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China Utilizes Local ‘Alternative Media’ Outlets To Launder Its Propaganda In The Czech Republic

May 12th, 2021 13:12

US media is report­ing that Chi­na is laun­der­ing its pro­pa­gan­da in the Czech Repub­lic through local ‘alter­na­tive media’ dis­in­for­ma­tion out­lets show­ing how Chi­na increas­ing­ly cus­tomizes its mes­sage to local audi­ences. Accord­ing to a report by The Diplomat:

April 30, 2021 As cov­ered by the recent report of Czech Denik N, there appears to be some form of coop­er­a­tion between the Czech ver­sion of Chi­na Radio Inter­na­tion­al (CRI) and a promi­nent Czech “alter­na­tive” web­site, AC24. Since at least Octo­ber 2020, dozens of anony­mous arti­cles have appeared on the web­site of CRI, obvi­ous­ly writ­ten by local Czech authors.  In most cas­es, arti­cles first appear on CRI, to be repub­lished short­ly after on the AC24 web­site itself, sug­gest­ing that they are pri­mar­i­ly writ­ten for CRI use. While no author is iden­ti­fied on either of the sites, one can find the name of Ondrej Ger­sl, the founder and own­er of AC24, under some of the arti­cles that have sub­se­quent­ly been trans­lat­ed and pub­lished on the Chi­nese-lan­guage CRI website. […]

The arti­cles cov­ered the usu­al top­ics of Chi­nese pro­pa­gan­da: high­light­ing China’s eco­nom­ic growth and tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments, laud­ing its fight against pover­ty, and pos­i­tive­ly reflect­ing on China’s role on the glob­al stage, while attack­ing the Unit­ed States and the West at large. A promi­nent top­ic has been the sit­u­a­tion in Xin­jiang, with arti­cles dis­miss­ing crit­i­cism of China’s pol­i­cy against Uyghurs and oth­er pre­dom­i­nant­ly Mus­lim minori­ties there.

Read the rest here.

The report notes that by uti­liz­ing the Czech alter­na­tive media out­let AC24, Chi­na not only gains access to already estab­lished local audi­ences but can also point at pos­i­tive cov­er­age in Czech media, hid­ing its ori­gin as “ghost-writ­ten” Chi­nese pro­pa­gan­da. In the last few years, Chi­na has increas­ing­ly coop­er­at­ed with or ampli­fied fringe media out­lets in the West that align with China’s for­eign pol­i­cy objectives.

We have recent­ly report­ed that Chi­na is also using Chi­na-based YouTu­bers from Cana­da and Britain to fur­ther its pro­pa­gan­da efforts.