Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles The First US China Meeting Becomes a Propaganda Battlefield No use crying over spilt ramen Welcome to China Uncensored, I'm Chris Chappell. Last week, the Biden Administration had its first high level talks with the Chinese Communist Party. They did not go well. A four-minute photo shoot “ended up lasting one hour and 15 minutes due to a frothy exchange.” Frothy—good in a cappuccino, bad in diplomatic talks. We did a full rundown of the meeting on America Uncovered. I'll put a link to that episode below. But now that it's over, the Chinese Communist Party is using the meeting to attack the US. I know, surprised Pikachu face. The Editor-in-Chief of my favorite state-run media, the Global Times, tweeted this gif of the meeting. Which I can't say is entirely inaccurate. And this China Daily reporter compared the meeting to a treaty Western powers forced the Qing Dynasty to sign in 1901. That's a bit less accurate. That 1901 meeting forced China to pay for the costs of the Boxer Rebellion. The treaty is considered part of China's century of humiliation, one of the Communist Party's favorite propaganda lines—the idea that foreign powers try to humiliate China. That's why Global Times has been running with the line that the US is pushing white supremacy. Ahead of the meeting, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said they would talk to China from a position of strength. So state-run media is framing that as the same thing as the 1901 Qing Dynasty treaty. As if the US is trying to bully China. When the truth is, the Chinese Communist Party is committing genocide, and it's been waging a war against the US for decades. I talked about that in this episode about who started the New Cold War. But perhaps the Chinese Communist Party's biggest propaganda win from the meeting, involves instant noodles. See, if you're the Chinese Communist Party, you spin anything into propaganda. It's what you do. And the US China meeting was full of opportunities for that. In particular, this moment, when 70-year old Chinese Communist Party official Yang Jiechi told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that he had instant noodles for lunch. It went viral in China. “The topic was discussed on Weibo [which is Chinese social media] in multiple threads and under the hashtags 'Yang Jiechi Had Instant Noodles for Lunch' and 'The Instant Noodles Yang Jiechi Had for Lunch'. The latter received 270 million views on Weibo by Sunday evening.” The “Yang Jiechi Had Instant Noodles for Lunch” hashtag was started by Communist Party mouthpiece the People's Daily. And since the original video was pushed by state-run CGTN you know the Chinese Communist Party wants Noodle Gate to be on everyone's mind. What's the big deal about Yang Jiechi eating instant noodles? Because it's supposedly a sign of US disrespect for China. Instead of hosting a banquet to honor top Chinese officials, poor 70-year old Yang Jiechi was forced to choke down some instant noodles. According to an Associate Professor of Contemporary Chinese Studies at University of Nottingham, “It fits the narrative that the US is inhospitable & disrespectful, incapable of treating China as a power of equal standing.” That was the theme on Weibo as well. According to the blog What's on Weibo some netizens wrote, “The American etiquette is unsatisfactory.” “Let's not pay attention to food, they completely lack etiquette.” “Jeez, these Americans don't even care about food.” “It's extremely insulting.” “This is a superpower, their strategy is despicable, to send our diplomatic staff off with a bucket of noodles!” So was the Biden Administration really being disrespectful of the Chinese delegation? Well, according to George Washington University Law Professor Donald Clarke, there was no big joint banquet because of Covid safety concerns. And China had agreed to that. So why did Yang Jiechi choose to eat instant noodles instead of getting a proper meal from the hotel? Well, one reason might be that Yang was expressing how hardworking he was. He takes his job so seriously, he doesn't even take time to eat more than instant noodles. Or maybe it was planned so that the “instant noodles” comment could be overheard by Chinese state-run media. Which could then run with that and talk about how awful the US is. Yes, the US is so awful...that Yang Jiechi sent his daughter to Connecticut to attend Yale. But maybe I'm being unfair to Yang Jiechi. Maybe he just really likes instant noodles. After all, instant noodles are a really popular food for Chinese traveling abroad. In fact, Chinese leader Xi Jinping actually told Chinese tourists to stop eating so many instant noodles, because it was making China look bad. So maybe the real Noodle Gate is the fact that Yang Jiechi didn't listen to Xi Jinping. Uh oh. And now it's time for me to answer a question from a member of the China Uncensored 50 Cent Army, fans who support China Uncensored on the crowd funding website Patreon. Audun Johansen asks, “Hey, Chris. Why is the US not giving Taiwan nukes? For deterrence of course.” Well that's a very interesting question. Most people don't know this, but during the Cold War, the US actually did deploy nuclear weapons on Taiwan. It was part of the United States Taiwan Defense Command. But in 1972, the US President ordered their removal. The timing is significant because that was around the time the world gradually began to recognize the People's Republic of China as China, while Taiwan was given the shaft. Taiwan even lost its seat on the UN Security Council when it was given to the PRC. Now certainly, if Taiwan had nukes, that might be a big deterrent to a Chinese invasion, but it's always been controversial. It would be a big escalation for the US to give Taiwan nukes. And so far no US administration has wanted to irk the Chinese Communist Party that much. But even inside Taiwan, it's controversial. And not just nuclear weapons—even nuclear power. “There is already a huge movement against the use of nuclear power in Taiwan. Indeed, until the recent round of referendums, the DPP government was committed to shutting down all of Taiwan's nuclear power stations by 2025.” Hope that answers your question Audun. And thank you for watching. If you'd like me to answer your question on the show, join the China Uncensored 50 Cent army for as little as a dollar per episode on the crowd funding website Patreon. Visit patreon.com/chinauncensored for more. Once again I'm Chris Chappell, see you next time.