This one was a lot of fun to make. Early on in this channel’s history I played around with scripted skits a bit more, and it was fun to get back into it. I’ve long been incredulous about the way that China-US relations are covered. US media seems utterly incapable of looking at things in their proper context. It seems obvious to me that China is heading in the wrong direction, and US media loves to document that. Where most US news sources fall short, however, is in explaining why China has turned a bit nuts. There’s a very involved history of US antagonism that led us to where we are, and China’s actions, while horrific, aren’t really an effective counter to anything we have been doing. I don’t want to excuse China’s behavior, but I don’t think we should obscure the US’s part in it.
I’ve made videos covering this material before, but I thought it might be fun to do it what I hope is a more breezy and amusing scripted format. What if we re-ran the past ten years of US China relations, but with China as the more powerful party rather than the United States? Today’s video is a thought experiment, and an experimental video as well. Let me know what you think!
Video Transcript after the jump…
Hey there. Lately the US government has been flipping out about China. There is definitely some stuff to flip out about. Backsliding to a president for life, concentration camps, the crushing of Hong Kong, it’s all ugly stuff. But while I think concern makes sense, the full blown panic we are getting out of Washington DC right now does not. To illustrate this, I thought it might be fun to do a little role reversal… Imagine If China was the more powerful country, and over the past ten years, China had done the things to the United States that we have done to them…
C- Wow it sure has been a prosperous couple decades for our two countries hasn’t it?
US- It sure has. We crushed the Soviet Union together, then we built this crazy globalized economy. Victorious capitalism and iphones It’s amazing.
C- sure is. So I think we’re going to do a Pivot to the Americas…
US- pivot to the Americas… that sounds a little ominous…
C-Oh no, it’s great, you know those policies we have been using in the Middle East since 2001, we’re going to back off of that an pivot our diplomatic and military focus to the Americas.
US- but the middle east is a smoking ruin. That doesn’t sound very good to us at all.
C- no you’ll love it. So first thing. You know how Canada works really closely with you. Well they’re going to abandon your political system in favor of ours, oh and they’re going to open up their economic system to us at every level, and maybe do a genocide that destabilizes your whole border region.
US- that is not cool man. I mean, OK. Everybody in the world seems to like your system better . And we do like trading with you, so I guess this is OK…
C-Greaaaat. So we have started selling Arms to Cuba.
US- Wait, What?
C- We are selling Arms to Cuba
US- Why? You know we invaded them a few decades back and they still resent us for that… could you maybe not sell arms to Cuba?
C-Sorry, our defense companies want us to. Also we don’t really care what you think or want or what makes you uncomfortable.
US- This is unacceptable. I am sorry China, you are forcing our hands. We are going to build some islands in the Gulf of Mexico and put military bases on them. That’ll show you..
C Seriously? Our defense companies were kind of hoping for a bigger threat we could sell to our public.
US- We are building islands in the Gulf Of Mexico and we are putting military airports on them take that China.
China- So In response to our forming deep and lasting military and economic ties with your closest neighbors… you’re going to dump some concrete on some rocks thousands upon thousands of miles from our shores. Can’t you do better than that? I mean we do have state controlled media in China who will freak out about anything our military industrial complex tells them to… but they do have a little self respect. You can’t expect them to make a crisis out of something so petty and stupid. I mean give the Chinese public some credit.
US- oh yeah, well we’re also going to start disputes with all of our neighbors about who owns Caribbean islands.
China- So you’re going to respond to our getting too close to all your neighbors… by pissing off all your neighbors? You guys aren’t very good at this geopolitics thing are you?
US- fuck you! We’re wolf warriors!
C- Fuck us? Well you know how Mexico has had a small military focused mostly on self defense for like a century now? Well we convinced them to build up their military, oh and they also renounced the pacifism they agreed to after they lost that war with you.
US- Alright now you’ve done it. I am going to South Dakota, I am going to open up some concentration camps for Native Americans, and we are going to do everything we can to wipe out their culture.
China- Jesus. That’s… that’s pretty grim. I… I don’t think that’s going to make anybody like you better man.
US- You don’t think so?
China- No man that’s really fucked up.
US- well we are still economic buddies right?
China- well actually, we had this thing called the TPP that was going to cut you out of world trade entirely, but honestly you’re so obviously useless at this geopolitics thing that we just scrapped it because our new president thought it would help him out with domestic politics.
US- Oh, well I guess we dodged a bullet there right?
China- economically yes, after four years with our new President your exports are through the roof and the trade balance is more massively in your favor than it ever has been. But our president hates you.
US- Wait, what? He’s great for us economically but he hates us?
China- Yeah we don’t get it either. He can’t pronounce your name, he’s scared off most of the alliance we built up against you, but he talks about how much he hates you in like every speech he gives.
US- Every speech?
US- you know how our pride is like really important to us right?
China- I think at this point it’s pretty clear how little we care about what you think right.
US- you know what we are going to do?
US- you really like Seattle don’t you?
China- yeah, the whole world loves doing business in Seattle! It’s an amazing place with a really sensible legal structure that makes foreign business feel safe in your insane country.
US- Well. We are going to impose some rigorous new laws on Seattle, interrupting business there for like over a year, and then we are going to arrest half of the Seattle city council. Wolf Warrior Whoo Hoo!
China- Honestly sometimes I really worry about you man.
I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. I hope it made sense. The China of today has some real issues. They have a system that’s running out of steam, and it’s going a little nuts. But I hope that this video, and the very real news stories mentioned and linked below, give you a sense of how US actions might have helped drive China a little nuts. Washington DC is telling us we need to be more aggressive against China. But we have already been doing that for like a solid decade and the results have been not great. Maybe we should aim to play a smarter game?