Steve Bannon – former Trump adviser and long-term rattler of sabres against China – has produced a piece of propaganda thinly disguised look at recent events at America's favourite bogeyman, Huawei.
The subtly titled Claws of the Red Dragon concerns a fictional Chinese technology firm called, wait for it, Huaxing*. Or possibly Huaxin – the promo material uses both spellings.
The blurb explains that when the CFO of a Chinese tech giant is arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the US, "THE CLAWS COME OUT IN A HEATED POLITICAL BATTLE OVER WHICH NATION WILL RULE THE 5G CYBER SPACE."
Huaxing, we are told, is "the realization of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government's global cyberspace dominance. Media coverage seems tainted with the CCP propaganda line, until an investigative reporter, Jane Li, is assigned to cover the story. As an ethic [sic] Chinese [person] living in Vancouver, she fears her family could be put at risk."
The trailer on the film's website (enter at your own risk) warns us Huaxing is "the Trojan horse" and a "cheaper" alternative to military dominance. And that oddly non-specific, threat-filled pitch, apparently, is all the dishevelled Bannon-looking editor needs to know to tell Li he thinks "she should take the lead on this 'story'," which made a few Reg hacks laugh. A window into Breitbart News Network?
Executive producer Bannon is pretty emphatic in stating that the film is about Huawei, which has always disavowed the influence of the Chinese state, claiming it would refuse to instate any backdoors should the Chinese government ask it to do so.
The ad continues: "The technological monster that the Chinese Communist Party is using to devour the United States and the rest of the world... this is true life depiction of their true evil."
The blurb continues:
Huaxing is much more than the equivalent of Apple in China. Her founder is the darling of the Chinese Communist Military with the deepest ties inside the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Funded through cash injections by CCP, Huaxing has left a global trail of death, cyber theft, espionage and cooperation with America's worst enemies, including Iran. When Huaxing hits 5G supremacy, America's military and technological supremacy will be compromised at the hands of the CCP forever.
You can watch the trailer here. The film was actually shown on the One America News Network over the weekend but we've failed to find any reviews so far – even Rotten Tomatoes has never heard of it. Maybe no one watched it. ®
* There are various real companies with these names, but clearly Bannon and pals mean Huawei.