The U.S. government pointed out that China is spending billions of dollars to spread fake news and greatly curtail freedom of the press around the world.
According to AFP, the U.S. State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) issued a report on the 28th (local time) criticizing, “China’s global manipulation of information is not simply a matter of public diplomacy, but a challenge to truth in the information space.”
The report pointed out that the Chinese government spends billions of dollars, or trillions of won, every year to promote positive news about the Communist Party and manipulate foreign information through propaganda, disinformation, and censorship.
It has been revealed that China spent a huge amount of money to acquire shares in foreign media companies, sponsor online influencers behind the scenes, and try to recruit foreign politicians and journalists.
For example, China is said to have hidden its sponsorship of content in East Africa, paid local newspapers for positive coverage, and attempted to secure significant control over the media in Pakistan.
At the same time, China is suppressing information or critical narratives that run counter to its claims on controversial issues such as the Taiwan issue, human rights issues in China, and China’s slowing economic growth, the U.S. State Department’s GEC pointed out.
The report also said China used the social media WeChat to spread disinformation targeting Chinese-speaking users in democratic countries, and that TikTok’s owner, China’s ByteDance, “tried to block potential Chinese critics from using its platform.” criticized.
The report predicts that if China’s attempts are left unchecked, freedom of expression will be drastically reduced worldwide due to fear of Chinese retaliation.
“When we look at the pieces of the puzzle and put them together, we see China’s breathtaking ambition to gain information supremacy in key regions of the world,” said GEC Special Envoy and Coordinator James Rubin. “Destruction will continue,” he warned.
“We do not want to witness a totalitarian combination of fact and fiction in our world,” he emphasized.
Meanwhile, the report on this day came as U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken said that China was “trying to surpass the United States militarily, economically, and diplomatically.”
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.