- The US State Dept. on Thursday claimed China is threatening global freedoms by allegedly spending billions of dollars a year to shape perceptions of the country in a large-scale campaign of influence, censorship, and disinformation.1
- The report accuses China of spending billions of dollars to spread disinformation by acquiring stakes in foreign media through “public and non-public means,” sponsoring online influencers, and securing distribution agreements promoting unlabeled Chinese government content.2
- The State Dept. also accused China of data harvesting overseas and targeting specific individuals and organizations, citing public reports and “newly acquired government information.”3
- The report, which was produced under a congressional mandate, claims Beijing encountered “major setbacks” when targeting democratic countries due to local media and civil society pushback, but said, “unchecked, Beijing’s efforts could result in ... a sharp contraction of global freedom of expression.”3
- This report comes after officials alleged that Chinese hackers gained access to the email accounts of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and other officials this year, stealing 60K emails from the State Dept. alone.4
- Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Washington condemned the report, claiming it's a tool aimed at "smearing China's domestic and foreign policies."2
- Anti-China narrative, as provided by CNN. China is waging an information war against liberalism on the global stage. Through the use of powerful companies – such as ByteDance, which owns TikTok – the Chinese government is collecting massive amounts of personal data. As Beijing continues to influence global opinion, the US must maintain its posture as the world's leading defender of freedom and civil liberties and do what it can to counter China.
- Pro-China narrative, as provided by Global Times. The US always falsely accuses China of things it is guilty of doing. China seeks peaceful relations with the US and the West, but the US consistently has maintained an aggressive and provocative posture toward China, especially in recent years. The US is well-known for spreading disinformation, surveillance, and its psychological operations, so it’s deeply hypocritical and disingenuous for Washington to accuse Beijing of these things.