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French Study Says Chinese Global Influence Operations Are Massive & Aggressive

October 31st, 2021 10:16

French media report­ed last month on a detailed study of Chi­na’s world­wide influ­ence oper­a­tions pub­lished by the Strate­gic Research Insti­tute of France’s renowned Mil­i­tary Col­lege (IRSEM). Accord­ing to the IRSEM study, Chi­na has long want­ed to project a pos­i­tive image of itself around the world but has in recent years shown a more aggres­sive side:

Sep­tem­ber 22, 2021 In a vast and detailed report, the Strate­gic Research Insti­tute of France’s renowned Mil­i­tary Col­lege (Irsem) describes how “Machi­avel­lic” Chi­na has built a ten­tac­u­lar net­work to exert its influ­ence world­wide.    The 650-page report, enti­tled “Chi­nese influ­ence oper­a­tions — a Machi­avel­li moment” digs through the lay­ers of secret and not-so-secret insti­tu­tions, actions and designs used by Bei­jing to manip­u­late west­ern opin­ion.  Writ­ten by Paul Cheron, an intel­li­gence expert and Chi­nese spe­cial­ist with cre­den­tials from Har­vard and Chi­na’s most pres­ti­geous uni­ver­si­ty Qinghua, in part­ner­ship with polit­i­cal sci­en­tist Jean-Bap­tiste Jeangène Vilmer, a secu­ri­ty spe­cial­ist, the report is prob­a­bly the most exten­sive analy­sis of Chi­na’s pro­pa­gan­da machine ever pub­lished in French.

The report argues that for a long time Chi­na want­ed  more to be loved than feared, she want­ed to seduce, pro­ject­ing a pos­i­tive image of her­self in the world and so arous­ing admi­ra­tion. Recent­ly Chi­na has increas­ing­ly shown anoth­er side. “Its influ­ence oper­a­tions have hard­ened con­sid­er­ably in recent years and its meth­ods increas­ing­ly resem­ble those employed by Moscow,” accord­ing to the report. Quot­ing Machi­avel­li’s The Prince, the authors say that Chi­na today thinks that “it is safer to be feared than to be loved”.  The report metic­u­lous­ly maps out Chi­na’s means of exert­ing influ­ence abroad, from “most benign (pub­lic diplo­ma­cy) to the most malig­nant, (clan­des­tine activ­i­ties),” includ­ing attempt to agres­sive­ly manip­u­late pub­lic opin­ion abroad through think-tanks, “Con­fu­cius Insi­tu­tions” and media.

Read the rest here.

The full 650-page  report can be accessed here.