Arlington, VA

The Chinese Party-State is engaged in a campaign to shape what global audiences read, hear, and watch about China. In doing so, Beijing uses every tool available in the media and information landscape including digital, print, and broadcast media; social media; entertainment; and information and telecommunications technology.

A new series of reports by CNA explores these efforts in the Mekong region. The series includes five reports that detail how Beijing’s campaign plays out in each Mekong country. A sixth report offers broad observations about the PRC efforts to shape the information environment across the region.

"We found evidence that China is indeed actively trying to shape the information environment throughout the Mekong Region," said report co-authors Heidi Holz and Ryan Loomis. "We identified a broad range of tactics, tools, and techniques the Chinese Party-State intentionally uses to promote a favorable image of China among audiences in the Mekong region and to discredit Beijing's detractors."

In addition to generally seeking to promote a positive, China-centric narrative in the region, the Party-State has used these tools more recently to portray China as the primary source of assistance fighting COVID-19 and the only “great power” willing and capable of helping the world fight and overcome the virus. The reports conclude with recommendations drawn from discussions with Mekong region media experts and practitioners for how the international community can counter Beijing’s media campaign in the Mekong region, including supporting digital literacy measures and funding media development projects.

The report series as well as other work by CNA on propaganda and disinformation can be found at: