THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF PUBLICIZING MYTHS ABOUT THE CHINESE THREAT

Yuri MOROZOV


Yuri Morozov, Ph.D. (Military Sciences), Chief Researcher at the RAS Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Corresponding Member of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, Professor at the Academy of Military Sciences (Moscow, Russian Federation)


Introduction

The Russian and other national media have recently begun publishing stories on the rising so-called Chinese threat with increasing frequency. They focus on speculations about the further domination of the developed countries in the world economy and politics in the wake of Chinas growing might, which is arousing worries about the emergence of a direct military threat to more than just its neighboring countries.

Of course, pluralism of opinions is a good thing, but any conclusions should be based on an analysis of the circumstances and different factors, as well as on a correct assessment of the new phenomena and processes.

Unfortunately, some media are only bent on drawing attention to themselves by publishing sensational material. Moreover, spreading these myths is often deliberate and is made even worse by the fact that they are entirely unsubstantiated.

Serious experts who write for a thinking and educated auditorium are inclined to turn a blind eye to such publications and refrain from publicly criticizing them, since they do not want to arouse undeserved interest in them. But this response is not entirely justified, particularly when it affects the complicated problems of interstate cooperation. We must take into account the negative effect of false information on the formation of public opinion about particular states, which could have an impact on their interrelations.

More often than not, the authors of dubious publications use various nongovernment organizations (institutions, centers, foundations, and so on), both Russian and international, as smoke screens. Whereby, if we are to believe the reference guide Nauchnye instituty, issledovatelskie tsentry i organizatsii Rossii i stran SNG (Scientific Institutes, Research Centers, and Organizations of Russia and the CIS Countries), there are certainly plenty to choose from. They usually abound in topics that focus on the problems of interstate relations, global and regional security issues, and assessments of the military policy of various countries.

Of course, extremely serious organizations that enjoy the well-earned trust of authoritative specialists can also be found. But there are others, which, instead of presenting the substantiated results of in-depth studies, churn out a different product full of controversial, sensational, and even scandalous arguments. This is their way of proving that they are important to certain Russian and, particularly, foreign circles (for financial reasons).

Quite a number of these quasi organizations appeared in the 1990s, and their representatives have even been invited to prestigious international forums. The speeches made by such public figures often aroused bewilderment, to put it mildly, among Russian scientists, who are accustomed to..


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