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China’s Online Response to Alleged ‘State of War’ Between Texas and the U.S. Federal Government

China’s Internet Reacts to Texas and US Federal Government ‘State of War’

In the ongoing confrontation between the White House and Texas Governor Greg Abbott over immigration, a parallel discourse is unfolding in China, where influential social media posts are endorsing Texas’s right to secede from the United States.

On China’s microblogging site Weibo, accounts boasting over a million followers have been disseminating misinformation this week, asserting that Texas has entered a “state of war” with the federal government. The comment sections witnessed Chinese netizens responding with excitement and satisfaction.

American border control authorities reported that over a quarter of a million migrants attempted to enter the U.S. illegally last month alone, marking the highest number since 2000.

Abbott has labeled the situation an “invasion” and has pledged to enhance security measures following the Supreme Court’s decision allowing federal border agents to dismantle Texas’s border fortifications.

China’s Internet Reacts to Texas and US Federal Government ‘State of War’

On China’s strictly regulated social media platforms, one Weibo account with nearly 1.2 million followers intricately blended fact and fiction into a misleading narrative of the Texas border dispute, alleging that Abbott was gearing up for a war with U.S. federal authorities.

“If the U.S. really pushes Texas back, then it will be great fun,” remarked the user. “I hope both sides will not be cowardly and that they will fight to the end!”

In a subsequent post on Tuesday, the user expressed inspiration to “definitely contribute money and effort” to support the cause against what they perceive as America’s “imperialist oppression” in Texas and elsewhere in the world.

Schadenfreude was palpable in many comments under these posts, with one Chinese netizen stating, “Every day you can hear the sound of the American empire crumbling.”

Some discussions in the comment section delved into the history of Texas, highlighting its people’s well-known independent streak and the state’s perceived right to secede from the union.

“Although they [the U.S.] are in a civil war, it does not prevent their stock market from continuing to reach new highs,” observed another account.

However, other Weibo users expressed bewilderment at the limited media coverage devoted to the alleged splintering of the world’s most powerful country.

“Only a few sporadic media outlets are reporting [on Texas]. On the other hand, domestic media is overwhelmingly covering news of monkeys and cats at Yunnan Zoo,” wrote one user.

Regular Chinese internet users find it challenging to independently verify claims due to their online information environment being largely isolated from the outside world.

This phenomenon was initially noticed by Wenhao Ma, a journalist specializing in Chinese online propaganda and disinformation for the U.S. government-funded Voice of America news outlet.

On January 22, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing national border patrol agents to temporarily remove the razor wire and other barriers erected by Texas to curb immigration while its case circulates through federal courts.

Abbott has been embroiled in multiple legal battles with the U.S. Department of Justice over his state’s migrant deterrent tactics, including the use of razor wire along parts of the border and a circular saw floating barrier in the Rio Grande river.

The Biden administration has criticized these tactics as “dangerous” and “cruel.”

Attorneys general in over two dozen GOP-controlled states last week penned an open letter to U.S. President Joe Biden expressing their opposition to recent calls for the federalization of the Texas National Guard, a move backed by some Texas Democrats.

“Texas should be applauded for continuing to try to protect the border despite the federal government now, again, being able to try to destroy the barriers Texas builds,” they said, pointing out the Supreme Court had not expressly ordered Texas to act one way or another.

States including Virginia, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Arkansas have since last year sent scores of their own National Guard troops to assist Texas’s state border officials.

The Supreme Court ruling sent the case back to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where it awaits a February 7 hearing.

The decision has prompted renewed discussions of secession among American netizens, with the hashtag “Texit” trending on X (formerly Twitter), reminiscent of Brexit, the movement behind Britain’s exit from the European Union in 2020.

Dimitry Medvedev, a Vladimir Putin ally and Russia’s former president now No. 2 on its Security Council, speculated on Friday that the U.S. might be setting itself up to “fall into the abyss” of a civil war even deadlier than the conflict that left over 600,000 dead from 1861-1865.

“Under President Biden’s lawless border policies, more than 6 million illegal immigrants have crossed our southern border in just 3 years,” Abbott wrote in an open letter on January 24. “That is more than the population of 33 different states in this country.”

Abbott emphasized that he had “already declared an invasion” and invoked “Texas’s constitutional authority to defend and protect itself.”

“The Texas National Guard, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and other Texas personnel are acting on that authority, as well as state law, to secure the Texas border,” the governor said.

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