $200 billion annual in profits from China.
According to the video, the trade war is about politics, not economic differences.
“The trade war itself is not the goal but only a means to an end,” the video says. “In essence the trade war is a competition of overall national strength between China and USA.”
The trade dispute was not launched by Trump but instead was instigated by anti-Chinese groups, the video asserts.
“We should be prepared for the expansion of the trade war because in its core, the United States is a country that admires strength,” the video said. “It is a matter of our country’s future, and China must not make any concessions. Fortune favors the bold, all imperialists are paper tigers!”
The report concluded by supporting the Chinese government’s response to the U.S. tariffs.
Guo Wengui, a dissident Chinese billionaire, said broadcast of the warlike video appears to be part of a national propaganda campaign in China by the Communist Party.
“Basically it is video meant to incite the emotions and a psychological [warfare] campaign designed to inspire people’s loyalty and foment nationalism,” Guo said in an interview.
“This is a standard ploy used by the Communist Party since Mao Zedong,” he added.
Guo said such a campaign could be used by Chinese leaders who may be creating the conditions for launching a military attack on Taiwan, conducting a further crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong or as a lead up to a clash with U.S. military forces in the disputed South China Sea.
Guo urged the White House National Security Council, Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies to closely study the video for clues to future Chinese actions.
By permitting the release of video, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders are “trying to incite people to get behind the CCP and to lay out a plan for national warfare against the U.S.,” Guo said.
“This is not a joke from the CCP because they are really embedding a kind of a message in this video to prepare to confront the U.S.,” he said.