The New Rules: Using China to Scare Ourselves Straight

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Judging from the accounts of virtually every pundit, the Chinese emerged as the foreign threat of choice in the just-concluded U.S. elections, with the breakthrough “Chinese Professor” ad being compared by the always-calm James Fallows to such incendiary hall-of-famers as “Daisy Girl” (1964) and “Willie Horton” (1988). I’m with Fallows: The exceedingly clever ad represents a crystallizing moment in our increasingly contentious relationship with China, elevating the Chinese far beyond Iran’s mullahs and Osama Bin Laden as the pre-eminent fear-driven threat dynamic motivating calls to get our house in order. The ad portrays a high-tech college lecture hall in Beijing, […]

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