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Wanda's Westview: China in the Western Media
2021-04-08 21:31

Last month, WandaVision came to an end. The loss of Vision overwhelmed Wanda with grief, and unleashed the chaos magic in her. Wanda created Westview and had the whole town under her spell.


In the finale, Wanda finally was able to control the chaos magic, lifted the spell off Westview, and let the town and its residents return to reality.


However, outside WandaVision there is another Westview, and that is China in Western media.


Chinese people often get confused after moving to a Western country: why can't I relate what the media say about China to the country I lived in for decades? Is this country, riddled with blames of "human rights violations", "repression" and "dangerous", the country I lived in? You may think again and again, but it still doesn't make sense.


Confused? Welcome to Westview.


The magic behind this is an ABC spell, also known as "Anything but China". The spell created an unusual bio-system in Westview. In the system, media don't need their reports to be objective or factual, they only need the stories to fit the narrative of "China the Dictatorship".


"Lifting 700 million people out of poverty", "steady employment of ethnic minorities" and "people feel safe in China", are they true? Yes they are. But they do not match the fixed image of China, so they have to be tossed away. Or maybe with couple of tweaks, like "data fraud in '700 million people lifted out of poverty'", "forced labor of ethnic minorities" and "mass surveillance on the people", voila, now we have some headlines.


As these stories pile up, some readers' views on China start to change. Kind-hearted people they are, but misinformed. Politicians are quick to spot an opportunity, and jump in this already misdirected social debate. Nothing beats an imaginary external enemy! It wouldn't hurt to throw in a couple of "China-dissing" motions, noble and fearless, and votes will come "like never seen before".


It goes on like this in Westview every day.


These forces absorb and reinforce each other, making the border of the town thicker and stronger. People outside try to shout to the town, "That's not China, just look outside!", but the border has gotten so strong that no voice can enter.


There are people in the Westview that have been to China and know about China. But they do not dare make a sound, because they know the folks chanting "freedom of expression" are the ones that police those that do not toe the "China line". Some people once tried to put up a fight, but they were ganged up on. The "Anything but China" spell is in speech, in press and in the air. Those that know China could only force a smile and murmur "freedom of expression, yeah right."


Disinformation bends public opinion, which leads to ill-advised policies, and they together drown the different voices.


Do you hear the laugh of Agatha?


Wanda eventually understood the pain of the Westview residents, and lifted her spell. Western media, what about you?


By Yan Zihao


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