Propaganda, poisionous fruit, and a conspiracy theory

I’m not big on conspiracy theories. I usually roll my eyes and plug my ears when people start going on about…whatever. As a writer and someone who teaches college writing, I like facts and evidence; something conspiriacy theorists usually just don’t have. But it appears that the China propaganda machine has been in over-drive this week and it has me wondering to what end. What is China up to?

As of today, it has been one week since the incident in Beijing regarding the British man who attempted to rape a local Chinese girl. And there still have been no legitimate news stories on it, no one has requested assistance from the British embassy, and the Beijing police department has had nothing more to say on the matter. At this point, I am calling BS on this incident. For the man not to be charged and since not even the foreign news sources have anything to report, there must not be anything there. The incident must have been set-up, staged, or what have you. But then the question becomes, why?

The big news story for the last couple of months in China was the ousting of party leader Bo Xilai, former mayor of Dalian and former head of the Party’s Chongqing branch. After several of the higher-up people under him fled to the American consulate, his corruption and possible role in a murder lead to his being removed from power and currently detained. But this murder he was accused of was unique – it was the murder of a British citizen. Bo’s wife, Gu Kailai, was also detained for the murder of Neil Heywood, and was the prime suspect in the actual act of killing Heywood. While the fall and detention of Bo is a common news item, the detention, investigation, and trial of Gu Kailai is not so open. Whether or not she has actually been charged or if or when there will be a trial is unknown. So, what is the connection?

My little theory is that this story about the British man in Beijing may be an attempt to discredit all British men as sex-crazed, drunken beasts. The initial reports on Heywood’s death said he died of over-consumption of alcohol. It has also been speculated that Heywood was having an affair with Gu. It could be that the video of the unnamed British tourist is meant to show a pattern of behavior of British men in order to gain sympathy for Gu. Some have speculated that Heywood was murdered because he threatened to revel Gu and Bo’s illegal financial practices. So Gu was, in a way, acting in self-defense of this laowai who was involved with her sexually and threatening her way of life. After all, in light of that video, aren’t all British men predatory of Chinese women?

So who is perpetrating this great farce? Who would benefit from disparaging all British (and possibly all foreign) men? Whether or not the Chinese government is behind the tape and the fervor it gained is not something I would go so far as to speculate. However, it is interesting that the video has not been removed. In a country where so much is censored, why is this video, which is spreading so much hate towards foreigners, being allowed to remain up? It has received over 83,000 comments and viewed 10 million times! Foreigners have been warned to stay away from bars and be careful going out at night at all. This is a pretty poor way to treat the people who inform the way China is viewed in other countries. However, not only is the video allowed to stay up, Beijing has also announced a crack-down on illegal foreigners in the city that will last through the summer. This is also only weeks after China announced it would set-up “repatriation” centers to detain illegal aliens until they can be returned to their home countries. It seems that China is, for some reason, unhappy with all the foreigners in the country and is looking for excuses to clear them out.

I do not think my theory is too farfetched. The Chinese propaganda machine is hard at work right now and Britain is not its only target. This week China has decided that Filipino fruit is dangerous, full of bugs and poisons, and is allowing palates of fruits to sit at the docks and rot as opposed to getting it to the stores where it needs to go. Now, if the fruit really is bad, then of course it shouldn’t be sold. But what is interesting is that foreign owned markets like Wal-mart and Carrefore are still selling the “contaminated” fruit. Is it because the foreign owned stores have lower safety and quality standards than Chinese stores? Or is it because America and France are not involved in a centuries old land dispute and threatening all out war with the Philippines?

Between the lack of follow-up to the Beijing case, the crackdown on illegals, the Heywood/Gu case, and the Filipino fruit, I think there is sufficent evidence that the Beijing video was a fake given to the Chinese people to create discontent around the increasing number of foreigners in China and to gain support for clearing them out. There is your food for thought for the day. Feel free to leave your comments about my theory below!