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Black and White and Red All Over: China’s Improving Foreign-Directed Media

Elizabeth BachmanJames Bellacqua
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Beijing views its foreign-directed media as an important tool to defend and promote China’s national security interests internationally. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) efforts to strengthen Chinese external propaganda have several implications:

  • The international information environment is a key front line in the global competition for ideas and influence between Beijing and Washington.
  • Formulating effective countermeasures against Chinese external propaganda requires an upto-date understanding of Chinese goals and shortcomings in foreign-directed media.
  • More research is required to evaluate fully how effectively Chinese external propaganda resonates among foreign audiences.

Over the last two decades, the CCP has embarked on an ambitious global effort to improve the reach and resonance of its principal media outlets aimed at foreign audiences. This effort has multiple drivers, including:

  • A Chinese perception that Beijing needs a greater international voice commensurate with the country’s growing international status.
  • The CCP’s recognition that its external propaganda efforts to date have proven largely ineffective and that further improvements are necessary to win over foreign audiences.
  • A desire to counter what Beijing views as a widespread anti-China bias in Western journalism.

The CCP’s efforts to improve its China’s foreign-directed media have three broad objectives, including:

  • Increasing the international influence of China’s principal foreign-directed media outlets to be on par with the country’s rising global status.
  • Propagating Beijing’s worldview and spreading positive images of China to foreign audiences to counter perceptions that China’s rise poses a threat to others.
  • Improving the integration of internet-based media to maximize the number of overseas users exposed to Chinese news reports.
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DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release: distribution unlimited. This work was performed under Federal Government Contract No. N00014-16-D-5003.

Details

  • Pages: 106
  • Document Number: DRM-2020-U-027331-1Rev
  • Publication Date: 8/1/2020
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