PLA Daily, China
Lately, the American sci-fi blockbuster “Pacific Rim” has been heating up the box office. The movie is hardly groundbreaking; it retains the same hackneyed plot of the American warrior saving the world in the face of disaster, is produced with the same computer-generated imagery and 3-D technology, and incorporates the same exaggeratedly epic scenes of which the thrills are all bark and no bite. However, the U.S. strategy toward Asia and the Pacific reflected within the movie warrants deeper contemplation.
Just as she is on the verge of being swallowed by a monster, the Japanese girl Mako is saved by an American mecha pilot. Under the tutelage of the American, she also becomes a mecha pilot, and after defeating the monsters, embraces her injured American partner and tearfully implores “don’t go,” bringing to mind the real-world alliance between the U.S. and Japan. To fight the monsters, the U.S. once again steps into the role of the Earth’s savior and world police, capitalizing on the situation to deploy multiple mecha units around the Pacific and persuade nations to expend vast sums of money on the construction of a 300-meter-high defensive wall along their coasts. After the failure of the mecha program and the subsequent loss of troops and financial support from its European allies, the U.S. then enlists the aid of several Pacific island nations.
The decisive battle to defeat the monsters once and for all is “cleverly” set in the South China Sea just outside of Hong Kong. The U.S. mecha pilot defends Hong Kong, stabilizes Asia and the Pacific, and saves humanity. The Americans apply themselves to the task of researching the monsters and saving humanity, while in Chinese Hong Kong, a booming trade emerges in food, medicine and curios made from the meat, skin, organs and bones of the otherworldly invaders. Even the roly-poly parasites taken from the carcasses of the monsters become a delicacy as the diminution and tarnishing of China’s image goes on.
Hollywood has always been America’s best propaganda mill, and its sympathy for U.S. strategy runs bone deep. Many major Hollywood productions are meticulous in their selection of material, doing their utmost to promote American values and U.S. global strategy. For example, “Ice Age” seized upon the globally contentious issue of climate change, “Die Another Day” vilified and denigrated North Korea as the “axis of evil” and “Lord of War” used the contest between the U.S. and Russia to be the world’s largest arms dealer as a backdrop. U.S. blockbusters not only siphon billions of dollars from China every year, but even more frightening is that they secretly implant Western values in the younger generation of Chinese. Just as former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton put it, “what’s most important is teaching Chinese youth to think using American values and act using American systems and rules.”*
From this, we can see that the subject matter, plot, filming locations, protagonists and other choices in “Pacific Rim” remain true to typical Hollywood style, holding a tacit synchronicity with present U.S. strategy toward Asia and the Pacific. What the monsters truly represent need not be explained.
Today, the exchanging, intermixing and clashing of all manner of ideas and cultures across the globe is becoming increasingly frequent. These battles within international thought and culture are deeply complex. Some in the West see China’s rise in power as a challenge to their values and systems, and have redoubled their efforts to permeate thought and culture in our country, sparing no expense to disseminate this “hidden propaganda.” Both officers and the rank and file must sharpen their vision, erect staunch ideological firewalls and learn to view American films from multiple perspectives. Most importantly, we must prepare in advance to overcome the gravest of potential threats, expand and deepen our military’s battle readiness, heighten our war-fighting and war-winning capabilities, and resolutely defend our national sovereignty, security and developmental interests.
*Editor’s note: While accurately translated, this quote could not be verified.