Beijing’s propaganda equipment is now intensifying a years-long marketing campaign, following CIA director William Burns’ October 7 announcement the China Mission Center would counter what he referred to as “the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century.”
“What should we do when the CIA is blatantly recruiting Chinese-speaking agents?” requested Junzhengping, a Weibo account run by the People’s Liberation Army Daily, the Chinese navy’s mouthpiece.
“But no cunning fox can beat a good hunter. To safeguard national security, we can only trust the people, rely on the people,” it added.
Last week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry railed on the CIA’s transfer, which it referred to as “a typical symptom of the Cold War mentality.”
The propaganda push on the week-old information — and the misinformation round it — has seen Beijing repeat its acquainted narrative that China’s nationwide safety is underneath grave, fixed risk from the United States, and that American spies are an even bigger hazard to the lives of abnormal Chinese individuals than they could assume.
Under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese authorities has unleashed a flurry of campaigns in recent times to remind the general public of the purported risk — and encourage them to behave.
In 2017, the Beijing municipal authorities started providing rewards of as much as half 1,000,000 yuan ($78,000) for anybody who helps expose a spy.
About the identical time, an unofficial discover circulated extensively on social media, itemizing eight obvious “traits” of potential spies — with overseas correspondents, missionaries and NGO workers recognized as possible suspects.
But the spy-catching campaigns haven’t stopped at planting suspicion on foreigners dwelling in China. They have additionally been used to focus on authorities critics, social activists, legal professionals, journalists, feminists and different outspoken members of the Chinese public.
As Xi shores up nationalism and wages a sweeping crackdown on “Western values” corresponding to democracy, press freedom and judicial independence, liberal-leaning voices — which had as soon as proliferated on Chinese social media following the nation’s financial opening — have been largely silenced by fervent ultra-nationalists.
The newest propaganda drive is prone to additional spur such political witch hunts. Given Beijing’s extraordinarily broad and imprecise definition of “national security,” anybody deemed “unpatriotic” is liable to infringing it and being reported as a “spy.”