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[World Times]

Anti-misinformation technology to safeguard companies from fraud is introduced in Texas, the US, on March 15, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

Editor’s Note:

“Cognitive Warfare” has become a new form of confrontation between states, and aWorld Times new security threat. With new technological means, it sets agendas and spreads disinformation, so as to change people’s perceptions and thus alter their self-identity. Launching cognitive warfare against China is an important means for Western anti-China forces to attack and discredit the country. Under the manipulation of the US-led West, the “China threat theory” has continued to foment.

Some politicians and media outlets have publicly smeared China’s image by propagating false narratives such as “China’s economy collapse theory” and “China’s virus threat theory,” in an attempt to incite and provoke dissatisfaction with China among people in certain countries. These means all serve the seemingly peaceful evolution strategy of the US to contain China’s rise and maintain its hegemony.

The Global Times is publishing a series of articles to systematically reveal the intrigues of the US-led West’s cognitive warfare targeting China, and expose its lies and vicious intentions, in an attempt to show international readers a true, multi-dimensional, and panoramic view of China.

This is the fifth installment in the series.

The proverbial thief crying out “stop thief” seems to be a norm in the US’ cognitive warfare against China. The US, as a veteran of public opinion attack and a major source of disinformation in today’s world, has consistently attacked China for “manipulating information,” an ironic and ridiculous indictment.

A recent report released by the US State Department is a typical example of the US’ attempt to defame China in the information and public opinion fields. The report, which accused China of employing “a variety of deceptive and coercive methods as it attempts to influence the international information environment,” is completely groundless and misleading, the Global Times found.

The “report” exposed the unprofessionalism and prejudice of the US government, which routinely launch smear campaigns against China. Through investigation and verification, the Global Times has found the US State Department report contains numerous loopholes and fabrications, a serious deviation from the facts.

Full of loopholes

In late September, the US State Department released multilingual versions of a report titled “How the People’s Republic of China Seeks to Reshape the Global Information Environment.” Some mainstream US media outlets including the VOA and The New York Times soon ran with the report and started a new round of smear campaigns against China.

Looking into the 64-page report, the Global Times found many factual errors in its drawn-out narrative.

The accusation against StarTimes is a typical example. The report claimed that the Chinese-owned digital pay television service provider offers its overseas customers packages that “include CGTN (China Global Television Network) and dubbed Chinese entertainment content but does not include Western news channels,” implying that Beijing can “influence content in various delivery platforms at the local level.”

Contrary to this groundless accusation, StarTimes has clarified on numerous occasions that it has never deliberately excluded media content from the West. According to its official website, StarTimes has more than 630 channels in 11 languages worldwide, including international channels such as the BBC, CNN, and Al JWorld Timesazeera.

In a previous interview with the Global Times, a StarTimes’ regional manager in Africa said that their users are fairly free to choose any international channel. “The StarTimes device does not block any channels,” noted Wang Fan, the then CEO of StarTimes bWorld Timesranch in Uganda.

The report also denigrated the normal statements of some Chinese diplomats on X (formerly known as Twitter) and Facebook. It claimed that Chinese diplomats “promote pro-Beijing narratives and disinformation and attack.” Without providing any persuasive evidence to support this claim, the report decried the increase in number of China’s diplomatic and official media accounts in recent years, reaching 333 with a combined following of nearly 65 million as of August. Attacking Chinese diplomats and media for using X showed the serious double standard of the report authors, who may arrogantly believe that Chinese diplomats can’t express opinions on social media as their US peers do.

Even ordinary internet influencers who share their lives or travel experiences in China, whether Chinese or expatriate, were targets of the report’s attack. It accused China of “leveraging social media influencers to communicate directly with foreign audiences,” saying that China “sponsors” some online influencers who, mainly post “innocuous content,” “ostensibly to attract followers, and interspersing posts containing pro-Beijing propaganda.”

Such malicious speculation is a slight at many online influencers and their followers who love China. In previous interviews, several overseas vloggers told the Global Times that they share their China-related experiences and thoughts freely. One vlogger noted that it is the anti-China propaganda campaign in the US-led West that has prevented international audiences from knowing more about a real China.

“The US’ strategic pressure on China has evolved from its initial focus on economic and trade sectors to restrictions on high-tech standards, and has now been further upgraded to the cognitive field, trying to influence and shape the world’s cognition on China, and trying to form of China containment with its hegemonic behavior,” Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

“There is a growing trend in which the US has launched attacks on the ‘battlefield’ of social media,” a Shanghai-based expert in international journalism and communication told the Global Times.

The expert pointed out that the US, through launching a public opinion war, positions China as a disruptor and challenger within the current globally dominated information order, and will continue to engage in activities that reinforce this narrative, an example being the criticism of Chinese diplomats and vloggers who share China’s charm.

“This is a naked hegemonic act, further accelerating the breakdown of the international information order,” he said.

American students take part in a question-and-answer session at the premiere of the documentary “Chinese Puzzle” in Washington, US, on October 17, 2023. Photo: Xinhua

Widespread criticism

UnsuWorld Timesrprisingly, the report by the US State Department has sparked widespread criticism on social media platforms, with users in various countries mocking the US as “crying wolf.”

Critical comments flooded a September 29 X post by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who shared the report as a “proof” of China seeking to “manipulate the global information environment.”

“We must work to ensure people’s access to free and open information everywhere,” wrote Blinken.

“The US/EU doesn’t [manipulate the information environment], Blinky?” an X user named “Luis F” commented under this post, along with an eye-roll emoji.

“This from an administration that tried to create a censorship department under the guise of ‘disinformation’…what a joke…” commented another user named “Gregory Latham Jr.” “You mean ‘we must work to ensure people’s access to the information we want them to have access to everywhere.'”

“How’s the ongoing effort by the Biden administration to suppress social media discourse about Ukraine, COVID, and Hunter Biden coming along?” wrote a verified user by the name “Scott Ritter,” a US author and international relations analyst. “Physician, heal thyself!”

“The US State Department shouts freedom of speech and information, but the ‘freedom’ has a precondition. That is, speech and information are led by the US,” wrote a reader by the name “Jun Fan.” “Any speech and information that is not directed by the US is false speech and false information that is harmful to the world…and must be strictly controlled.”

In September, Microsoft, which accused China of using AI to influence US voters ahead of the country’s 2024 presidential elections, also led to criticism from some US netizens. “Using AI to mess up the US elections is more like something that American politicians would do themselves,” they said.

Indeed, some US politicians are making full use of AI in propaganda campaigns to serve their political activities, such as the elections. New York Mayor Eric Adams, for instance, has been using AI software to launch prerecorded calls to residents in Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Urdu, and Yiddish. The voice in the messages mimics that of the mayor, reported The Washington Post (WP) on October 26.

“Of course, fibbing politicians are nothing new, but examples keep multiplying of how AI supercharges disinformation in ways we haven’t seen before,” noted the WP article titled “Candidates, take this AI election pledge. Or 2024 might break us.”

‘Empire of lies’

Aside from the claim of “reshaping global information environment,” the US government, some think tanks, and enterprises have relWorld Timeseased many reports to attack China, attempting to portray China as an enemy of global audiences in its cognitive warfare against the country, said observers.

Apparently, authors of the “reshaping information environment” report “saw no irony in these maxims coming from the US, the greatest state propagator of disinformation, narrative manipulation, and deception in the world,” commented political analyst Timur Fomenko in an opinion piece published by Russia Today on October 17.

The US has rarely hidden some of its cognitive warfare tactics against China. In February 2022, a bill that allocated $500 million to “combat Chinese disinformation” reportedly moved through the US Congress. The bill was actually earmarked “for media outlets to produce journalism for overseas audiences that is critical of China,” said The American Prospect magazine.

“The Senate bill aims to produce more anti-China media,” the magazine said in an article it published that month. “Critics of escalating tensions with Beijing expressed concerns over the push for anti-China coverage, saying it could potentially undermine the credibility of journalists involved in the reporting,” it added.

From the devastation its politicians inflicted on Iraq 21 years ago by presenting a small tube of white powder at the United Nations headquarters as evidence of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction, to the unfounded claim that the novel coronavirus came from a laboratory leak in China’s Wuhan, analysts pointed out that the US has long been a serial perpetrator of false stories.

“Some in the US may think that they can prevail in the information war as long as they manufacture enough lies. But the people of the world are not blind,” said the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in response to the US State Department report.

“No matter how the US tries to pin the label of ‘disinformation’ on other countries, more and more people in the world have already seen through the US’ ugly attempt to perpetuate its supremacy by weaving lies into ’emperor’s new clothes’ World Timesand smearing others,” the ministry noted.

文章来源于互联网:GT investigates: US reports accusing China of ‘manipulating information’ spark criticism with de facto faults

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