According to a recent report, China’s communist regime has both Twitter and disinformation to disseminate publicity and disinformation to silence international accusations of persecution against Uighurs and other minorities in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Is becoming more aggressive.
The disinformation campaign was a joint effort between Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, Chinese state media, and CCP-backed online officials. report Published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on March 30th.
The CCP is slaughtering Uighurs in the westernmost part of China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, exposing Uighurs to forced sterilization, forced abortion, torture, forced labor, and the removal of children from their families. In addition, the Communist regime detained more than one million Uighurs in camps.
Beijing has defended these camps as “vocational training centers”. At a daily briefing on March 31, Hua Chunying, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, defended genocide as a “complaint.” [that] It abuses China’s national policy and the development and progress of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. “
CCP officials and Chinese state media can openly disseminate messages on Facebook and Twitter, but both regular Chinese are banned by the administration and therefore have no access to the platform.
Facebook and Twitter
According to the report, Chinese diplomats and state media accounts mentioned the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region less than 250 times a month on Facebook and Twitter by 2019. Since then, the number of references has grown exponentially on both platforms, exceeding 750 each in the months of 2020. ..
This report analyzed 272,875 Facebook public posts and 958,416 Twitter tweets from January 1, 2014 to February 1, 2021. Bass ByteDance.
Beijing has been more successful on Facebook than on Twitter. According to the report, China’s state media Facebook accounts, such as CCTV’s international divisions CGTN, China Daily, Global Times and People’s Daily, are consistent with the top 10 most highly rated accounts posted by the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Was included. From 2018 to 2020.
According to the report, CGTN’s Facebook posts on the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2020 totaled more than 5.78 million, up from about 2.9 million in 2019 and 414,067 in 2018.
The People’s Daily showed a similar trend. According to the report, all Facebook posts about Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in 2018 received a total of 183,040 likes. However, it exceeded 1.68 million in 2020.
Beijing is trying to promote different types of propaganda on Facebook and Twitter to reshape the international story. This includes allegations that Western media and organizations are not independent, accusing anti-Chinese troops of systematic slander, and publishing articles. How Uighurs “supported” the CCP policy in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
For example, in mid-March, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian tweeted a Douyin video showing that locals in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region enjoy a “peaceful” life. Douyin is the name of the Chinese version of TikTok.
According to a TikTok report, the video with the caption “Free Uighur” and 2,831 likes was ranked 129th on the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region hashtag page in March. Meanwhile, the three videos showing the beautiful scenery of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region ranked in the top 10 with less than 600 likes each.
The ASPI report also reveals that while Chinese state media and Chinese diplomats are “utilizing fringe media,” Chinese Communist Party supporters are “amplifying” China’s state social media accounts. did. One such media was The Grayzone, a US-based news agency.
According to the report, Fringe Media Out is “a media source that may lack well-defined editorial policies and journalism practices, such as the distinction between news and opinion.”
Founded by American journalists, Grayzone claims to be “an independent news website that creates its own research journalism on politics and empire.”
The report found that between December 2019 and February 2021, Grazyone was cited in English at least 253 times by CGTN, Global Times and Xinhua, and more than 61 times in People’s Daily Online articles.
In March last year, Hua Chunying used Twitter to accuse an unknown US official of saying about Xinjiang as “defiled China” while tweeting an article about Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. She added that their statement was a “lie of the century.”
The report warned that some fringe media organizations were “vulnerable to operations.”
“This includes manipulation by the state media of authoritarian countries. These media find content that helps generate awareness that there is an” independent “reputation in support of their interests. “
Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region officials have outsourced a disinformation campaign to a company called Changyu Culture, which started uploading videos to YouTube channels in September 2020, according to ASPI reports. The company was found to be affiliated with the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the CCP.
UFWD is the executive CCP agency behind Beijing’s United Front Work Department’s efforts to persuade organizations and individuals to spread party propaganda inside and outside China. Last October, the U.S. Department of State designated the Washington-based National Association for Peaceful Unity of China, managed by the UFWD, as a foreign delegation for its “malicious influence” in the United States. did.
According to the report, many of Changyu Culture’s YouTube videos depict positive biographies of Uighurs who are believed to attend the “vocational training center” in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The report found that China’s state media China.org.cn and China Daily were found to share Changyu’s video on their website and Facebook page.
“CCP’s diplomacy and state media messaging are related to the party’s purpose of improving so-called discourse,” the report concluded. Abuse in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region by international civil society. “
The power of speech can increase its geopolitical influence by retaining the power of a country to express its concepts and ideas and ultimately determine the rules and systems that form the basis of the world order. It’s a concept.