Beijing goes ballistic over G7 ‘smear’ campaign

State media ramps up the propaganda, portraying China as a victim of a ‘gang of democracies’

Insecurity runs deep inside the ruling Communist Party of China.

It dictates domestic policy and foreign affairs. So, when the Party comes under fire, the Wolf Warriors turn into bleating sheep.

In a flash, state media ramps up the propaganda, portraying one of the world’s economic and military powers as a victim of a “gang of democracies.”

Today’s outcry in Beijing could even be heard in Hiroshima, where the Group of Seven Summit agreed to “counter” China’s “malign practices” and “economic coercion” in a landmark communique at the weekend.

“This is not just a matter of brutal interference in China’s internal affairs and smearing China, but also an undisguised urge for confrontation between the camps,” state-controlled tabloid Global Times moaned.

“[This] has made the G7 one of the biggest risks faced by peace and development in the world today,” it warned in an editorial.

Measured response:

  • The G7 of advanced democracies include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • The European Union is also represented.
  • The G7 said its approach is not “designed to harm China.” [But] recognized that “economic resilience requires de-risking” or decoupling lite. 
  • The group will also “counter malign practices” and protect “advanced technologies that could threaten national security.”
  • Serious concerns were voiced “about the situation in the East and South China Seas,” and China’s military build-up in the region.
  • “We strongly oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion” in a reference to the democratic island of Taiwan.

[We will] take the steps necessary to protect ourselves.

Rishi Sunak, British Prime Minister

Hype and hysteria: Xinhua, the Party’s mouthpiece and President Xi Jinping’s favorite news agency, came out swinging. It accused the G7 of  “hyping up China threats.” 

Delve deeper: Similar comments appeared in China Daily, the country’s English-language newspaper. Headlines such as G7 have descended into puppet play dominated its coverage.

Big picture: The tone was set by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak when he described China as the “biggest challenge of our age to global security and prosperity.”

What he said in Hiroshima: “[China’s Community Party] is increasingly authoritarian at home and assertive abroad. [We will] take the steps necessary to protect ourselves.”

China Factor comment: Beijing’s reaction to the G7 Summit was predictable even if its propaganda push was puerile. Facing economic stagnation at home, the Party’s only friends abroad are autocrats looking to polish their tarnished reputations.