China Launches ‘Belt and Road News Network’ Workshop to Indoctrinate Journalists

Workers take down a Belt and Road Forum panel outside the venue of the forum in Beijing on April 27, 2019. - Chinese President Xi Jinping urged dozens of world leaders on April 27 to reject protectionism and invited more countries to participate in his global infrastructure project after seeking …

China launched a workshop this week under its Belt and Road News Network (BRNN) aimed at promoting propaganda about its global infrastructure initiative among Latin American and African media personnel.

Dozens of editors and journalists from Africa and Latin America are participating in the half a month event, the Communist Party-owned People’s Daily, which operates BRNN from its headquarters in Beijing, reported Wednesday.

The People’s Daily and China’s State Council of Information, which has a dual identity with the country’s External Propaganda Leading Group, organized the workshop.

On Wednesday, the People’s Daily reported:

A short-term media workshop under the Belt and Road News Network (BRNN) kicked off in Beijing on September 16.

Dozens of senior editors and journalists from Latin America and Africa attended the opening ceremony. They were welcomed by smart robots nicknamed Xiao Meng who opened their arms at the gate of the new headquarters of People’s Daily.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is Communist Party chairman Xi Jinping’s multi-trillion-dollar project. It seeks to connect China to the rest of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America through a network of physical and digital infrastructure.

Many emerging economies across Africa and to a lesser extent European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American countries have already signed on to the ambitious project.

People’s Daily conceded that BRNN would play a vital and unique role in promoting and cultivating BRI.

“Responding on President Xi’s proposal, the BRNN was established as a key measure to deepen the Belt and Road media cooperation and people-to-people exchanges,” it added.

The vast majority of media outlets in China are state-run entities used to spread pro-Beijing messages. BRNN is no exception.

It is expected to promote the notion that BRI is intended to help recipient countries, not serve as a vehicle for debt traps that benefit China.

China inaugurated the BRI-focused outlet on April 22. The People’s Daily noted that publishes in six languages including Chinese, English, French, Russian, Arabic, and Spanish. It acknowledged that BRNN would play a vital and unique role in promoting and cultivating, adding:

The visiting journalists agreed that the BRNN provides a platform for equal dialogues and mutual inspiration among the BRI countries and their people.

Mainstream media outlets along the Belt and Road will further expand cooperation, innovate cooperation modes, enrich cooperation content and jointly build the BRNN into a platform of news sharing, exchanges, and cooperation, as well as communication.

The U.S. has warned that China is seeking to use BRI to accomplish its dream of global hegemony.

China is also using BRI to push its communist and a form of debt trap colonialism, some American experts told U.S. lawmakers in May.

Some concerns about being unable to pay China are beginning to surface in Africa and elsewhere, but China denies the U.S. accusations, dismissing them as a smearing campaign.


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