China’s Military Says Pacific Rim Is American Propaganda

China’s Military Says Pacific Rim Is American Propaganda

Pacific Rim is doing very well in China, despite some tiny subtitle problems, proving again that the Chinese love giant robots. However, even with all the popularity, the Chinese military isn’t very happy, claiming that the movie is nothing more than propaganda to spread “American values and ideas”.

Last Friday, an article appeared in the Chinese military’s newspaper PLA Daily bashing Guillermo Del Toro’s epic monster versus robot movie. In the article, which actually should be called an opinion or editorial, the writer makes claims that the movie is nothing more than a vehicle for America’s propaganda machine.

The PLA Daily itself is the official newspaper/media outlet of the People’s Liberation Army, serving the same function as say the People’s Daily, which is the mouthpiece of the Chinese government.

The article, written by Zhang Xieli, was picked up and republished by pretty much every Chinese State media outlet including Xinhua, People’s Daily, and the Global Times. In Zhang’s article, Zhang claims that the movie and pretty much every movie out of Hollywood is a Western plot against China.

However, reading Zhang’s article, it almost feels like the PLA didn’t even watch Pacific Rim, nor did they bother to look into the backstory. At one point Zhang tries to put the bulk of the movie’s plot onto the US, effectively saying the Jaeger program, the Wall and the final assault were all orchestrated by the Americans to “save the world by playing the part of world police.” Anyone who’s watched the movie knows that this is not true.

In his article, Zhang tries to tie everything to American imperialism as well as hint at the combined US-Japan effort to keep China in line, calling Mako’s rescue by the American Jaeger a reference to “the real life US-Japan alliance.” However, he overlooks the fact that China has taken a part in the movie — albeit a very small part. He also asserts that the Pan Pacific Defence Corps is run by the Americans — It isn’t. In the related media of Pacific Rim, we learn the Marshal Pentecost is British — He is British. Also, the Pan Pacific Defence Corps is made up of people from all over the world, not just Americans.

China’s Military Says Pacific Rim Is American Propaganda

Zhang’s take on the besmirching of Hong Kong and China through Chinese people eating and making things out of Kaiju — something he calls a “mockery of China’s image and conduct” — is also, in this writer’s opinion, ill-informed. In the opening voice-over there are various scenes of other countries also doing the same thing; it just happens that the bulk of the movie happens in Hong Kong.

Most confusing of all of Zhang’s commentary on Pacific Rim and Hollywood movies is his decision to include Ice Age as an example of movies which “disseminate the US’ value system and global world strategy.” It’s unknown if he’s talking about Ice Age the animated movie starring Ray Ramano as a wooly mammoth or some other movie called “Ice Age”.

What’s most concerning about all of this is the fact that the movie has already done gang busters in China. This commentary on the movie comes rather late. On top of that, if the movie was really that subversive to China then why did they even let the movie play in the first place? Every non-China-made or non-state-sponsored movie needs Chinese government approval to screen in China.

Well, whatever. Pacific Rim‘s made over $US100 million in China. Hopefully enough for a sequel.

Source: PLA Daily via


  • You also forgot the fact that their whole plan was banking on Australians being sober enough to pilot their giant robot, the American Jaeger was really backup to the backups.

  • They are probably just annoyed that Crimson Typhoon got destroyed within a few minutes of being sent into battle.

      • so it was made of rubbish and exploded shortly after? (I haven’t watched the movie yet – waiting for bluray)

        • It’s the Worf Effect, TVtropes has an entry on it.

          When Crimson Typhoon is introduced, its impressive combat record is listed along with a description of its ace pilots […] During the Hong Kong attack, both Alpha and Crimson get to show off their skills, but are completely destroyed by the two attacking Kaiju, effectively spelling out just how dangerous they must be to eliminate such powerful Jaegers with so little effort. Gipsy Danger’s (the hero Jaeger) ability to defeat both by itself […] illustrates just how powerful it is.

    • even i was pissed that mech got smashed way too early. IT HAD 3 ARMS WITH SPINNING BLADES FOR GODS SAKE

    • I am surprised it lasted that long.

      Two pilots – one for the left hemisphere, and one for the right. Why was that so difficult for China to understand? I mean come on China!

    • I was also mad about this, the entire reason I enjoy movies about a variety of colourful characters specifically because they ALL should kick a lot of ass.

  • speaking strictly from conjecture here, but maybe a lot of the things that come out of the media in china are propaganda, then they assume that other countries do it too?

  • In china’s defence this movie is a complete work of fiction. 😀

    That being said this was a bad arse movie and pretty much every mech but the Hero one went down way too fast.

    • All good propaganda is 95% fiction and 5% designed to sway your mind. Like mixing in a bit of medicine into a dog’s food.

  • If Pacific Rim was propaganda promoting “American Values,” then I’d happily take more of it. Unlike recent ‘dark n gritty’ disaster porn, it’s an ultimately optimistic story about how people from all over the world can work together selflessly for the greater good. In giant frikkin’ robots.

    Weird Bechdel Testing aside, it’s one of the most pleasantly diverse movies I’ve seen in a while. Sure the generic handsome protagonist is a blonde American, but there’s a black British guy, a Japanese girl, a couple of ‘Australians,’ and a hodge podge of supporting characters who are never purely defined by their race. Most of the movie’s even set in Hong Kong as opposed to New York (how many times have we seen that city get destroyed?) It’s obvious these idiots never actually watched the movie but want to beat their chests regardless.

    • it’s an ultimately optimistic story about how people from all over the world can work together selflessly for the greater good. In giant frikkin’ robots.

      The propaganda is staring you right in the face and not only do you not see it you supposedly unwittingly endorse it. The last sentence being the carrot in front of the donkey.

      And to quote the article: What’s most concerning… Is, well, the article speaks for itself I am just never coming to this site ever again oh man what a piece of horse shit. This is the worst article I have ever read and I usually choose wisely i.e. skip Luke Plunkett.

      Ah I see your from the US edition Eric Jou if this article isn’t a case of why you need to seperate… Oh fuck this! ..i.

  • I think what he is doing is similar to vocal people anywhere around the world, especially politicians.

    I.e., they assume their audience won’t check the facts, or in this case their targeted audience won’t watch this movie and therefore he can get his anti-American message across without having to worry about people calling him out on falsehoods. In any case, if people do call him out, they’ll likely do so in media that his targeted audience doesn’t consume.

    Think Fox News and their audience.

  • It could be argued that a movie made by a person from a certain culture would find it impossible to not channel a certain degree of national values. Look at Chinese movies… They are no different. It’s rare to see a kung fu flick that doesn’t feature the ‘evil Japanese’.

  • You have to remember that this is the same govt. that banned time-travel movies on account of them being able to change events of the past and future… even though it’s relatively impossible to do those things.. it might just plant a seed of dissent.. *sigh*.

    They seem to forget that many of their own mythologies involve time-travel and time-travel-like mechanisms..

  • I really have to wonder if China doesn’t have some sort of variant on the story about the boy who cried wolf.

    Save your accusations for when they’re actually plausible and they might carry more weight, instead of being just another blip on the overall pattern of being a batshit-loco hyperventilating paranoid.

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