How anti-China stories are concocted (updated)

The gossip-scoop formula of a few media outlets in a small number of former colonising countries seems to have developed a fondness for anti-China stories. We know well enough at a general level that they are based on selective misinformation, but recently two clear examples of how such a process functions came to light.

The first concerns a former employee of the British Consulate in Hong Kong, who claimed to have been ‘tortured’ by ‘secret police’ (playing on an old anti-communist trope) while visiting Shenzhen. Actually, he was arrested for visiting a massage parlour and imprisoned for the standard period of time in China, before being released. You can find the story here and here, including video evidence.

The second concerns a convicted fraudster from China, who has already served time and is wanted for another fraud case. He skipped China on fake passports and turned up in Australia, where he is trying to pass himself off as a ‘spy’ who wants to ‘defect’, with inside information. Although I do not read Australian papers, you can bet that they are doing their best to tell another tall tale. You can find the whole story here, here and here.

Update: In regard to the bogus ‘spy’, who turned up in Australia recently, the spooks in that part of the world have decided that the man in question – Wang Liqiang – is at most ‘a bit player on the fringes of the espionage community’, and some have realised at last that the whole case is a ‘spy farce’.


7 thoughts on “How anti-China stories are concocted (updated)

  1. It never stops. Over here, we get lots of reports about the opulent lifestyle of the ‘Chinese Billionaires’. Hard to believe so many people think half the Chinese live in such luxury.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. Interesting difference between the two places, Pete. From what I see, the US has been working overtime to ensure the ‘five eyes’ remain fixed on China (and Russia), so they love to trot out all manner of lurid tales about ‘spying’. My understanding is that the attacks on Huawei are based on the fact that Huawei has very high standards for personal security, so no-one can use Huwei products to get information on you or any country that uses their products. Obviously, many countries in the world are keen to have Huawei involved in their future developments.

  2. Awesome post, like always, professor Roland.

    Roland, I’m brazilian, and of my comrades is planning to publish a book here in Brazil with articles from Marxists that aren’t well known here in Brazil, like you and Michael Parenti. I’d like to ask you if you allow us to translate some of your articles and publish them(we are planning to publish it next year). Also, we’d like to have 2-3 articles from you translated to portuguese. One of them, if you allow us, is going to be the “Narratives of Betrayal: A ‘Western’ Trope” which I’ve already translated it and published in my Medium (

    Also, I’d like to ask you if you could suggest any article of your own, which would be interesting to have translated into Portuguese. Our objectives when publishing this book are to spread marxism-leninism(trotskysm, unfortunately, is pretty big here in Brazil) and combat western marxism.

    And finally, a more particular question. Your book on Engels and the Foundations of Socialist Governance and the one about Socialism with Chinese Characteristics(which is going to be available next year, right?) are going to be published in English? The one about Engels will be available until the end of this year?

    Kind regards,


    1. Many thanks, Matheus! I have replied to your request via email. The Engels book will be published in Chinese next year, and as a series of articles in Turkish, so I should get onto ensuring an English version. The Socialism with Chinese Characteristics book should be finished next year, and published after that at some time.

  3. I’ve noticed that when I do Google searches for such stories, Chinese media and websites that are critical of the Western narratives are hard to find. Even when you’re deliberately searching for them, you still have to wade through 3 or more pages of Western MSM or zealous anti-China websites.

    1. Avoid Google: they are a nasty bunch and their algorithms are obviously geared to show this sort of stuff. Google have always been annoyed that China has – wisely – blocked them from operating in China since they will not follow Chinese laws (and they feed stuff to the NSA). They were one of the first to jump of Trump’s ‘entity list’ bandwagon.
      Try bing, or baidu (especially the latter – a much better search engine)

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