China exploited pandemic to promote global image, peddled disinformation

    18-May-2021
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The coronavirus pandemic has become an opportunity for Communist China to promote its image in world media coverage, reveals a recently released research study

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The international news reporting of China throughout the past year has become more positive across the globe, it says. In some countries, China was seen as the source of the most accurate information about the coronavirus. The study gathered data from 50 countries and reported more than half of all countries coverage of China in their national media had been more positive since the start of the pandemic. More than three-quarters, 76 per cent reported that China had a visible presence in their media, up from 64 per cent the previous year.
 
The report released by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), a Brussels-based umbrella of media unions, exposed the Chinese tactics of effective information strategy that increased positive coverage of the country. "Beijing's tactics have been quite successful," said Lim, the lead author, a former BBC and NPR China correspondent.
 
For many years, China has been complaining about its lack of what they called "discourse power". This led to a rapid expansion of Chinese media presence around the globe in the last decade. Under Xi Jinping leadership, Beijing has been encouraging Chinese media to "tell the China story well". It insists that Beijing's viewpoint deserves to be heard. However, Chinese sceptics are concerned that the world's media are becoming too gullible of China. "Since COVID, we can see how Beijing has activated this information infrastructure to spread its own narrative, bolstered by state-backed disinformation campaigns and medical diplomacy," said Lim. — ANI