Communist China is seeking to push the Russian narrative regarding Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
To a concerning degree, China and Russia have managed to successfully executive influence operations in the Western world.
They have managed to convince many people in the West to be either pro-Russia & anti-China, or anti-Russia & pro-China.
Those influence operations have left our society more divided, and have helped to obscure the fact that both China and Russia have a shared goal of undermining the West, weakening confidence in democracy, and seizing territory.
And now, a new report indicates the immense scope of China’s efforts to spread the Kremlin propaganda line.
As reported by The Guardian, James Rubin – coordinator for the Global Engagement Centre of the US State Department – explained that China is spending billions in order to push a false narrative blaming NATO and the West for the war:
“The well has been poisoned by Chinese and Russian disinformation – it’s pernicious,” said Rubin, a broadcaster and former official in the Clinton administration and broadcaster.
Six weeks into the job, he said his aim was not just a passive rebuttal of Russian-Chinese disinformation on Ukraine but to go on the active offensive by urging countries not to harbour those that have been exposed for spreading disinformation.
He claimed Russia and China were spending billions of dollars in an effort to manipulate information but said Beijing was operating globally and spending more than Moscow.
“We as a nation and the west have been slow to respond and it is a fair judgment that we are facing a very, very large challenge,” he told reporters. “In the communication space, the alignment between China and Russia is near complete.”
China, he claimed, was “repeating and promulgating the arguments of Russia about the war that it was started by Nato”.
Keeping the West divided
Both China & Russia want to see a world in which democracy is in retreat, the West loses confidence, and people turn to authoritarian dictators.
It’s no coincidence that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin are largely aligned, as both are hostile to individual rights, individual freedom, free speech, and free elections. Putin was a KGB agent, and Xi worked his way up the power structure of the Chinese Communist Party. Both are nostalgic for at time when Communist states were more dominant (Putin is nostalgic for the Soviet Union while Xi seems intent on recreating Mao-style repression).
The more they can keep the West divided, with some on the right supporting Russia and some on the left supporting China, the more they can advance their interests at our expense.
That’s why it is important for all of us to wake up to the fact that while our own societies and systems are far from perfect, the ideals of freedom and democracy are worth standing up for.