Chinless Wonders and Chinese Blunders



The Today programme investigated ‘Chinaphobia’(08:20) and brought us Sir Christopher Frayling, art historian, and Trannia Brannigan from the Guardian, in to enlighten us.

Frayling thinks Chinaphobia is alive and kicking and has informed all our perceptions and actions towards China and made us reach conclusions about China that are undeserved and prejudiced.

Remarkably perhaps, Trannia, from the Guardian, actually took issue with him and undermined his argument.

Personally I don’t think ‘Chinaphobia’ exists in the Public mind, certainly not an innate prejudice against Chinese people based on ridiculous caricatures such as Fu Man Chu.

People base their perceptions of China on what they know its recent history to be….Korea, Vietnam, the brutal imposition of Communism that killed millons, the constant military threats to Japan and Taiwan, never mnd the invasion and occupation of Tibet (praised by Humphrys, or was it Naughtie?, when he went there) and of course Tianamen Square…just to mention a few things.

And those perceptions don’t reflect on the Chinese people but on its government.

Seems that Frayling came up with an idea and pressed on with it regardless and now has a book to sell.

In 2012 Frayling’s attitude towards China were apparently different as the Royal College of Art was in danger of becoming a ‘Chinese finishing school’ with so many Chinese students….  How do I know that?  Because someone called Sir Christopher Frayling said a BBC programme in 2012……

If we don’t do more to encourage our young people to art and design, Frayling tells me, the RCA will find itself simply “a Chinese finishing school”. Canny Prince Albert would not have approved.


I guess ‘Chinaphobia’ is okay when your own interests are under threat.


There is a great deal of talk of ‘Chinaphobia’ on the internet but you have to ask just how much of that is driven by the Chinese government trying to undermine the perception that it has taken over the world by using cheap labour, cheap money, lax environmental controls and the exploitation of third world countries’ resources and the ‘occupation’ of many with Chinese labourers?

The Today programme didn’t delve that far though, happy to bring us the frothy and exciting, eyecatching and controversial, instead of dull old reality.



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16 Responses to Chinless Wonders and Chinese Blunders

  1. Ember2014 says:

    “Help! I’m a lefty academic and I’m running out of phobias to write about!”


    • A Teddy called Moh says:

      help I’m a lefty academic with a colleague who has a pretentious sounding name and ….


  2. Roland Deschain says:

    I reckon it’s all the stories of those Asian men up to no good that’s done it.


  3. Doublethinker says:

    The most damaging ‘phobe’ in the UK is the BBC’s rampant Anglophobia.


  4. Roderick says:

    I hate to be a pedant, but shouldn’t that be Sinophobia?


    • A Teddy called Moh says:

      now you will start him off with pendantaphobia


      • The king of Pedants says:

        I believe its pronounced Pedantophobia 😉 but you’ll have loads to write after the UKIP bashing on panorama tonight.


  5. deegee says:

    Imagine an advanced industrial economy, the 19th-largest economy in the world; a multi-party democracy with universal suffrage, ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom, and human development. Imagine that state was threatened by a neighbour with little of these freedoms. Imagine a population of a little over 23 million peaceful, hard-working Han Chinese.

    Would the BBC support that country? How much media coverage would it give?

    Not if it was the Republic of China (Taiwan). Must be Chinaphobia!

    BTW The accepted term for anti-China/Chinese sentiment is Sinophobia.


  6. amimissingsomething says:

    At the risk of seeming petty, I must confess that when I saw the name ‘Trannia’ I immediately thought, “What? Yet another box to tick?”

    Within a moment, however, I sheepishly realized my error…


    Wish I hadn”t started this now…(a la Garvy [?])


  7. Richard Pinder says:

    Well, China has positive points and negative points. The negative points are an undemocratic communist state, and the positive points are the introduction of a Positive non-interventionist or laissez-faire capitalist economic policy, the most successful economic system ever devised. It was first implemented in 1971 by John Cowperthwaite in Hong Kong, which so impressed the communist regime in China, that they went ahead and implemented it in an economic zone on the border of Hong Kong, before eventually letting it replace the communist economic model almost entirely throughout the whole country.

    Chinaphobia is a mental condition held by morons who think that carbon dioxide rules the Climate, and will replace Americaphobia amongst socialists who want some money.


    • Philip says:

      And then the BBC would be a little (gasp) ‘phobic’ if China coincidentally introduced those same changes here in benefits Britain – which would take away all their BBC state privileges and entitlements. Perhaps replaced with (cheaper popular) Channel 4 powered by a coal fired electricity generator that was a lot cheaper to run!


  8. Rufus McDufus says:

    “Trannia”??? Bwahahaha! I’m sorry to be childish but that is one of the funniest names I’ve ever heard of.


  9. Pounce says:

    It never fails to amaze me how the left always fawn over China and how according to them it can do no wrong, which is why they remain silent on:
    1) Chinas 9 dash line which at the end of the day is simple Empire building
    2) How China has occupied Tibet for over 64 years
    3) How China bullies its neighbours (This past month it invaded India)
    4) How it is raping Africa
    5) How it treats democracy in Hong Kong
    6)How it steals information and technology
    7)About how Nationalistic it is becoming
    8) How it is the biggest emitter of CO2. (Yet to disguise that fact the left quote the US as the biggest polluter by each person rather than by nation.
    9) How it doesn’t offer any Aid to anybody.
    10) How it executes….Muslims

    Funny that.


    • pah says:

      China does give aid to other countries, especially in Africa. It is not the sort of gift aid the UK wastes money on (if we give you a few million will you like us on Facebook/buy our exports) but a very positive form of aid. It is based around the simple concept of we will take as much of your raw materials as possible and in return we will build roads and railroads and ports to help get them out of the country. We will also build hospitals for any one who works for us, but not for those that don’t, and other infrastructure such as housing and schools. Oh and we will make sure your ruling elite stays rich. When we have everything we want it will all revert to you and you can do what you like with it.

      It’s very much how the British Empire worked, only much more single minded and hard hearted, and it works very well indeed.


      • DP111 says:

        Hard hearted but it works well, as it does not treat Africans as children, but as adults who must take responsibility for their actions.

        It may turn out that Chinese involvement in Africa is what will be the making of Africa.