Anti-Chinese Propaganda, Christian Nationalism, & the Foundations for a Right-Wing Terror Campaign

Rainer SheaUsing the USA’s rising anti-Chinese sentiment as their ideological unifier, Christian nationalists are partnering with reactionary militias and imperialist agents to build a growing fascist movement. One that, if it doesn’t fulfill its goals for regime change abroad, is still likely to carry out a successful version of its January 6th coup attempt at home.

This is the advantage that fascists have within the imperialist countries compared to in the countries the imperialists seek to dominate: a more substantial material and social base. A society that benefits from the exploitation of the Global South naturally cultivates a bigger proportion of petty bourgeois—the class that’s instrumental in bringing fascism to power. So whereas fascism so often has to be imposed upon a peripheral country by imperialist meddling, in the imperialist countries the fascist takeover comes entirely from the bourgeois “democratic” system itself. In countries like Indonesia, Argentina, and Chile, the fascists have had to have the CIA install them. In Spain, Germany, Italy, and (in terms of the 21st century) Poland, the fascists have taken over simply by climbing up the corrupt political ladder of the imperialist bourgeoisie.

These are the dynamics that today’s U.S. theocratic fascists are doing their utmost to exploit. And what gives them an extra benefit is that U.S. imperialism is rapidly declining, which makes the bourgeoisie desperate for a way to retain power and win back Washington’s waning global hegemony. It’s the Christian far-right that’s provided these solutions, or what the ruling class hopes will turn out to be the solutions.

This is shown by how for the last five years, the central figure within the bourgeois media’s anti-Chinese propaganda echo chamber has been Adrian Zenz. A German Christian fundamentalist who’s affiliated with the far-right Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, Zenz believes that the rapture is coming, and that the only way to gain God’s favor in time is by embracing physical discipline of children, rejecting LGBT rights, and blanketly denying women abortion rights. His apocalyptic Biblical doctrine goes so far as to say that capitalism’s collapse is inevitable within the next several decades (which ironically makes his views closer to reality), and that this will be the catalyst for the coming of the Antichrist and the war which ends the world. These are the types of beliefs that infamously cause millions of U.S. evangelicals to support Israel and all of its genocidal actions, just because Israel’s existence is considered integral to the fulfillment of the prophecy from the Book of Revelations.

Zenz and his camp believe they’re in a desperate war for the destruction (and in their minds therefore the redemption) of the earth. So someone like him would likely have no qualms with lying to fulfill his political goals, since he sees winning the war as essential for saving humanity. And Zenz has acted on this dangerous fanaticism by putting forth pseudo-academic reports, lacking in peer review or standard statistical scope, that make baseless claims about the events in Xinjiang. His assertions of mass sterilization, forced labor, the detention of millions, and other ethnic cleansing acts within China’s response to the threat of Uyghur terrorism are central to the U.S./NATO sphere’s official views about Xinjiang. No scrutiny whatsoever has been applied to his misleading statements throughout this propaganda campaign, because the empire needs people like him to justify its war on China. The masses are being led into sharing the fascist view towards China, which portrays China as the world’s greatest evil that must be combated like a virus.

With the pandemic disinformation campaign of the Epoch Times, the other biggest part of this movement, the fascists have been able to literalize this “virus” caricature about Chinese people and Asians in general. The paper is the propaganda outlet for Falun Gong, the religious cult that embraces evangelical-style apocalyptic ideology—and that unsurprisingly has a primary base in the imperialist geopolitical wedge province Taiwan. Throughout the pandemic, Falun Gong has been aggressively distributing its narratives about China. When Covid-19 initially exploded in the U.S., free copies of the Epoch Times’ pandemic issue were left on the doorsteps of as many Americans as possible, promoting the paper’s Big Lie: that China is to blame for every single death from the pandemic. This concept has since been utilized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which counts each Covid-19 death as being attributable to communism.

It’s through this ideological basis of Sinophobic atrocity propaganda and racist pandemic disinformation, propagated by figures who have little concern about whether they’re exacerbating the wave of anti-Asian hate crimes, that the Christian nationalists are growing their influence. We see this in groups like the Christian Defense Coalition, which the Christian rightist group Prayers and Action describes as “a national ministry committed to challenging Christians to live their faith out in the public square.” Its director, Reverend Patrick Mahoney, showed what this means when he posed with heavily armored Hong Kong “protesters” last year.

January 6th proved how irresponsible it is to give the CIA-backed rioters in Hong Kong and elsewhere perceived credibility by calling them protesters; the Capitol Hill rioters used the same tactics of violence and intimidation that the anti-communist Hong Kong radicals had recently used to terrorize their own community. As one commenter said in response to Mahoney’s photo with the rioters: “Now we understand who convert the HK talents university students to be the monsters. You are accountable for that.” They linked to a story about the “protesters” manufacturing petrol bombs, which assisted them in their campaigns to assault and terrorize mainland Chinese people and anyone else they suspected to oppose their pro-imperialist separatist agenda.

This network of regime change agitation and U.S. ultra-nationalism has a violent aspect, going beyond January 6th. Its aim is to import the right-wing terrorist tactics that the empire has used in its Hong Kong riots, and in its instigations of Uyghur separatist terrorist attacks throughout Xinjiang. The bourgeois Uyghur groups within the U.S. that Washington has been backing are leading the charge in this effort to stir up ethnic violence. Last year, members of the Uyghur American Association harassed demonstrators who were protesting against Asian hate, calling from their cars to “wipe out China” and aggressively promoting the propaganda about a Xinjiang genocide. (For context of how inappropriate this was, the demonstrations were in response to last spring’s mass shooting which targeted Asians.) The UAA is tied to Altay Defense, a rabidly Sinophobic and ultra-nationalist organization that’s training their American Uyghur nationalist members in arms.

What do they plan to do with these weapons? Since there’s no sign that more Uyghur separatist terrorist attacks are on the horizon within China following the success of the Xinjiang deradicalization program, they won’t get their desired ethnic civil war in central Eurasia. But they might one day become part of the next reactionary coup that the fascists try to carry out within U.S. borders, and that could easily be extended into a broader right-wing terror effort. Groups like the Patriot Front, with its follow-up marches on the Capitol and its promotions of crypto-Nazi ideas, are laying the groundwork for this new wave of assault. With every bit of fuel that’s added to the fire of Sinophobia and new cold war hysteria, the fascists get more likely to carry these violent aims to fruition.

Rainer Shea: Exposing the lies of capitalism and imperialism. Subscribe to his newsletter on Substack.