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Seeks to reduce the world’s population by 20 percent, with the Pentagon plotting to encourage countries on China’s periphery to develop nuclear weapons to create a holocaust on China, India and other populous Asian states.

Aims to destroy China’s investment in Pakistan in its battle against the Taliban.

Secretly controls 21 of China’s 28 industries.

Manufactured the 2008 financial crisis to steal China’s and other countries’ money.

Is encouraging North Korea to develop nuclear weapons to damage China’s role in the region.

Is engaged in short- and long-term plans to foment ethnic riots against China in Tibet and western Xinjiang province.

Wants to trick Russia into launching a nuclear war against China that would destroy both countries and assure a U.S. triumph.

Wants to split up China into smaller states and create alliances with some of them.

Popular as they are, these conspiratorial theories are not accepted by everyone in China. In fact, many Internet users ridicule Col. Dai’s fantastical claims. And quite a few Chinese security analysts have privately and quietly expressed disgust and shame toward the senior colonel’s scandalous claims to foreign counterparts at international conferences.

Yet not a single serious scholar or strategist inside China’s defense establishment has been able or permitted to challenge Col. Dai’s conspiracy mania face-to-face on national TV or in mainstream media outside of the Internet.

The reason is that Col. Dai represents views that are encouraged by China’s mainstream strategic culture, which is widely viewed as conspiratorial, anti-U.S. and paranoid a culture that does not allow open debate or the free exchange of views that contradict the official party line.

For these reasons, Col. Dai Xu is not on the fringe of China’s mainstream. He is the mainstream.

• Miles Yu’s column appears Fridays. He can be reached at mmilesyu@gmail.com and @yu_miles.