A hammer-and-sickle flag draped across the New York Stock Exchange over the words the “People’s Union of America” is one Chinese artist’s depiction of the world in 2098.
Posted on ArtStation, the futuristic digital illustration created by Beijing artist Fan Wennan recently became popular on Chinese social media, pointing to a rising level of nationalism in the communist country, the New York Times reported.
“America isn’t that heavenly kingdom depicted since decades ago,” said Fan. “There’s nothing special about it. If you have to say there’s anything special about it now, it’s how messed up it can be at times.”
Xi Jinping, China’s Communist Party leader, has endorsed the idea that the authoritariansim that China employs is greater than the democracies of the West, noting that China’s self-proclaimed success in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic proves the system’s superiority.
“In this fight against the pandemic, there will be victorious powers and defeated ones,” asserted Wang Xiangsui, a retired Chinese senior colonel who now teaches at a Beijing university. “We’re a victor power, while the United States is still mired and, I think, may well become a defeated power.”
China being promoted as a triumphant world power was reflected in Fan’s image of communist Manhattan. A caption accompanying the depiction portrays a tour guide discussing how Asia and Europe are the future.
“To take in the changes of history and feel the afterglow of the imperialist era,” the guide stated, “head to North America.”
The communist nation’s boosted nationalism and anti-American rhetoric comes on the heels of the contentious United States presidential election in which Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump.
Since taking office, Trump has been tough on China’s Communist Party, even recently banning U.S. investments in companies linked to the Chinese military. Biden, on the other hand, has spoken highly of Xi, who is leading a campaign of systematic torture, rape, forced labor and involuntary sterilization of China’s minority Muslim Uighurs, even joking in years past about Xi helping him win an election.
“I’ve had the great pleasure and honor of spending a fair amount of time with President Xi when President Hu and President Obama thought the two vice presidents could – should get to know one another,” said the now-President Elect. “We ended up spending about 10 days together, five in each of our countries traveling around, and you get to know someone fairly well.”
“I congratulated him on his elevation [to leader of the CCP], I asked if he could possibly help me,” Biden added to a crowd of assembled US and Chinese dignitaries.
During another interview on CNN, Biden was asked if his previous stance — that China prospering was in America’s self-interest — was naïve.
“No,” Biden said. “In the context of that, we want China to grow. We don’t want to have a war with China.”
For many in China, the pandemic, civil unrest and chaotic election in the United States is being viewed as a turning point.
“I think China has gained the psychological edge,” Li Jianqiu, a businessman and online commentator, told the New York Times in a telephone interview. “The performance of the west was completely out of my expectations and shifted my thinking even more – the facts prove that the American system really has no superiority.”
Fu Yu, another Chinese artist who has made a career out of producing contemptuous images portraying the United States as an ridiculous, blood-soaked country, recently echoed the growing feeling of Chinese nationalism standing as the antithesis to the U.S. during an online talk show.
“Chinese values and American values are totally at odds,” Fu said. “These values are in fundamental conflict.”