China Calls for Global Media Takeover by ‘Belt and Road News Network’

China's President Xi Jinping listens to Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on December 23, 2019. (Photo by Noel CELIS / POOL / AFP) (Photo by NOEL CELIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
NOEL CELIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newsletter People’s Daily on Monday demanded a controlling role for China’s Belt and Road News Network (BRNN) over all global media, ostensibly to counteract “racially discriminatory messages” from certain Western nations that refuse to stop asking questions about where the Wuhan coronavirus came from.

People’s Daily pushed CCP propaganda about its supposedly magnificent leadership in fighting the coronavirus to its logical extreme, demanding China be allowed to take charge of media coverage in other countries so that Beijing’s uplifting narrative becomes the standard everywhere.

The world’s worst censors invoked the importance of “truth” as the reason they should be allowed to censor everyone else’s news:

The media should faithfully record history and respect facts in news reporting. Truth is basic for news. At this crucial moment, media practitioners must work in a down-to-earth way, learn the real situations, and report the truth in the most accurate, objective and comprehensive manner.

Unfortunately, some irresponsible Western media outlets spread and even fabricated rumors, which undermined international cooperation to fight the virus.

China’s incredible sacrifice in fighting COVID-19 has made a huge contribution to the world, winning high recognition from the international community. It’s of great significance to provide objective and accurate coverage of Chinese anti-epidemic achievements when rumors abound. The media should be aware that when they share China’s successful anti-epidemic experiences with the world, they are injecting positive energy into protecting the lives and health of the people across the world.

So why not let a Chinese Communist media operation become editor-in-chief for the entire planet, to “enhance cooperation to assist in the world’s COVID-19 fight and contribute to safeguarding the health and well-being of mankind”?

The Belt and Road News Network (BRNN) issued an open letter to its alliance members of 205 media outlets from 98 countries around the world, calling on them to give the message of unity and support to the public, tell stories of how countries fight together by looking over for and helping each other, and give the warm message of unity and strength. The letter demonstrated the common aspiration of all media practitioners who stand by justice.

When people are united and determined, they can achieve anything. To conquer the virus, the world must reach the consensus of building a community with a shared future, gather the common will from all human beings, and formulate a strong power for joint actions.

Communist China is consistently ranked one of the worst places on Earth for press freedom and rarely scores much better than its feral client state North Korea. Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) was among many media organizations in 2020 to express concerns that Beijing already has far too much influence over global news coverage, and it is aggressively interested in acquiring more. 

“In the case of China, the coronavirus outbreak has revealed the most important teaching of this crisis, which is censorship in China doesn’t only concern the Chinese people. It is also a threat to anyone on Earth,” Reporters Without Borders (RSF) bureau chief Cedric Alviani told DW.

“Being able to control content dissemination channels, that allows them to be the gatekeepers outside of China, so then they can decide what gets on TV in Africa and elsewhere, what people are able to share,” added Freedom House analyst Sarah Cook, who wrote a report warning about the CCP’s relentless multi-billion-dollar effort to create a “media megaphone” that would broadcast its political narratives around the world.

Cook’s report quoted Chinese dictator Xi Jinping laying out the objectives of his foreign propaganda campaign in 2014, demanding that media depict his authoritarian state as “a civilized country featuring a rich history, ethnic unity, and cultural diversity.”

That is very much in line with the global narrative the Belt and Road News Network wants to set by taking editorial control of media operations around the world in the wake of the Wuhan pandemic.

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