Pianist Lang Lang playing at the White House
Chairman Hu Jintao and the visiting Chinese delegation deliberately insulted the United States by arranging for a Chinese pianist to play a Korean War-era anti-US propaganda song in the White House.
Lang Lang the pianist says he chose it. Chairman Hu Jintao recognized it as soon as he heard it. Patriotic Chinese Internet users were delighted as soon as they saw the videos online. Early morning TV viewers in China knew it would be played an hour or two beforehand. At the White House State dinner on Jan. 19, about six minutes into his set, Lang Lang began tapping out a famous anti-American propaganda melody from the Korean War: the theme song to the movie â€œBattle on Shangganling Mountain.â€
The film depicts a group of â€œPeopleâ€™s Volunteer Armyâ€ soldiers who are first hemmed in at Shanganling (or Triangle Hill) and then, when reinforcements arrive, take up their rifles and counterattack the U.S. military â€œjackals.â€
The movie and the tune are widely known among Chinese, and the song has been a leading piece of anti-American propaganda by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for decades. CCP propaganda has always referred to the Korean War as the â€œmovement to resist America and help [North] Korea.â€ The message of the propaganda is that the United States is an enemyâ€”in fighting in the Korean War the United Statesâ€™ real goal was said to be to invade and conquer China. The victory at Triangle Hill was promoted as a victory over imperialists.
The song Lang Lang played describes how beautiful China is and then near the end has this verse, â€œWhen friends are here, there is fine wine /But if the jackal comes /What greets it is the hunting rifle.â€ The â€œjackalâ€ in the song is the United States.
Song segment from “Shang gan ling” [Battle of Triangle Hill] (1956)
Claire Berlinski has the best response:
I know, I know, this morning I was fretting about nuclear war. But after reading this, I think it’s time to just flatten China completely. …
Just flatten the whole Middle Kingdom. What do you say? So it would be the end of the world. At least we’d go down with honor.
Well, maybe Claire is being just a little extreme. But I do think a responsible American administration would make a point of teaching China a lesson by sinking the next Chinese naval vessel that decides to play war games with the US Navy, by swatting down hard immediately one of China’s naughty little surrogates in the Axis of Evil, by arranging to supply Taiwan with some extra special kind of advanced weaponry that China really really wouldn’t like, by hosting the Dalai Lama at the White House as soon as possible, and by making a seriously punitive change in the American economic relationship with China.