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Why has the Chinese government failed to convince the American public that China is their friend or at least not their enemy? That is a damn good question, with a surprisingly simple answer.
At present, 90% of Americans learn about China through Western media, so it’s hard for the Chinese Government to convince Americans of anything.
American media are even more tightly controlled than Chinese media and far less trustworthy, says the American Press Institute, “Just six percent of Americans say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public's view of other institutions”.
Americans don’t trust what their media tell them, but they don’t have other sources of information, either.
If the Chinese government ever convinces the American public that China is their friend, then the American public will start asking questions and that could get embarrassing for the US Government. Questions like:
Why are you taking our country in the wrong direction?
Why don’t I have a home?
Why are my kids hungry?
Why does the government spend so much and achieve so little?
Why is crime so bad when we spend four times more on police than the Chinese? (Who have a population roughly 4 times bigger?)
Why will China overtake us by 2025?
I think you will agree that they are disturbing questions and it’s probably best that people don’t ask them, in which case, it’s best that they don’t find out, which is fine, because their media certainly won’t let them.
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