A Guide to Understanding ...


It’s only a matter of time.

Once President Trump tires of telling us how many jobs he’s kept in America and discovers the difficulty in building a wall that stretches 1,000 miles, he’s going to take shots at China.

Past behavior suggests that these shots will come in a different forms.

He will claim that the world economy is a zero sum game and that every RMB in the China GDP comes at the expense of a U.S. dollar.

He will criticize China for meddling in North Korea.

He will draw a line in the sand and dare American companies to manufacture goods in China.

He will to cozy up to Taiwan just to get a rise out of China.

He will insult China by claiming to be a big fan because he watches kung fu movies on late night cable.

When these actions and others take place, China will respond in kind.

This handy guide from SupChina (h/t to Will Moss who highlighted the guide on Twitter) offers help in interpreting whether the remarks come from an authoritative source, a person with no clue or someone in between.

Mouthpiece or not infographic

According to Graham Webster, who put together the guide:

“A few years ago, Alice L. Miller — a former CIA China analyst and veteran scholar of China’s elite politics — provided a vivid rundown of authoritative, quasi-authoritative, and non-authoritative Chinese media sources. It can be found, of all places, in a remarkable footnote to a paper by Michael Swaine of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Based on Miller and Swaine’s insights, Hong Kong-based designer Jason Li and I compiled this visual guide …”

What I like about the guide is it takes an incredibly complex topic — government voices in a communist country — and provides context that doesn’t require a Ph.D. in China foreign affairs to understand.

Watching the inauguration, I couldn’t get the famous Chinese curse out of my mind,

“May you live in interesting times.”


You know the world has been turned upside down when Chinese President Xi Jinping’s address at the World Economic Forum in Davos channels Abraham Lincoln: “Of the people, for the people, and by the people.”

And just to be clear and avoid this post being flagged as fake news, that photo of President Trump at the Great Wall comes compliments of Adobe Photoshop.



Leave a Reply