The great thing about conspiracy theories is that they blow the mist out mysteries, and enable us to bridge vast synaptic gaps in the more vacuous recesses of our mind.
A Beijing-based filmmaker recently put two and two together thus: An American military plane landed in Taiwan on Monday, and catastrophic rain landed in China on Tuesday. Therefore, Taiwan must have a secret weather weapon which can be used against the Chinese people. But the filmmaker wasn’t making a movie.
“I have just one question,” Rong Zhen posted on Chinese social media site Weibo on July 21.
“American military, what on earth did you ship to Taiwan?”
Rong tagged the United States Embassy in Beijing’s Weibo account, to make sure they got the message, and demanded, “Clarify this today or it’s a declaration of war.”
Rong then ended his message by saying that a US military plane landed in Taiwan just a day before a one in a thousand year catastrophe in China. It’s just too much of a coincidence, using an epithet roughly equivalent to “bastards” to describe the Americans.
Rong concluded his post with a shared article claiming that the united states has used weather weapons in combat banned by international treaties, and continues to develop them.
Rong’s conspiracy theory caused a chuckle among Taiwan’s Internet users, who are actually allowed to view social media in other countries, including the People’s Republic of China. Even Democratic Progressive Party legislator Wang Ding-yu shared the Weibo post to Facebook.
The story would have ended there if it weren’t for the odd path of a typhoon, and a respected Chinese academic also coming up with a US weather weapon conspiracy theory theory.
On July 20, the day the floods hit Henan province, Typhoon In-fa was heading for the northeast coast of Taiwan. Then it suddenly stopped east of the Yaeyama Islands. The tropical cyclone hovered for two days before making a sudden 90 degree turn. Then two days later, as Rong Zhen was penning his Weibo post, the storm slammed into Shanghai, China.
Now some Taiwanese were waking up to the theory. Suddenly it became clear to a perceptive few, awake, and in the know, why Taiwan had no typhoons make landfall in 2020. It was the first year a typhoon didn’t make touchdown on the island since 1964.
“But what about the drought?” a rare skeptic responded. “Surely if Taiwan or the US could control the weather…”
“Maybe the weapon was stronger than they expected,” another netizen suggested.
Internationally Renown Academic Lends Credence to US Weather Weapons theory
On July 23, just two days after Rong Zhen’s post, Professor Jin Canrong of Renmin University also posted on Weibo suggesting the the United States had used weather weapons to trigger the floods in Zhengzhou, Henan Province.
“Frequent extreme weather events: need to be vigilant against attacks by a hostile nation’s meteorological weapons” Professor Jin titled the post.
“In addition to natural disasters and man-made disasters, we also need to be alert to another possibility; that is, attacks by a hostile nation’s weather weapons,” the post read. And it was widely interpreted to allude to the United States, and the Zhejiang flood which had taken an amount of lives believed vastly under-reported by the Chinese Communist Party government at the time.
Before dear readers dismiss Professor Jin as just another fringe-theory Chinese professor like the previously reported Professor of Art History, Huang Heqing, who posits that “There were no ancient western civilizations; just modern fakes made to demean China,” rest assured that Professor Jin is a very well respected Chinese intellectual, a Chinese Communist Party insider, and a member of such international luminary organizations as the World Economic Forum.
The University Professor Jin teaches at is considered one of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic think tanks, and the author of 100 academic papers, 500 articles, and seven books has earned the honorific moniker “National Teacher of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Radio Free Asia and Epoch Times reports suggest that in posting the weather weapon warning, Jin was doing the work of the Chinese Communist Party by deflecting readers away from the “man-made” aspect of the Henan Province flooding disaster: most of the victims died in a flooded subway and flooded motorway tunnel.
The Chinese Communist Party had attempted to blame the disaster on nature, saying that it was a “one-in-100, “one-in-1,000,” or even “one-in-5,000-year” weather event. But citizens were questioning the veracity of the low number of casualties reported by official sources, and suspicious that the infrastructure projects in which the victims died were not adequately designed for natural weather events.
But if the good professor was willing to lend credence to theory, it was to be a short-term loan.
Radio Free Asia pointed out that Professor Jin’s Weibo post was not too well-received, was branded by some as anti-intellectual, and drew so much criticism that Jin distanced himself from it, denied that he’d written it, and then passed the buck to his social media management team.
The public criticism was compounded after Professor Jin’s Weibo account showed him dining with US officials and discussing Sino-US relations and “the Taiwan issue” at the United States Embassy in the evening of the same day as his weather weapon warning was posted.
Evidence for Theory Mounts
As with all popular theories, conspiratorial or not, whatever happens after the theory is established will quite simply be made fit into the framework by the believer. At the time of writing, August 5, 2021, Tropical Storm Lupit is veering around Taiwan via the coastal provinces of southern China.
Feature Picture: Cover of Smithsonian Magazine, May 28, 1954.
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