China’s Global Disinformation Campaign
The CCP has invested billions into a disinformation campaign through which it is sowing disinformation worldwide.
From The Wall Street Jorunal. The Chinese government is pouring billions of dollars annually into a global campaign of disinformation, using investments abroad and an array of tactics to promote Beijing’s geopolitical aims and squelch criticism of its policies, according to a new State Department assessment.
Beijing’s broad-ranging efforts, the assessment said, feature online bot and troll armies, legal actions against those critical of Chinese companies and investments and content-sharing agreements with media in Latin America and Africa.
Other tactics include laundering English-language articles written by fake authors in influential local media and placing diplomatic pressure on foreign universities and newspapers that publish content deemed offensive.
China, which has a close partnership with Russia, has also used its information apparatus to reinforce the Kremlin’s narratives on the Ukraine war. …
Russia, the report said, has responded in kind by promoting Chinese propaganda related to Beijing’s claims to the democratic, self-governing island of Taiwan and other interests of the People’s Republic of China.
“Beijing has invested billions of dollars to construct an information ecosystem in which PRC propaganda and disinformation gain traction and become dominant,” said the report released Thursday by the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which was established in 2016 to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation abroad. Many of these efforts are aimed at developing nations, the report said, adding that China’s campaign, if left unchallenged, might succeed in reshaping a global information landscape, leading other governments to take decisions more closely aligned with Beijing. …
The State Department report is the latest effort to draw attention to what Western officials and cybersecurity officials have said is China’s rapidly expanding — and increasingly ambitious — global information manipulation efforts. Though sometimes unsuccessful, China is expected to continue investing more in the coming years to distort international dialogue around its priorities, including Taiwan and the South China Sea, U.S. officials have said. …
Through “flooding,” a tactic that manipulates search engine or hashtag results by coordinating large volumes of inauthentic posts, China has sought to make content that is critical of China harder to find. One flooding campaign sought to drown out efforts by foreign activists to focus on human-rights abuses in Xinjiang province by trying to “hijack” the hashtag used by the critics, the report said. …
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(Excerpt from The Wall Street Journal. Photo Credit: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
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