Chinese PLA Officer Tells Troops 'Pacific Rim' Is Hollywood Propaganda
Sci-fi epic Pacific Rim is aimed at promoting U.S. plans to dominate the Asia-Pacific region, and Chinese soldiers should be wary of American propaganda in Hollywood movies, a People's Liberation Army officer said this week.
In a bylined commentary carried by the People's Liberation Army Daily, Zhang Jieli, wrote that Hollywood movies "have always served as a propaganda machine to convey American values and their strategies in the world." He said Pacific Rim, which has grossed more than $100 million in China, failed to convey a peaceful message but instead "exported the U.S.'s rebalancing of its Asia-Pacific strategy."
The PLA is the world's largest military force, with 2.3 million troops. China's film business is the second biggest in the world, and Hollywood studios are currently trying to gain a larger foothold in the market.
Guillermo del Toro's movie centers on a multinational collaborative effort to combat giant monsters called Kaiju who rise from beneath the ocean to destroy coastal cities around the world. It is one of the best-performing Hollywood movies in China's history.
"The decisive battle against the monsters was deliberately set in the South China Sea adjacent to Hong Kong," Zhang said. Beijing has territorial disputes with most of its neighbors in the South China Sea. "The intention was to demonstrate the U.S. commitment to maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific area and saving mankind."
There has been growing tension between the world's biggest and second-biggest economies as the U.S. tries to establish its "Asian Pivot" in the region, which will see 60 percent of American naval assets moved to the Pacific by the end of the decade.
Many in China see it as a U.S. effort to dominate the region, coming just as China tries to bolster its influence in Asia and match its growing economic power with diplomatic muscle. Seeing China's rise as a challenge to their values and system, some Westerners have attempted to infiltrate the Chinese psyche, ideologically and culturally, with the help of Hollywood movies, Zhang wrote.
"Soldiers should sharpen their eyes and enforce a 'firewall' to avoid ideological erosion when watching American movies," he warned. "More importantly, they should strengthen their combat capability to safeguard national security and interests."