A wave of boycotts against foreign companies is spreading rapidly in China. Unlike previous boycotts, this storm started with one company and spread rapidly to a large number of leading foreign companies. The origin of the storm is a statement issued a year ago. The official media took a year to make the “black material”, is it an afterthought, or is there another plan?
“While trying to make money in the Chinese market, they are attacking China with outright lies. Such an operation may be in line with this company’s brand acronym: 荒(Huang)谬(Miu)!” The same day, a wave of “boycotting H&M” was launched on the Chinese internet, where did this storm start?
H&M statement is new?
The H&M statement on Xinjiang, which was cited as the source of the storm, expressed deep concern about allegations of forced labor and discrimination against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region by citizen groups and the media, and stressed that the group would not cooperate with any garment manufacturers located in Xinjiang. It is worth noting that this statement was released on March 20, 2020.
Komsomol rolls over old scores: Xinjiang cotton doesn’t eat this!
However, the statement was released more than a year ago and the Chinese official media only took it out to reopen old scores on March 24, 2021, and it was the official Sina Weibo of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of China that first launched the offensive against H&M.
At 10:48 a.m. on March 24, 2021, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League sent out its first Weibo post, uploading a screenshot of H&M’s statement, which read, “Boycotting Xinjiang cotton while trying to make money in China? You’re delusional!” with the hashtag “#HMBangingXinjiangCotton”. However, the post did not give the date of the release of H&M’s statement.
An hour later, the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League issued another post with a picture saying that H&M had “overstepped its bounds”. 11 minutes later, it issued another picture with “Xinjiang cotton doesn’t eat this” in white letters on a red background. This picture, which has since gone viral on the Chinese Internet, follows the words of Yang Jiechi, director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, who said “Chinese people don’t eat this” during the U.S.-China meeting in Alaska.
Starting with the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League, almost all Chinese official media, including CCTV and People’s Daily, launched an all-out attack on H&M at about the same Time.
Official media timing is after the EU sanctions
Why would a statement released a year ago become “black material” in the mouth of the Chinese official media a year later? It is worth noting that on March 22, 2021, the EU announced sanctions against four Xinjiang officials and the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps over human rights issues in Xinjiang, the first time China was sanctioned since June 4. Two days apart, the Chinese official media launched an attack against H&M.
The storm, however, is spreading rapidly to more than a dozen international brands such as Nike and Adidas.
The Foreign Ministry did not respond positively to questions about the pressure
At a press conference at the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday (25), a foreign media reporter asked how China would respond to questions that it wanted to use its economic power and market access to pressure international brands to support China’s stance on border-related issues, after it suddenly took foreign companies’ statements from a year ago after they had imposed sanctions on each other with Western countries.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did not respond positively to the timing of the official media’s action, but just kept repeating the accusation that Western countries, including the United States, are making accusations against Xinjiang based on “lies” and that “anti-China forces” are following up on the speculation, which is itself It is “extremely wrong”. She came prepared with a photo of American Negroes more than 100 years ago to compare with the current color photo of Xinjiang.
This is a photo of black slaves being forced to pick in the cotton fields in the United States at that time,” Hua said. This is what I can see on the Internet, asked colleagues to help me type (print) out the scene in the cotton fields of China’s Xinjiang, more than 40 percent have been mechanized picking.”
She said that the Chinese people “have the freedom to express their own views and feelings” and do not need official “coercion”, stressing that the Chinese people do not allow some foreigners to “eat Chinese Food while smashing Chinese food. The Chinese people have not allowed some foreigners to “eat Chinese rice while smashing Chinese bowls”.
Analysis: The Chinese Communist Party is behind the operation
The Chinese foreign propaganda agencies have a “red line” on relevant political issues, and it is impossible to go against the tone of the central government. “Staging.
We can feel the different units and systems of the Communist Party of China, it is clear that the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on the international issues of the same caliber and position on China, they must find their own topics to play and make manipulation. H & M and Nike and other brands to boycott Xinjiang cotton, it has become a battlefield where they can manipulate public opinion. In addition to the diplomatic temper, other systems of the Communist Party, such as the Communist Youth League, or CCTV, they must find the battlefield of public opinion to play.”
Strengthen the “War Wolf diplomacy” next step or force companies to purchase cotton from Xinjiang
He believes that the boycott of international brands such as H&M and Nike by Chinese official media and foreign propaganda agencies is related to the failure to reach a clear consensus at the recent U.S.-China meeting, as well as the EU’s dissatisfaction with China’s counter-sanctions and the suspension of the review of the EU-China Investment Agreement. The issue of cotton and Uyghur human rights in Xinjiang has become an entry point for China to strengthen its “war wolf diplomacy”.
If China’s relations with the West are again at an impasse, Pulin believes that the Chinese Communist Party may use administrative measures and regulations to directly force companies to purchase cotton from Xinjiang, continuing the “war wolf diplomacy.
Pulin said: “This will be related to the next China how to respond to the United States and Europe’s pressure, Xinjiang cotton issue will become very sensitive. The Chinese Communist Party also knows that if forced companies to purchase cotton in Xinjiang, it will lead to more intense conflict sequelae. This time by the Chinese Communist Party named are international brands, in China have a certain market share and market, to China at present, if you want to continue to operate nationalism or ‘war wolf diplomacy’, indeed have the opportunity to force companies to purchase Xinjiang cotton, which is the Chinese Communist Party can operate leverage and leverage.
The Communist Youth League is a “boycott veteran”
Looking up the information, this is not the first time the Communist Youth League has launched a boycott. In 2017, when South Korea’s Lotte Group transferred land to the U.S. military for the deployment of the SAD missile defense system, the YCL launched a boycott of Lotte; in 2019, when Apple listed Taiwan as a country on its website, the YCL also threatened to boycott Apple. According to Pulin, most of these actions were operated by the YCL and the party media system.