The US State Department has released a report accusing the Chinese government of expanding efforts to control information and disseminate propaganda and disinformation globally. The report from the Global Engagement Center warns that China has the potential to reshape the global information environment and highlights concerns about China as a key rival in the battle over ideas and disinformation. The Chinese government has been accused of overt and covert control tactics, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, with examples provided in the report.
According to the report, China spends billions of dollars a year on foreign information manipulation and has expanded its efforts to shape the global information environment under President Xi. The report emphasizes the need to counter these tactics, stating that if China’s vast operations are not countered, it will encounter less resistance to reshaping the international order to the detriment of individual liberties and national sovereignty. The report concludes on a hopeful note, highlighting that Beijing’s efforts have encountered setbacks in democratic countries but warns of the potential destruction of the secure world of rules and rights if information manipulation is not stopped.
The Chinese Embassy spokesperson dismissed the report as “spreading disinformation” in a lengthy statement, claiming that it was written with a Cold-War mentality and designed to keep China down and bolster American hegemony. The report also highlights the Chinese government’s cooperation with Russia in spreading disinformation about Ukraine. The report serves as a stark warning about the dangers of digital authoritarianism and the potential erosion of democratic values and the international order.