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China’s Plan for Global Information Domination

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A detailed report by the Department of State unveils how Beijing has invested billions to create a global information environment, characterized by amplified propaganda and strategic censorship, potentially reshaping international perspectives and inducing biases favoring Beijing’s interests.

China’s Multi-faceted Approach to Information Domination

China’s endeavors to dominate the global information landscape involve a multifaceted approach designed to propagate its narratives and suppress dissenting voices, with the eventual goal of bending global perception to its advantage. The PRC’s strategy is multi-pronged, primarily focusing on five elements:

  1. Propagating Propaganda and Censorship: Efforts to leverage propaganda and curtail alternative narratives are prominent.
  2. Promotion of Digital Authoritarianism: Beijing has been actively advocating for digital authoritarianism, seeking alignment from other nations.
  3. Exploiting International Ties: Utilizing international organizations and bilateral partnerships to spread influence and tighten control.
  4. Pairing Co-optation and Pressure: Strategic use of both influence and coercion to further Beijing’s narratives and suppress counter-narratives.
  5. Control over Chinese-Language Media: Maintaining strict oversight and control over Chinese language media to ensure alignment with state narratives.

These strategies are meticulously implemented to adjust the global information environment, bending it to favor Beijing’s interests and suppressing conflicting views.

Strategic Influence Over Content and Platforms

To exercise extensive influence over content and platforms, China has been leveraging both overt and covert strategies. China Central Television, a state-run entity, has been providing free content to over 1,700 foreign news organizations, masking the origin of the content. Ingenious stratagems are also being used in countries like Thailand to circumvent laws and control popular news sites, and in Africa, the PRC’s control over digital television services is predominant.

By 2021, an extensive network of influencers was spreading PRC’s official messaging across various platforms, reaching over 11 million followers globally in numerous languages.

Suppression of Global Freedom of Expression

Beyond reshaping narratives, the PRC has been systematically constraining global freedom of expression. This includes burying unfavorable reports, employing technology companies to incorporate censorship capabilities into devices, and manipulating discussions on globally popular applications like WeChat and WeiXin.

Companies like Huawei and ByteDance are part of this extensive network, aimed at controlling digital traffic and potentially silencing critics and dissenting voices on platforms like TikTok.

Emergence of Digital Authoritarianism

The advent of digital authoritarianism is evident as the PRC exports its digital ecosystems, pushing surveillance and control globally. Beijing’s aid to foreign governments in implementing Huawei systems to intercept communications of political adversaries marks the dissemination and adoption of PRC’s information control tactics on an international scale.

International Concerns and Responses

China’s sophisticated approach, aimed at drowning out dissenting voices and amplifying pro-Beijing narratives, has faced resistance, especially from democratic countries. The influence of PRC’s propaganda and information control, to date, has had mixed results, facing pushback from local media and civil society.

However, accusations and concerns over China’s endeavors to manipulate global information continue to mount, as the country invests in advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to create engaging content that could potentially reshape global public opinion in its favor.

The People’s Republic of China’s intricate and expansive endeavor for global information domination is not merely about reshaping global narratives. It’s about the stringent control and manipulation of information flow, leading to the subordination of global interests to those of Beijing. The evolving methodologies, the rise of digital authoritarianism, and the manipulation of social media platforms mark an intensification of the global information war.

Bottom line, China is at war against the free world, but the free world does not seem to know it – and is losing.

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