US media reported last month that according to its foreign affairs chief, the EU does not have sufficient resources to counter Chinese disinformation attacks. According to the POLITICO report:
March 1, 2021 The European Union’s foreign service doesn’t have the resources nor the authority to effectively counter hybrid attacks coming from China, its foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said today.“Today, we don’t have a mandate to study disinformation about China,” Borrell, who heads the European External Action Service (EEAS), told members of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Foreign Interference. He said the bloc had been under permanent pressure in the past year from countries distorting information and spreading disinformation to advance political interests. But while the EU has ramped up its work to debunk disinformation campaigns from Moscow, “We have very little resources to study disinformation from China.”He added that EEAS lacked the “required” resources to counter Chinese campaigns to influence European politics. Hybrid attacks “have been targeting our democratic values, our information space and even our infrastructure, our critical infrastructure” during the pandemic, he said, calling the global health crisis “a real testing ground for new hybrid tactics.”The EU’s foreign service’s disinformation department has a dedicated East Stratcom unit looking at Russian disinformation campaigns. Other officials monitor campaigns from across the world, but they are understaffed and underresourced to handle the increasing number of hybrid attacks. Borrell said Europe was a disadvantage in its efforts to protect itself from Russia’s disinformation campaigns targeting Europe: “We don’t have the capacity to produce massively information presenting our views,” he said, adding the EU only had the ability to flag and call out disinformation campaigns as “an answer” to massive disinformation campaigns.
Read the rest here.
Recent Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) report on Chinese disinformation has included:
- A report last month about a joint research project examining and comparing the false narratives about Covid-19’s origins in China, the US, Russia, and Iran during the first six months of the virus’s outbreak.
- A report from February on an Australian think-tank’s analysis of Chinese and Russian influence campaigns aimed at undermining the Covid-19 vaccination programs.
- A report from January on a New York Times and ProPublica investigation into state-sponsored Chinese disinformation efforts centered on the Covid pandemic.
- A report from January on a CNN analyst’s view of Russian efforts to spread COVID-related disinformation.
- A report from January on an EU analysis concluding that pro-Kremlin media are trying to generate support for the Russian Sputnik V COVID vaccine by shifting its disinformation narratives.