Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

A caricature of China

The new Cold War. USA against China
Forfatter: Jan Arild Snoen
Forlag: Dreyers forlag, (Oslo)
USA / CHINA / The elephant in space is the United States' Cold War against China. Jan Arild Snoen's China book is a political pamphlet or insult out of step with the world.


The twist begins with a little Chinastory because he says it's so important to understand China's background. Along the way, he is told that Western colonialism on Chinese territory was not so bad…

Then follow chapters that the party decides or – then a little about cultural genocide in Xinjiang and since that China's enormous development and growth is coming to an end Fordi the population of the country is getting more gray, the income gaps are huge; the education system is partly good but mostly bad; China's debt is huge; and that its large investments in infrastructure such as high-speed trains are unprofitable and open to corruption.

And there are, according to Snoen, other reasons why China will never get on the side of the United States: The new Silk Roads are imperialist and also unprofitable, a way of building an empire; Taiwan is an unresolved issue that the US / West must support; and finally, China's military will soon be as large as NATO's.

China must be boycotted

Snoen is pleased that the whole world – as he sees it – has taken a more negative attitude towards China in recent years and concludes that China is a dictatorship, a global bully state that does not deserve our respect. Rather, everything called China must be boycotted. Norway has shamefully submitted to China's dictation in the aftermath of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo.

Lack of self- and source criticism as well as one-sidedness are my diplomatic words about this book. The author, who has probably never visited China, wants the book to give understanding, convey knowledge and create change in public opinion, which he considers, is far too pro-Chinese.

That understanding dared to raise a fundamental question: How can one understand China, when one sits here in the West? But he doesn't consider that. He believes that China can be understood by exclusively using Western social concepts and norms, looking mostly at China's economic statistics and relying only on Western sources – mind you exclusively China-critical sources.

Snoen's almost hateful attitude towards China.

It is an intellectually painful challenge to read about 300 pages, where they only sources that are used are those that support Snoen's almost hateful attitude towards China. He constantly finds an article that "proves" that something positive about China is not true at all.

Contrary to what one might think from the title, the book is not about "the USA against China" – i.e. about the ongoing, intense and systematic cold war, which circles around the USA's Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex (MIMAK), has created, finances and spreads every day these years together with NATO countries plus Australia (1).

No, it is rather about China – or one cartoon of that – now manifesting itself as a world power and waging a cold, and perhaps one day hot, war against the world.

Geopolitica-China-©De Angelis Marco (Italy). See Libex.Eu
Geopolitica-China-©De Angelis Marco (Italy). See Libex.Eu

The Uighurs in Xinjiang

There is also no analysis of how our world order is involved in gigantic adjustment processes or how China and the West relate to global issues. There is only chessboard-like geopolitics with China as it independent bully variable, like the West with its solid liberal-democratic model, the rule of law, and peacefulness only reacts on. But now— now! – the West must stand up for its noble principles before it is run over by Xi Jinping's one-man party dictatorship. (Snoen did not know that the party has 95 million members!)

It is difficult to see head and tail in the book's structure, there is no progression in the argumentation, and what "we" are going to do about this monster merges completely at the end. On the other hand, it teems with postulates and self-confirmation of prejudice devoid of source criticism. A couple of examples:

It teems with postulates and self-confirmation of prejudice devoid of source criticism.

In the chapter on cultural genocide on The Uighurs in Xinjiang, Snoen only uses the most sensational sources and researchers such as Adrian Zenz, who has been pilloried to pieces by knowledgeable people and, by the way, has said himself that he has God's mandate to fight China (!) There are actually serious research reports, which the allegation of genocide – but does not deny that China has cracked down hard on terrorists among the Uyghurs (2). Snoen does not know them.

And naturally, China's own explanations are not mentioned. Bølle-China has no claim to his respect – he says explicitly – so letting the accused speak is irrelevant. Although the USA has never provided an A4 page as documentation for its accusation of genocide.

Likewise, the treatment of Taiwan extreme. There is no reference to China's position, no explanation as to why the US daily breaks the agreement between Nixon and Chou Enlai from 1972 that Taiwan belongs to China and that the US will not interfere.

No, Snoen believes that the US has the right to and – if necessary – should defend Taiwan because otherwise the US itself will lose its reputation and its allies and partners will lose confidence in the US's protection.

In short, it does not occur to Snoen that China should be seen as part of a world order in transformation and in conflict with the West and not even a US/West, which is going down. The US/NATO is the big elephant in the room, which he cannot see or hopes the reader does not see.

Doesn't Snoen with this book qualify to be invited as a scholar to a right-wing radical China-Cold War think tank in the USA?

Jan Øberg
Jan Øberg
Øberg is a Ph.D. docent, director of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, TFF, Lund, Sweden.

You may also like