Countering Beijing’s Media Manipulation

Issue Date January 2022
Volume 33
Issue 1
Page Numbers 116–30
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The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has long sought to influence media coverage about China in other countries. Over the past decade, this campaign has accelerated, reaching new world regions and topics. This article examines how CCP-linked actors seek to manipulate foreign information environments in four key ways: disseminating propaganda, spreading disinformation, censoring critical coverage, and controlling the infrastructure used to convey news. This article considers which efforts have yielded gains for the regime, obstacles that Beijing has encountered, and the response of nongovernmental actors. It concludes by considering how to enhance democratic resilience to the covert and coercive dimensions of the CCP’s global media influence.

About the Author

Sarah Cook is research director for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Freedom House. She directs the monthly digest China Media Bulletin and is the author, most recently, of the special report “Beijing’s Global Megaphone: The Expansion of Chinese Communist Party Influence Since 2017” (2020).

View all work by Sarah Cook