Monday, October 18, 2021

CCP propaganda focused on overseas Chinese

news analysis

In a recent report on the threat to China, the French military school Strategic Research Institute (IRSEM) identified a three-pronged attack by the Chinese regime that included psychological warfare, plebiscite warfare and legal warfare. The attack is part of a massive propaganda campaign focused on foreign Chinese.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims ownership of anyone of Chinese origin, anywhere in the world, and they work hard to influence, recruit, co-opt, ostracize or silence ethnic Chinese in other countries. are working hard.

In 2017, “Xi Jinping called on overseas Chinese to ‘closely unite’ with Chinese in support of the Chinese dream.” Chinese expatriates, including Chinese nationals abroad (Huaqiao) and foreign nationals of Chinese heritage (Huarain), number about 60 million. Xi sees these people as an integral part of the “great rejuvenation” of the Chinese state and taking China to center stage in global politics.

Beijing’s foreign propaganda is largely carried out through a CCP branch called the United Front Work Department (UFWD), which often targets overseas Chinese communities. Much of the propaganda is subtle, scuttling foreign, public opinion in a direction suited to the interests of the CCP. Some of it is more obvious, influencing local politics, harming media integrity, facilitating espionage, and increasing disallowed technology transfer. UFWD also supports economic espionage and CCP influence on university campuses.

Through its propaganda programs in overseas Chinese communities, the CCP attempts to undermine social unity and increase racial tensions, increase support for the CCP, or deliberately create divisions among the Chinese diaspora. Most Chinese expatriates do not support the CCP and do not wish for China to be a pawn in the global game. But CCP propaganda serves to create a rift between the group and their local communities.

One of the subtle propaganda programs run by the CCP last year was targeting the diaspora in an online campaign linking COVID-fundamentals with anti-Asian racism. Much of the campaign focused on discrediting Chinese virologist Yan Limeng, who published a paper claiming that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese government laboratory.

One of the goals of CCP propaganda campaigns is not to convince skeptics, but to divert attention from more authoritative theories. This helped shift lab-funded theories away from the mainstream audience, bringing them into the realm of dark web conspiracy theories.

Another tactic adopted by the CCP is to twist their interpretation of news from other countries in such a way as to conclude that the CCP method is the best. In 2018, the party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily published an article praising Xi’s “systematic expansion” of the benefits of China’s party system and educating the world on building a better political system. Such remarks would usually be accompanied by reports of some sort of anarchy or political turmoil in the United States, India, or Nigeria, leading to the conclusion that democracy causes disorder, while the CCP system provides stability for citizens. Is.

The Communist Party’s line is that Western society does not want the Chinese diaspora to know that the CCP system is better able to “provide the world … a China solution … a better political system”, according to the People’s Daily. And for this reason, the West denigrates Chinese foreign media, in order to prevent the diaspora from realizing the real benefits of a one-party, totalitarian regime.

Between April and June, the hashtags #StopAsianHate and #LiMengYan were tweeted and retweeted 30,000 times by more than 6,000 suspicious accounts, all posting similar memes with English phrases. Most of these tweets were made during normal business hours, Beijing time. The campaign was identified on US social media: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, Google Groups and Medium, as well as on non-US platforms such as TikTok, VK, and a Russian amateur blog site.

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It is difficult for democratic societies to address UFWD’s actions because some programs fall under the category of freedom of expression, while others are covert acts and espionage that are difficult to trace.

The CCP and UFWD’s outside activities often violate international law, such as the kidnapping of a Swedish national Gui Minhai in Thailand and Lee Bo, a British national, in Hong Kong. Additionally, they regularly threaten ethnic Uighurs and Tibetans in exile who speak out against the regime. In other instances, the CCP was aided by foreign governments in the extradition of Taiwanese nationals suspected of fraud in Kenya, Cambodia and Spain.

The CCP funds Chinese schools abroad, as well as Confucian institutions, where party opinions are propagated and voices of protest are suppressed. A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute determined that China News Service, the second largest state-run media group, acted at the behest of the UFWD to influence the Chinese diaspora. By controlling diaspora media, funding research at think tanks, and using WeChat and other social media to censor, survey, and control discourse, UFWD facilitates espionage and unsecured technology transfer.

Yug Times Photos
A view of the Confucius Institute building on the Troy University campus on March 16, 2018 in Troy, Ala. (Kreeder13 via Wikimedia Commons)

About 70 percent of the Chinese diaspora live in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia. To win their support, Beijing offers them a variety of incentives, including money, access to education, support for their businesses, and protection of their intellectual property.

In Malaysia, where about 23 percent of the population is ethnic Chinese, CCP officials regularly visit Chinese communities, support pro-China political candidates, and attend meetings of Chinese political parties. In 2018, the Chinese ambassador endorsed the candidacy of the President of the Malaysian Sugar Association.

In the United States, several Chinese scientists have been arrested for technology theft, while thousands of other suspected cases of espionage and coercion are under investigation. In Australia, Canada, the UK, and the United States, campus organizations have been heavily infiltrated by the UFWD, spying on international students, suppressing academic freedom, and opposing the interests of the CCP. Students are being mobilized.

During the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak in China, Chinese students and the diaspora in Australia, Canada, the UK, the United States, Argentina, Japan and the Czech Republic were asked to purchase PPE and other medical supplies at local pharmacies. And send them back to China. Much of this effort was directed by the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, an agency affiliated with the UFWD.

Buying medical supplies overseas created shortages, increased demand for Chinese imports, increased prices, and ultimately benefited the CCP economically. It also puts Beijing in the position of a “philanthropic savior” by supplying much-needed medical supplies as part of its international public relations campaign.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Antonio Gracefo

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Antonio Gracefo, Ph.D. has spent over 20 years in Asia. He is a graduate of Shanghai University of Sport and has done China-MBA from Shanghai Jiaotong University. Antonio works as a professor of economics and economic analyst for China, writing for various international media. Some of his China books include “Beyond the Belt and Road: China’s Global Economic Expansion” and “A Short Course on the Chinese Economy”.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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