X

Amid Ukraine Crisis QAnon Conspiracy Communities are Re-Evaluating China, ISD Report Finds

April 1st, 2022 13:18

The Insti­tute for Strate­gic Dia­logue, a UK think tank, is report­ing that in what is described as a “tec­ton­ic shift,” QAnon con­spir­a­cy com­mu­ni­ties are re-eval­u­at­ing their stance on Chi­na amid the Ukraine cri­sis. Accord­ing to the ISD report, since the inva­sion, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping appears to have been recast from a vil­lain to a hero in the QAnon con­spir­a­cy pantheon:

March 23, 2022 Russia’s inva­sion of Ukraine has brought a del­uge of dis­in­for­ma­tion to con­spir­a­cy groups on social media plat­forms. Amidst this chaos, a tec­ton­ic shift appears to be under­way.    QAnon-adja­cent con­spir­a­cy groups have pre­vi­ous­ly been hos­tile to Chi­na and the Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Par­ty (CCP). How­ev­er, the dynam­ics of the inva­sion are shift­ing their views. In an astound­ing­ly short space of time, Xi Jin­ping appears to have been recast from a vil­lain to a hero in the QAnon con­spir­a­cy pan­theon.  The events of the past three weeks are a pow­er­ful illus­tra­tion of why this shift in per­cep­tion mat­ters. Along with claims that Xi is secret­ly work­ing against the CCP (and against the glob­al cabal with Trump and Putin), we can see con­cur­rent shifts in atti­tudes towards Tai­wan and poten­tial for pro-Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da to act as a gate­way to Chi­nese state media pro­pa­gan­da. The con­se­quences of a West­ern con­spir­a­cy audi­ence primed to receive nar­ra­tives from the Chi­nese state could be dire.

Read the full report here.

The ISD report explains that QAnon and QAnon-adja­cent groups have tak­en a strong­ly pro-Putin posi­tion dur­ing the Rus­sia-Ukraine con­flict. In turn, Putin’s alliance with Chi­na appears to have insti­gat­ed a pro-Chi­nese turn with­in the for­mer­ly anti-Chi­na QAnon com­mu­ni­ty. Mir­ror­ing Trump’s alleged fight against the US “deep state,” one such the­o­ry frames Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping as a hero who is secret­ly work­ing against the CCP “deep state.” Anoth­er sug­gests that Chi­na has secret­ly been work­ing with Trump all along and that Trump’s odd pro­nun­ci­a­tion of “Chi­na” is, in fact, a cod­ed ref­er­ence to Ukraine. The ISD report also notes that pro-Krem­lin pro­pa­gan­da may be a gate­way for QAnon and con­spir­a­cy audi­ences into Chi­nese state propaganda.

The BBC describes QAnon as:

…a wide-rang­ing, unfound­ed con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry that says that Pres­i­dent Trump is wag­ing a secret war against elite Satan-wor­ship­ping pae­dophiles in gov­ern­ment, busi­ness and the media .QAnon believ­ers have spec­u­lat­ed that this fight will lead to a day of reck­on­ing where promi­nent peo­ple such as for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hillary Clin­ton will be arrest­ed and executed.

Read the entire arti­cle here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report has:

  • Cov­ered how Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da and dis­in­for­ma­tion have been echoed not only by Chi­nese offi­cials but also ampli­fied by QAnon con­spir­a­cy theorists
  • Cov­ered how Rus­si­a’s Inter­net Research Agency has used social media accounts to boost the role of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries pro­mot­ed by QAnon
  • Report­ed that an online net­work tied to Chi­nese busi­ness­man Guo Wen­gui and for­mer Trump advi­sor Steve Ban­non has become a potent plat­form for dis­in­for­ma­tion in the Unit­ed States, spread­ing base­less QAnon conspiracies