The People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, has hosted since March 20 a column titled "Immoral and Untrustworthy Americans," dedicated to a "comprehensive understanding of the United States and the Americans."
According to its editorial introduction, the column has a key objective — to correct the "erroneous impression among overwhelming majority of us Chinese that Americans are honest, trustworthy and virtuous people."
However, that mission statement is followed by a seemingly disingenuous disclaimer: "We don't mean to say that all Americans lack honesty and trustworthiness, devoid of morality; our goal is to present to all our readers the other side of our experiences in America in order to comprehensively know the true United States and the Americans."
The column collects and publishes examples of American society's pathology in order to expose the immorality and untrustworthiness of the American people.
It marks a departure from China's 70-year tradition of anti-American propaganda by attacking the American people as well as their government. Even at the height of Maoist anti-American hysteria, the party line was always that the U.S. government was evil but the American people were good.
The column has sparked hot debate among China's Internet users. While many echo the column, others have ridiculed it as a sign of the Chinese government's own immorality and untrustworthiness because it singles out all the negative aspects of the American people and presents them as the entirety of Americans' character.
Facing mounting ridicule in cyberspace, the People's Daily on May 25 changed the column's title to "The America You Don't Yet Know." But the negativity, or what the newspaper calls the "negative energy" of the American people, continues.
Beijing has intensified its campaign against democracy in an effort to blunt the growing popularity of the American system of the rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, and equal justice.
"To carry out constitutionalism is to jettison the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and to overthrow China's socialist government," a major article in the official Chinese Communist Party publication "The Party Construction" says in its latest issue.
SPY CAUGHT IN TIBETAN COMMUNITY
Indian police have detained a Tibetan man suspected of espionage and terrorism inside the exiled Tibetan community in northern India's Dharamshala region.
Penpa Tsering, 33, was accused by the Tibetan exiled government, officially called Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), of being a Chinese spy who was a former member of the People's Liberation Army and was sent to Dharamshala to destabilize and sabotage the government there.
A CTA spokesman said Mr. Tsering also had served as a policeman in Tibet and, after extensive training in espionage tradecraft by China's spy agency, was dispatched to Dharamshala in 2009 to infiltrate the Tibetan exiled community.
Mr. Tsering was caught after he allegedly worked on a plot to poison two Tibetan youths in the exiled community to create terror. His plot failed, and he confessed to CTA security officials that he was a spy for China and that his handler was a senior Chinese security official named Li Yuquan.
The CTA reported the incident to Indian police with authority over the Dharamshala region, who detained the suspect for further investigation.
CTA officials were alarmed by the possibility of Mr. Tsering's mission being to assassinate the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the exiled Tibetans.
• Miles Yu's column appears Fridays. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and @yu_miles.