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China Daily News

Campus Reform: Some U.S. Universities Spew Chinese Propaganda

An article on campusreform.org discusses the national security implications of the Confucius Institutes hosted by many U.S. colleges and universities. The Confucius Institutes are sponsored and funded by the Chinese government and are ostensibly aimed at teaching Chinese language and culture. However, the curriculum at the institutes is (of course) slanted toward pro-CCP positions, downplaying or outright forbidding teaching or discussion of topics that portray the CCP in a bad light, e.g. the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

According to the Campus Reform article, more than 15 of the Confucius Institutes have closed in the wake of FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony (link to Inside Higher Ed article) to Congress earlier this year that the institutes are a national security threat.

We still confront traditional espionage threats … but economic espionage dominates our counterintelligence program today,” Wray said in his remarks. “More than ever, the adversaries’ targets are our nation’s assets, our information and ideas, our innovation, our research and development, our technology. And no country poses a broader, more severe intelligence collection threat than China.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, quoted in Inside Higher Ed article April 29, 2019
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/04/29/fbi-director-discusses-chinese-espionage-threat-us-academic-research

While it is entirely understandable that universities want and need funding for teaching and research, the source of that funding must be considered. Money coming from China, especially from the Chinese government, will almost certainly come with strings attached. This is true no matter if the money is going to a foreign government for infrastructure/development projects or to an American college or university. Administrators should think twice about accepting any funding directed by the CCP.

Chinese Disinformation and Propaganda Campaigns on Twitter and Facebook

In the previous post on this site, we highlighted another example of how the CCP coordinates its disinformation and propaganda on Chinese media outlets to confuse narratives and steer public opinion. Of course, they try to do the same on other media as well.

Twitter has exposed a Chinese disinformation and propaganda campaign on the Twitter service.

Tweet from Twitter’s Twitter Safety account

Read the whole thread.

Facebook also announced removal of accounts being run from China as part of a propaganda/disinformation campaign.

All of this propaganda and disinformation (and there is a huge, huge amount of it) is aimed at turning world opinion against the protesters, putting pressure on other governments to respond favorably to China or face loss of Chinese money (bribes), and confusing people. It is undoubtedly coordinated from Beijing and uses a variety of tactics, most of which are pretty obvious, once you start paying attention, because they are almost invariably ham-handed and rather childish.

Chinese Media Continue to Push the “Violent Protesters” Line

In yet another example of how the Chinese media outlets are controlled by CCP propagandists, CCTV, Xinhua News, and China Daily are all continuing to push the narrative that the protesters are violent radicals, despite the fact that yesterday around 1.7 million protesters (over 1/5 of the entire population of Hong Kong) marched peacefully (but in defiance of orders by the HK police that the protesters must not march through the streets).

CCTV:

China Daily:

Xinhua News:

Babylon Bee: Bernie Sanders Arrives In Hong Kong To Lecture Protesters On How Good They Have It Under Communism

The Babylon Bee reports that US Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders arrived in Hong Kong to lecture ungrateful protesters on how good it is to live in a communist society. No doubt he recalled his wonderful honeymoon in the former Soviet Union as he was ranting talking.

Can we just declare the Babylon Bee a national treasure so all of their posts are kept forever in the Smithsonian or something?

U.S. Sells F-16 Fighters to Taiwan

Taiwan News is reporting that President Trump has approved the sale of 66 F-16V fighters to Taiwan, and that the U.S. Congress will approve the $8 billon deal.

F-16 Falcon fighter (https://www.flickr.com/photos/lockheedmartin/1115741330/in/album-72157601438408151/)

This deal will undoubtedly upset Beijing, which is already under pressure from a slowing economy, the trade war with the U.S. and the protests in Hong Kong. Along with recent sales of the advanced F-35 Lightning 2 fighters to Japan and Korea, the improved capability for Taiwan’s military enabled by the F-16 sales just adds to Beijing’s problems.

Global Times Hypocrisy on Freedom of the Press

Global Times tweet August 18th, 2019

Freedom House 2017 report on freedom of the press in China:

China is home to one of the world’s most restrictive media environments and its most sophisticated system of censorship. [emphasis by China Daily News] The ruling CCP maintains control over news reporting via direct ownership, accreditation of journalists, harsh penalties for online criticism, and daily directives to media outlets and websites that guide coverage of breaking news stories. State management of the telecommunications infrastructure enables the blocking of websites, removal of mobile-phone applications from the domestic market, and mass deletion of microblog posts, instant messages, and user accounts that touch on banned political, social, economic, and religious topics.
The already limited space for investigative journalism and liberal commentary shrank during 2016, continuing a trend of ideological tightening since Xi assumed the leadership of the CCP in 2012. A series of new laws and regulations increased internet censorship, including on the popular WeChat instant messaging tool and online video-streaming platforms. The year’s top priorities for censorship officials included protecting the reputations of Xi and other leading figures and influencing coverage of health and safety issues, foreign affairs, and government wrongdoing.

So, any Chinese media outlet (they are all controlled by the CCP) hectoring anyone about freedom of the press is unmitigated, unadulterated hypocrisy. The Global Times is, once again, embarrassing itself with this nonsense.

Hong Kong Free Press: 1.7 Million Join Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protest

The Hong Kong Free Press is reporting that 1.7 million Hong Kong residents joined in a peaceful pro-democracy protest against police use of force on August 18th.

Organisers say at least 1.7 million people attended a mass pro-democracy rally against the police use of force in Hong Kong on Sunday. Protesters marched peacefully from Causeway Bay to Central, as the city entered its 11th consecutive week of demonstrations.

Hong Kong Free Press August 18, 2019
Hong Kong Free Press image

According to worldometers,info at the time of this writing, the population of Hong Kong is 7,499,100. If the estimate of the number of participants in the march is correct, over 22% of the entire population of Hong Kong took part in the rally and march.

Fortunately, this march, even though it was not authorized by the HK government, was peaceful; although, the HK government claimed that protesters used slingshots and aimed lasers at the HK police.

The protesters reiterated their five demands:

The Civil Human Rights Front reiterated the five demands of the anti-extradition law movement. They called for a full withdrawal of the controversial bill and a retraction of characterisation of protests as “riots.” They urged for the unconditional release of all arrested protesters, the formation of an independent commission of inquiry into all events since June, and demanded universal suffrage.

Hong Kong Free Press

The protesters do not appear to be deterred by the HK government’s requirements that marches be authorized ahead of time, and the number of protesters does not appear to be less than before. However, the protesters appear to be adopting a non-confrontational tactic, which is good news.

Before the march, users of the Reddit-like LIHKG forum stated that the goal was to make Sunday a completely peaceful protest in order to garner international support. They urged a halt to frontline physical clashes during the weekend.

Hong Kong Free Press

Non-violent protests will lessen the physical danger that the protesters (and the HK police face), reduce the ability of CCP propagandists to turn world opinion against the protesters, and take away any reason that the CCP might have for a violent crackdown. It’s a smart move for the protest movement to take. Hopefully, they will continue with this tactic and not let the police provoke them.

Read the whole article; it is well worth the time.

The Carrot and the Stick

These two twitter posts coincidentally appeared next to each other in our twitter feed this morning. The juxtaposition was frankly a little sickening.

Dear Hong Kong, we love you! From your friends in the Chinese Communist Party

“Dear Hong Kong, we just love you and want you to all live happy, beautiful lives – under our repressive, totalitarian regime where we will destroy you if you dare to dissent from our policies.”

Yeah, the CCP has no sense of irony or shame.

Chinese Media Report on Anti-Violence Rally in Hong Kong

Several Chinese media sources are reporting on an anti-violence rally in Hong Kong, saying that more than 476,000 people took part.

Of course, the Chinese media is attempting to spin this as a pro-Beijing rally. No doubt some number of people there are pro-Beijing, but others are just anti-violence, and not necessarily pro-Beijing. Without knowing more, it is impossible to say what the percentages are, but Chinese state propaganda will grasp on to anything to try to “prove” that the people support China. Why anyone would support a one-party dictatorship with no right to self-determination and no rule of law is puzzling. The are many wonderful aspects to China, but the government is not one of them.

Protests Continue: Thousands Attend Rally in Hong Kong

South China Morning Post News tweeted (with video) about a rally attended by thousands in Hong Hong. One person interviewed (appearing in the video) said:

My main goal today is to protest against the extradition bill. I fully support Hong Kong’s citizens. A lot has happened here since June 9th. Everyone can see that we have suffered from injustice and suppression. We don’t want Hong Kong to lose its freedom under a Communist regime.

Protest rally in Hong Kong

This rally looks peaceful, which is a bit of good news.

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