China’s weekend of soft-power fails

Asia-wide lockdown-boredom combined with anti-CCP sentiment over the weekend to create the Great #nnevvy War.

Long story short for those self-disciplined enough to spend less than five hours a day on Twitter… Following a perceived slight by a Thai showbiz couple, hyper-nationalist Chinese wumao launched a barrage of what they imagined to be hurtful insults against the Land of Smiles. Not only did Thais gracefully deflect the supposed insults in such a way as to highlight the wumaos’ own inadequacies, they attracted an online alliance of Hong Kong, Taiwanese and other free Asians in a frenzy of Mainland-propagandist-mutilation-by-memes. (For the unenlightened, pro-dem District Council member Lo Kin-hei offers a video Dummy’s Guide to Wumao and Associated Memes.)

The #nnevvy massacre seems contained within (or incomprehensible beyond) the Twitter bubble, so is unlikely to lead to shattering geopolitical shifts in the real world. But it’s a vivid illustration of how anti-CCP feeling runs across a certain pan-Asian demographic. (Also interesting for its memes-with-English lingua franca.) And of course a glorious example of Beijing’s acutely cringe-making soft-power shortcomings.

Which rather neatly brings us to other weekend excitements.

Apparently inspired by Beijing’s blame-foreigners-for-the-virus PR strategy, Guangzhou decides to round up black peopledamaging China’s friendly/’win-win’/neo-colonial African relations, not to mention the reputation of McDonalds. Followed by the inevitable ‘foreign-plot’ tantrum.

And as if that’s not enough (hey – it was a four-day weekend), Chinese diplomats are caught stooping to new depths of odiousness by pressuring officials in Germany and Wisconsin to kowtow to the Emperor as a mark of awe for the CCP’s wondrous handling of the COVID outbreak. Not so much odious, perhaps, as pitiful.

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6 Responses to China’s weekend of soft-power fails

  1. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    To my observation there is a very large ‘wumao’ community living in, and posting from Western countries: AUS/CAN/US/UK. It also seems that a lot of them are Hong Kong Civil Servant and School Teacher retirees. Not sure what drives them: Boredom, or homesickness?

  2. YTSL says:

    Back in the late 20th century, I lived in Tanzania for a couple of years. In what can seem like another lifetime (as well as century), people in Dar es Salaam were big fans of the Chinese — as they associated China with, among other things, having built the TAZARA (Tanzania-Zambia Railway). (They were also big fans of Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. I remember Jackie Chan movies being screened on long-distance buses as well as private homes luxurious enough to have a TV.)

    In recent years though, I’ve heard rumblings of the Chinese having gone in to exploit Tanzania and Africans. No longer are they seen as a third world ally but colonial-style oppressors. And super racist ones at that too. Amazing how as China “develops”, it becomes so much worse.

  3. Hong Kong Hibernian says:

    aaah…winning friends and influencing people with Emperor Xi! Whenever the facade is lifted, the ugliness overwhelms.

    The undercurrent of anti-sino sentiment is quite strong internationally, as most of us know, and it picks up velocity each and every day during the WuFlu crisis even as Taiwan (Free China) is lauded.

    Just one more example, in Portuguese, of cheena’s soft power going South (literally and figuratively):

  4. Cassowary says:

    China’s idea of soft power is like that of a school bully who throws his dad’s money around to buy popularity. He acquires a sprinkling of hangers-on and cronies but no real friends.

  5. FeiLo says:

    Cassowary: remember, this is scientific application of Russo-German theories and is guaranteed to succeed

  6. dimuendo says:


    Your comment depressing, given what happens to defeat/beat/nullify application of such theories.

    No guarantee same result, particularly current antics of one of the main nullified.

    USA and PRC very strong arguments against having a presidential lead system of government.

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