China has intensified its propaganda to feature militarist displays, including footage of a simulated airstrike on American territory, the New York Times reported Monday.
Propaganda from Chinese Communist Party-affiliated outlets has increasingly showcased Chinese military strength, featuring footage manipulated from Hollywood movies like The Rock and The Hurt Locker.
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"If war breaks out," one video of Chinese soldiers charging through a forest said, "this is my answer."
Another video featured a Chinese aircraft attacking Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. That video was soon removed from Chinese social media without explanation after quickly going viral. China's latest propaganda videos have been viewed millions of times.
In recent months, the growing relationship between the United States and Taiwan, which China views as its sovereign territory, has led to unprecedented Chinese propaganda efforts and military showmanship aimed at both countries. In September, China flew more than a dozen fighter jets near Taiwanese airspace during Taiwan's reception of Undersecretary of State Keith Krach.
Chinese newspapers take on a similar warlike tone. Washington is "playing with fire" by supporting Taiwan, the Global Times, China's most hawkish state-backed outlet, recently claimed. The same editorial also said Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-wen would be "wiped out" if she challenged China.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration has made brushing back Chinese aggression a key priority. In recent months, the White House has sanctioned Chinese human-rights abusers, sought new partnerships with allies in the Indo-Pacific, and strengthened ties with historic partners in Europe to meet the China challenge.
As recently as last week, Chinese media targeted the Trump administration by echoing talking points from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Last year, Biden said China was "not competition" for the United States.