How to Counter Beijing’s Relentless Propaganda Campaign

News Analysis Read part I here. Chinese communist propaganda must be countered in a coordinated fashion on all fronts. “Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth,” said Albert Einstein. The ultimate goal of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is to convince Chinese citizens—and as many foreigners as possible—to blindly believe every pronouncement by the top leadership in Beijing without question, and to destroy truth in the process. This is Part II of a two-part series about countering Chinese communist propaganda in a concerted fashion. Part I discusses the basic propaganda apparatus, purposes, and methods of Beijing’s propaganda. This part discusses countering CCP propaganda and recommends the development of a loose network that is responsive in real-time to CCP lies. Countering CCP Propaganda: Purposes and the Network Given the CCP’s gargantuan, well-funded, and well-coordinated propaganda network, as well as the many CCP sycophants (paid or otherwise) in other countries who amplify the CCP’s narratives, and given the cacophony of uncontrolled voices that exist and compete with each other for attention in the rest of the world, it may seem that creating an organized effort to counter the CCP’s propaganda is a fool’s errand. However, I would argue that this is exactly what needs to be done: the development of a loosely coupled rapid-response counter-propaganda network that challenges every single CCP lie whenever it is stated. First of all, here are some of the purposes of counter-propaganda aimed at the CCP: Convey the truth (truth cuts through lies like a hot knife through butter). Dispense with the lies: strong counter-arguments encourage calling out the lies by many voices, not just a few. Educate the masses on Western principles versus CCP methods, for starters. Deter further aggression and belligerence. Counter-propaganda is an element of deterrence, as confronting Chinese lies results in educating people on the truth and empowering Western leaders to take concrete diplomatic actions to deter Chinese aggression. Internationalize resistance—pushback from many countries can be very effective. Expose those who are complicit in disseminating CCP propaganda, including pro-CCP politicians, media, academicians, and others. Expose the illegitimacy of the government and its censorship (governments like communist China that lie incessantly become increasingly illegitimate over time). Criticize the status quo: planting the seeds of political change among the Chinese people and those foreigners who support continued engagement with the CCP. How might a counter-propaganda network aimed at destroying the CCP’s false narratives be constructed? Any such network would have to be led by the United States—the leader of the Free World, the predominate open democracy, and home to Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and premier colleges and universities. The elements of the network could be brought together under former President Donald Trump’s emerging Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). After all, Trump personally demonstrated the effectiveness of rapid response to his critics via social media over the past six-plus years. His tactical information warfare goal was essentially not to let his political adversaries define the narrative without immediate pushback and him setting the record straight. This is exactly the strategy that can be used effectively against the CCP’s propaganda. This illustration photo shows a person checking the app store on a smartphone for “Truth Social”—owned by Trump Media & Technology Group—with its website on a computer screen in the background, in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 20, 2021. (Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images) Here are some elements of a coordinated counter-propaganda network, whether centrally controlled by TMTG or distributed and functionally cooperative: A front-end television news network that includes an independent communications backbone to preclude censorship by left-leaning Big Tech entities. There has been some chatter on social media that either One America News Network (OANN) and/or Real America’s Voice News are acquisition targets of TMTG. The independent backbone could be provided through acquisition of Lumen Technologies (market cap around $10 billion). From its website, Lumen provides network, cloud, security, voice, and managed enterprise service, including wide-area networks, ethernet networks, hybrid networks, dark fiber, and next-generation applications and services. An independent social media network that is user friendly and not subject to Big Tech censorship. This is the heart of Trump’s TMTG plans: to create an independent social media platform to counter the censorship of Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube). A coordinated online presence to distribute multimedia counter-propaganda via the internet. Multimedia and video are especially important in conveying narratives, as people under the age of 40 increasingly tur

How to Counter Beijing’s Relentless Propaganda Campaign

News Analysis

Read part I here.

Chinese communist propaganda must be countered in a coordinated fashion on all fronts.

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth,” said Albert Einstein.

The ultimate goal of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is to convince Chinese citizens—and as many foreigners as possible—to blindly believe every pronouncement by the top leadership in Beijing without question, and to destroy truth in the process.

This is Part II of a two-part series about countering Chinese communist propaganda in a concerted fashion. Part I discusses the basic propaganda apparatus, purposes, and methods of Beijing’s propaganda. This part discusses countering CCP propaganda and recommends the development of a loose network that is responsive in real-time to CCP lies.

Countering CCP Propaganda: Purposes and the Network

Given the CCP’s gargantuan, well-funded, and well-coordinated propaganda network, as well as the many CCP sycophants (paid or otherwise) in other countries who amplify the CCP’s narratives, and given the cacophony of uncontrolled voices that exist and compete with each other for attention in the rest of the world, it may seem that creating an organized effort to counter the CCP’s propaganda is a fool’s errand.

However, I would argue that this is exactly what needs to be done: the development of a loosely coupled rapid-response counter-propaganda network that challenges every single CCP lie whenever it is stated.

First of all, here are some of the purposes of counter-propaganda aimed at the CCP:

  • Convey the truth (truth cuts through lies like a hot knife through butter).
  • Dispense with the lies: strong counter-arguments encourage calling out the lies by many voices, not just a few.
  • Educate the masses on Western principles versus CCP methods, for starters.
  • Deter further aggression and belligerence. Counter-propaganda is an element of deterrence, as confronting Chinese lies results in educating people on the truth and empowering Western leaders to take concrete diplomatic actions to deter Chinese aggression.
  • Internationalize resistance—pushback from many countries can be very effective.
  • Expose those who are complicit in disseminating CCP propaganda, including pro-CCP politicians, media, academicians, and others.
  • Expose the illegitimacy of the government and its censorship (governments like communist China that lie incessantly become increasingly illegitimate over time).
  • Criticize the status quo: planting the seeds of political change among the Chinese people and those foreigners who support continued engagement with the CCP.

How might a counter-propaganda network aimed at destroying the CCP’s false narratives be constructed? Any such network would have to be led by the United States—the leader of the Free World, the predominate open democracy, and home to Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and premier colleges and universities.

The elements of the network could be brought together under former President Donald Trump’s emerging Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG). After all, Trump personally demonstrated the effectiveness of rapid response to his critics via social media over the past six-plus years. His tactical information warfare goal was essentially not to let his political adversaries define the narrative without immediate pushback and him setting the record straight. This is exactly the strategy that can be used effectively against the CCP’s propaganda.

Epoch Times Photo
This illustration photo shows a person checking the app store on a smartphone for “Truth Social”—owned by Trump Media & Technology Group—with its website on a computer screen in the background, in Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 20, 2021. (Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images)

Here are some elements of a coordinated counter-propaganda network, whether centrally controlled by TMTG or distributed and functionally cooperative:

  • A front-end television news network that includes an independent communications backbone to preclude censorship by left-leaning Big Tech entities. There has been some chatter on social media that either One America News Network (OANN) and/or Real America’s Voice News are acquisition targets of TMTG. The independent backbone could be provided through acquisition of Lumen Technologies (market cap around $10 billion). From its website, Lumen provides network, cloud, security, voice, and managed enterprise service, including wide-area networks, ethernet networks, hybrid networks, dark fiber, and next-generation applications and services.
  • An independent social media network that is user friendly and not subject to Big Tech censorship. This is the heart of Trump’s TMTG plans: to create an independent social media platform to counter the censorship of Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube).
  • A coordinated online presence to distribute multimedia counter-propaganda via the internet. Multimedia and video are especially important in conveying narratives, as people under the age of 40 increasingly turn to video snippets and other multimedia for their daily news and information. Another TMTG acquisition target could be Rumble, which does not censor content like YouTube does.
  • Dedicated organizations with analysts focused on observing, exposing, and countering the CCP’s propaganda. The Democrats have built up a network of such entities to control the political narrative in the United States, including Media Matters, MoveOn, the Poynter Institute, and ActBlue. Democrat sycophants in the legacy media (especially The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC), as well as Democrat congressional staffs, frequently use products of these organizations to shape and convey the Democratic Party’s daily narrative. This is why similar phrases and terms can be detected within the Democratic Party and legacy media echo chamber, for example, “gravitas” when referring to George W. Bush’s lack of foreign policy experience during the 2000 presidential election, and “baseless” when referring to Trump’s well-substantiated claims of election fraud during the 2020 election.
Epoch Times Photo
The New York Times headquarters is seen in New York City on Feb. 14, 2008. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The following right-leaning entities could be leveraged to achieve a similar purpose in debunking CCP—and also Democrat—propaganda (both of which are increasingly alike these days).

Media Research Center: MRC has been “watching and correcting the lies of the legacy media” since 1987. Its objective is “to neutraliz[e] leftist bias in the news media and popular culture [that] has had a critical impact on the way Americans view the liberal media.” MRC already has an extant network of media watchers that could be expanded to focus on state-run Chinese media propaganda, as well as the confluence between Chinese media and Western legacy media.

Discover the Networks: From its own website, Discover the Networks is an extensive “online database of the Left and its agendas” that was founded by David Horowitz in 2004. The purpose of the website is explained here: “It identifies the individuals and organizations that make up the left, and also the institutions that fund and sustain the left; it maps the paths through which the left exerts its influence on the larger body politic; it defines the left’s (often hidden) programmatic agendas; and it provides an understanding of the left’s history and ideas.” Expanding the database to include increased focus on Chinese communists and their state-run media, as well as their overlap and synergy with pro-China Westerners, would be a natural extension that could be added to the loose counter-propaganda network-in-the-making.

Just the News: Just the News is representative of a number of independent news entities that have been established as the public has increasingly determined that legacy media outlets are not to be trusted. In differentiating itself from the politically corrupt legacy media, the website seeks to report “just the news” without editorial comment and bias. There are others that should be included in the loose counter-propaganda network, too, and could even be acquisition targets for TMTG.

Judicial Watch: Founded in 1994, Judicial Watch is one of a number of effective right-of-center activist organizations that is focused on countering the lies of Democrats and other leftists. From its own website, Judicial Watch’s purpose is provided: “Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law … fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach.” An expansion of its mission to include a focus on countering CCP encroachment in U.S. government and American institutions would be a natural segue. At the very least, Judicial Watch should become part of the loose counter-propaganda network if not formally acquired as a component member.

Grassroots organizations: A number of right-of-center activist groups have sprung up in the American political landscape since the Tea Party. Many are focused on local politics and government, election integrity, and other issues of importance. Examples include: Restore Liberty, American Majority, True the Vote, Campus Reform, Veterans for Fairness and Merit, Alabama Freedom PAC, etc. Increasingly, many members of these organizations are aware of the threat posed by communist China and are lobbying their elected representatives accordingly. All could be encouraged to reemphasize CCP-watching as part of the loose counter-propaganda network led by TMTG.

U.S. government entities: National Public Radio, Voice of America Asia, and the State Department’s Bureau of Global Public Affairs need to be forced by concerned U.S. citizens through their elected representatives in Congress to more aggressively and actively confront and counter CCP propaganda. These are tough nuts to crack because all three organizations are infiltrated by pro-China leftists. Perhaps it is time to zero the budgets of all three—which has long been a promise of conservative activists (and Trump), as noted by Yahoo! News in 2017.

Lastly, there are three important “aces” that can be played by the United States and its allies in countering CCP propaganda.

First, the use of humor, irony, and satire (and double entendre) is highly effective in dispensing with CCP lies. The Chinese communists are highly susceptible to truth in the form of humor, parody, satire, irony, sarcasm, and the simple exposure of blatant hypocrisy.

Second, Western pop culture figures and cultural icons are a resource that can be exploited to rapidly reach the maximum number of people with counter-propaganda messages via social media.

Third, more people who may even have been pro-CCP in the past are being red-pilled by CCP aggression with each passing day. That opens the door for praising public statements by those who say/do the right thing, especially those who break from past statements/positions in support of the Chinese regime. A good example was the on-air tirade by CNN’s Jake Tapper last December in which he “slammed Hollywood, Silicon Valley and the NBA for being ‘blinded’ by Chinese cash while ignoring the Communist regime’s human rights abuses,” as reported by the UK Daily Mail.

Conclusion

The CCP has been flooding the world with propaganda (lies) since 1949. Heretofore, there has been no concerted and organized effort to counter that propaganda. The increasing belligerence and aggression displayed by Xi Jinping’s government and his apparatchiks warrants a coordinated and disciplined response to CCP propaganda. For example, the Trump Media and Technology Group could be a catalyst for the creation of a counter-propaganda network focused on the CCP. There are a number of existing entities that could contribute to the creation of such a network and could be integrated and coordinated through enlightened leadership and vision.

Read part I here.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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Stu Cvrk retired as a captain after serving 30 years in the U.S. Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. Through education and experience as an oceanographer and systems analyst, Cvrk is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he received a classical liberal education that serves as the key foundation for his political commentary.