During the week before the 2009 Chinese New Year, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Political Bureau Central Committee held a meeting to discuss propaganda campaigns outside China for the upcoming year.
During the meeting’s concluding speech, the Standing Committee member who is in charge of “ideology” pointed out that due to the joint efforts of the Propaganda Department, the “United Front” and the Foreign Affairs departments over the past decade, most overseas Chinese media companies very much carry the identity of the CCP’s policies and practices.
The official felt that major Chinese newspapers in Western countries are all able of having a strong interaction with the local government, except for several small newspapers controlled by the so-called “three anti-China forces.” The CCP thus decided to continue their heavy investment in propaganda campaigns overseas.
During the Propaganda Minister’s speech, he said that after the fund was allocated, several overseas Chinese media outlet owners have contacted the Propaganda Department and said that they were willing to cooperate with the CCP to promote “China’s international image.”
However, leaders from the “United Front” and the CCP’s Intelligence Agency warned that discretion should be exercised when appropriating the budget to overseas Chinese newspapers because advertising revenue from CCP-funded companies should be enough to keep them cooperating with the regime, and as such, there is no longer need to give them special funding.
Instead, a special report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggested that the CCP begin to focus their attention on Western mainstream media outlets. They cited the UK publication Evening Standard’s acquisition by former KGB agent Lebedev as an example to follow and urged that the CCP begin training overseas Chinese agents to begin to acquire Western mainstream media.
They continued in their meeting to cite examples such as CNN’s so-called “distorted” remark on the Chinese regime in 2008, claiming that it sounded a warning bell showing that that simply manipulating overseas Chinese media is not enough.
Some foreign affairs experts believe that the CCP’s current perceived strength on the international stage and their subsequent influence on world affairs lead them to be fully capable of gaining full control over several mainstream Western media outlets.
It was not a coincidence that the CCP’s Intelligence Agency’s report mentioned the acquisition of a British media outlet by a former KGB agent. The report analyzed the increasing financial difficulties that many Western media outlets are facing during the current global economic crisis and made the conclusion that the time is right to begin attempting to acquire such outlets without it being construed as a political move.
The Ministry of State Security warned that extreme caution should be exercised when selecting which agents should attempt to acquire Western media. Their recommendation was to inject money to various overseas Chinese media and utilize them as the pawns who would take control of the outlets.
All of the meeting’s participants reached a consensus that the main goal of the CCP’s 2009 overseas propaganda campaign would be to concentrate all of the Party’s financial, material, and human resources to infiltrate Western media through either the injection of funding or direct acquisition, with the ultimate goal being to so-called “enhance China’s international status.”
Read original article in Chinese.