Beijing ramping up efforts to influence foreign media — including in Canada, report says

Beijing ramping up efforts to influence foreign media — including in Canada, report says

VANCOUVER—The Chinese government is expanding its efforts to control and influence media, including here in Canada, says a new report.

The report by Freedom House, a Washington, D.C., think tank that strives to further global democracy, details incidents of intimidation as well as misinformation campaigns as Beijing tries to pressure media outlets to not just curb criticism of China’s Communist Party, but to actively promote its policies as examples for other countries.

“The past three years have been marked by an acceleration of this process and the emergence of more new tactics,” reads the report, titled Beijing’s Global Megaphone, which was authored by Sarah Cook, a senior research analyst for China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

According to the report, such tactics include “Russian style” misinformation campaigns and attempts to manipulate web searches on global platforms.

The report also discusses Chinese media abroad and its role in spreading pro-CCP narratives while demonizing those who criticize the regime.

Beijing is ramping up its push to influence how media outlets outside of mainland China cover the country, the think tank says.

Its report points out that the 10th World Chinese Media Forum hosted in China by the government and the United Front Work Department, the CCP’s organization responsible for attempting to influence politics in foreign countries, had representatives from 51 Canadian media outlets attend. It does not list the outlets.

The report also touches on the story of two Chinese-language journalists who were let go from their publications in Canada, they say, for criticizing Beijing.

Last month, human rights organization Safeguard Defenders filed a complaint with Canada’s Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission alleging China’s state-run media outlet, China Global Television, was broadcasting forced confessions of political prisoners on its service available in Canada. The organization is also asking Canada to use its Magnitsky Law to impose sanctions on the CGTN staffers responsible.

More to come …

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