Is France following a deep state imperial policy against China?
Keith Lamb


Editor's note: Keith Lamb is a University of Oxford graduate with an MSc degree in Contemporary Chinese Studies. His primary research interests are China's international relations and "socialism with Chinese characteristics." The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Just when Saddam Hussein started selling oil in euros he coincidentally incurred the wrath of a U.S. invasion. Of course, when meting out this imperial punishment it could no longer be done with the old-school ideology of racial superiority. That excuse had sailed after WWII and the end of colonialism.

Instead, human rights and the bringing of liberal democratic salvation justified the destruction of Iraq (as it does for Syria and Libya). To make sure this imperial policy could be carried out a fake story that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was concocted. This trickery allowed Western powers like the UK and the U.S. to justify invading Iraq to its knees and then plunder its resources.

To its credit, France resisted these calls to invade. They knew well that deceit was at play with the WMD story. Of course, the fact that oil was being sold in euros, no doubt, incentivized France to see the imperial machination for what it was.

What about today though, when it comes to China and the exaggerated, distorted and outright lies that abound? This is especially the case with issues regarding China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region as well as the South China Sea. Will France stand against hegemonism?

The answer is clearly no. France has decided to yet again act as a former colonial power. This is evidenced by its recent sending of warships to the South China Sea to take part in exercises with Britain, Japan, and the U.S. As such, the days when these four countries worked in tandem against China by carving out the Shanghai International Settlement continues to the present.

Unlike Iraq, China is not selling its resources exclusively in euros. As such, there is no pragmatic reason for France not to band in with the imperial policy. When Western powers attempt to interfere with China's internal affairs, they also need to first convince their "democracies" that their undemocratic decisions are acting for the force of "good." Thus, in lieu of the racialized discourse, the human rights discourse is used instead which is what's brewing in Xinjiang.

Secondly, the same elites, when committing heinous acts against the global south, must ease their consciences. They will say, yes, we killed over 800,000 people in our war on terror and we reduced numerous countries to rubbles, but we did it for the good of humanity.

A child dances at the square of the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, April 4, 2019. /Xinhua

A child dances at the square of the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, April 4, 2019. /Xinhua

At least when it came to Iraq, there were voices that called out claiming the WMD were a pack of lies. In China's case, with the imperial powers acting in unity and trust lost from the WMD debacle itself, deceit and fabrications must be even more shocking.

In the case of the claims of Xinjiang's genocide and concentration camps, there can be no divergence of opinions in the Western "free press" or their academic institutions. All those who break with the party line of the deep state will be dealt with.

This is evident by the fact that the French scholar Professor Christian Meister from the University of Strasbourg was recently forced to resign after facing a siege-like onslaught from the French media and anti-China politicians.

His "crime" was that two years ago he went to Xinjiang and inspected the training centers which were established to eradicate terrorism. While there, he made positive comments about China's measures to eliminate terrorism and even said France could learn from China's methods.

In fact though, when it comes to China's battle to eradicate terrorism in Xinjiang, France does not need to copy China's policies because France originally set up "Centers for Prevention, Integration and Citizenship" to house 3,600 of the 9,300 French citizens believed to have been radicalized.

Not only was Professor Meister castigated for his positive comments on combating terrorism, he was also accused of being friendly towards China. For example, he promoted the development of academic cooperation with the University of Strasbourg. He also welcomed the Confucius Institute which teaches mandarin and Chinese culture.

When it becomes a crime to be friendly and to understand those in the global south, it is indisputable that the old imperial mindset is the current one too, characterized by zero-sum competition which leads to war. Tragically, as shown by the wave upon wave of anti-China propaganda, we in the West need more people like Professor Meister who seek to understand and engage cordially with others.

Of course, it comes down to more than just understanding China because Xinjiang is more than a misunderstanding or a difference of interpretations about human rights. At a deeper level, the deep state knows what is going on in Xinjiang. They know that the "evidence" is full of holes and has been paid for by Washington and the military-industrial-complex. Thus, they intend this to be their WMD excuse to conduct their imperial policy against China.

Ironically, history has proven that had the West even experienced a fraction of the significant terrorist attacks in Xinjiang, they would have conducted a policy of war upon the radicals. Only two years ago, the U.S. was still carrying out punishing bombings against a Chinese separatist group based in Afghanistan. Of course, the bigger irony is that Western actions in Afghanistan, which France has been part of, have also played their part in terrorist attacks in Xinjiang.

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