hina is evidently extremely incensed at some academic impropriety on the part of White House trade adviser Peter Navarro.
Navarro is one of the leading proponents of Donald Trump’s trade war with China. He serves as the Assistant to the President and Director of Trade Manufacturing Policy, gigs that he got by being the author of such books with shocking titles, such as:Death by China: Confronting the Dragon — A Global Call to Action,Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World, and The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought.
In these books, Navarro, who doesn’t speak Chinese and only visited the country for the first time last year, quotes an economist named Ron Vara no less than a dozen times. Vara tells Navarro things like:
- “Only the Chinese can turn a leather sofa into an acid bath, a baby crib into a lethal weapon, and a cellphone battery into heart-piercing shrapnel.”
- “[You’ve] got to be nuts to eat Chinese food.”
- “Don’t play checkers in a chess world.”
However, it was recently uncovered that there is no such person as Ron Vara. The name is an anagram for Navarro.
After being asked, Navarro fessed up to fabricating Vara, calling it an “inside joke” and claiming that he merely used the name as a “whimsical device and pen name” for opinions and entertainment, “not as a source of fact.”
However, that excuse has not been accepted by China with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accusing the United States of “spreading lies” and “propaganda” to smear China at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday:
Frankly, this case triggered strong responses and astonishment worldwide. On some level, it shows that out of personal or political hidden intentions, certain people in the US can do whatever they can think of to contain and smear China without scruple. It is absurd and extremely dangerous to make lies, spread lies and even formulate policies based on lies. Such moves will threaten and undermine normal international relations and order. Apart from that, the US will hurt its own interests in the end.
Unfortunately, however, we did hear the acknowledgment by certain person in the US that “We lied, we cheated, we stole. It is the glory of American experiment.” We did see lies are what the US used to fuel the wars in Iraq and Syria, and now they are again used on issues related to China’s Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Huawei and related 5G technologies, the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as the so-called “Chinese interference in US presidential elections” as the Russian journalist asked earlier.
It is necessary for one to set some boundaries on one’s behavior. We hope certain people in the US will return to reason as early as possible. In the meantime, we hope the international community including you, my journalist friends, will learn something from this case and carefully examine the ideas and views that certain people in the US are so desperately disseminating in their propaganda.
Hua’s reaction has certainly been much stronger than anything in the US where one of Trump’s top advisors making up a guy in a book comes off as a relatively goofy and harmless scandal. Despite Hua’s claims of a worldwide uproar, it also appears that the rest of the world hasn’t really taken any notice.
Perhaps the only stronger reaction came from Navarro’s own publisher which plans to slap warnings on all new editions of his books warning that Ron Vara is not a real person.