Beijing imposes its propaganda beyond its borders

first_img Help by sharing this information September 24, 2015 – Updated on November 24, 2016 Beijing imposes its propaganda beyond its borders ChinaAsia – Pacific News Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes RSF_en As Chinese President Xi Jinping continues a week-long official visit to the United States that began on 22 September, Reporters Without Borders condemns China’s policy of exporting its information control and censorship model to the four corners of the world. China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Organisation China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures Follow the news on China April 27, 2021 Find out morecenter_img News The policy is making headway although the Chinese government prefers to be discreet about it.“The fight for freedom of information and media freedom in China is no longer limited to defending journalists and bloggers who are censored, harassed or detained,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.“China is increasingly waging an international war against freedom of information. Its successful ‘exportation’ of this fight is due above all to the passivity of western countries preoccupied with trying to trade with this economic giant. In the past, the international community tried to make China change. Now it is the opposite. Now we must resist in order to prevent China from gagging us and from imposing its propaganda beyond its borders. An urgent response is needed.”For years China has resolutely pursued a not entirely official goal of establishing a new media and information world order in which it would occupy a central position and would be able to shape opinion as it wished.This goal and the strategy for achieving it were described in an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal in 2011 by Li Congjun, who headed the Chinese news agency Xinhua until 2014 and who is now a member of the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee. The op-ed piece was headlined “Toward a New World Media Order.”President Xi, who also happens to head a central committee offshoot called the Central Leading Group for Internet Security and Informatization, signalled his desire to be assertive on the new information technology front by beginning his US visit with a stopover in Seattle, where he met with the CEOs of such tech industry giants as Microsoft, Apple and Amazon.China has pursued this strategy in various ways in the past five years. It is responsible for the World Media Summit, which brings together international media executives and which has been dubbed the “Media Olympics” in allusion to China’s close relationship with the International Olympic Committee. Begun in 2009, these meetings have been entirely organized and funded by Xinhua.The same goes for the World Internet Conference, launched last year and hosted by China, which focuses on Internet business. The first one, held in Wuzhen from 19 to 21 November, drew a thousand businessmen from more than 100 countries including ICT world leaders. Even Facebook was represented although it cannot be accessed from within China.Unfazed by the obvious contradiction, the authorities suspended Internet censorship in Wuzhen during the conference so that the visitors could connect to social networks and post videos on YouTube. Clearly nothing was said about the hundred or so journalists and bloggers who continue to languish in Chinese prisons for trying to circumvent the regime’s online censorship.By infiltrating the emerging media and information world order by economic means – purchasing shares in media organizations or forming partnerships – China establishes a presence and legitimacy that will later allow it to filter sensitive information and criticism about itself, its leaders and the party much more effectively.It is using the lure of its market size to seduce international Internet companies, which – in their desire to be part of this new El Dorado – will not hesitate to release China from certain “obligations” regarding freedom of information.New examples of the considerable efforts deployed by China to export its model and shape media coverage beyond its borders are emerging with increasing frequency.In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced in March that it intends to create a school of journalism based on the Communication University of China, which inculcates the party line into young aspiring journalists and which is run by former members of the Propaganda Department.In September 2014, German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle announced its intention to establish a partnership with CCTV, one of the pillars of the Chinese state’s propaganda system. The partnership included a content-sharing agreement that would extend DW’s reach in China.A few months prior to the announcement, Su Yutong, a Chinese blogger and journalist living in Germany who had worked for DW since 2010, was fired on the official grounds that she had illegally divulged information for internal use although her comments about the Chinese regime may have been the real reason.Su claimed that DW had begun censoring its China coverage following Peter Limbourg’s appointment as its director-general. DW finally backtracked a few months later and terminated its cooperation with CCTV.Baidu, a Chinese Internet services giant and spearhead of Chinese online censorship, penetrated the Brazilian market in July 2014, launching a Portuguese-language search engine called Busca. Brazil thereby became the second foreign country to “benefit” from its search engine services, after Japan.However it quickly emerged that searches for “Tiananmen Square,” “Tankman” or “Falun Gong” were being purged of all “sensitive” content and were instead providing lots of links to People’s Daily content. This international censorship reportedly ended after protests by many Internet users in Brazil and the rest of the world.Baidu’s victory in 2014 in a class-action suit – Zhang et al v. Inc – that a group of pro-democracy activists brought against it in New York was a watershed for Chinese censorship’s international progress. The suit accused Baidu of illegally suppressing content about democracy in China so that it is inaccessible to Internet users in the United States. The court’s ruling on 28 March 2014 that Baidu has a right to use “editorial judgment” reinforced the Chinese company’s immunity.The Chinese government may also be making its influence felt in US academic circles. The well-known Chinese dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng claims that New York University, which had been housing him and his family since they fled China in May 2012, forced them to leave the campus after pressure from China.Some media outlets have linked Chen’s eviction to the opening of an NYU campus in Shanghai in 2013 under the Global Network University programme.The world’s democracies cannot remain passive in the face of this offensive. Their principles oblige them to defend freedom of information, combat censorship and resist China’s growing influence, especially when it tries to export its authoritarian practices to the rest of the world.China is ranked 176th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. March 12, 2021 Find out more ChinaAsia – Pacific Receive email alerts June 2, 2021 Find out more MARK RALSTON / AFP News to go further Newslast_img read more

Olympic Games postponed to 2021

first_imgTokyo, Japan | AFP | The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday.The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime.Abe said Bach was in “100 percent agreement” when Japan asked the IOC to push back the Games.In a joint statement, the pair said that based on current World Health Organization information, the Tokyo Games “must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community”.“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present.“Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” the statement concluded.The decision will be a devastating blow for the city of Tokyo, which had won widespread praise for its organisation, with venues finished well ahead of time and tickets massively oversubscribed.– Highest-profile postponement –The Olympics, which has experienced boycotts, terrorist attacks and protests, but has been held every four years since 1948, would be the highest-profile event affected by the virus that has killed thousands and closed sports competitions worldwide.The IOC has come under increasing pressure in recent days to postpone the Games, scheduled to start on July 24, with 1.7 billion people across the planet in lockdown to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.Training has become impossible for many athletes and exposes them to the risk of contracting or spreading the disease. Competitions and qualifiers have been scrapped, while international travel is severely limited.On Sunday, the IOC had initially given itself a deadline of four weeks to come up with a proposal to postpone the Games, a Herculean task that touches on every aspect of Tokyo 2020 planning from venues to security to ticketing. But after Canada and Australia withdrew their teams and the powerful US Olympic Committee and World Athletics also joined the chorus calling for a postponement, the writing was on the wall.Tokyo was spending some $12.6 billion to host the Games, according to its latest budget, and experts believe a postponement could cost it some $6 billion in the short-term before recouping it when they eventually go ahead.It will also be a bitter blow to sponsors and major broadcasters who rely on the four-yearly extravaganza for critical advertising revenue.It is not the first time Tokyo has seen unscheduled changes to the Games — it was due to be the first Asian country to host the Olympics in 1940 before pulling out due to international pressure over its war with China.– Unparallelled complexity –The IOC came under fire for taking so long to make its decision after other major events such as the European Football Championships already announced postponements.But Tokyo 2020 organisers had pointed to the unparalleled complexity — not to mention cost — of shifting the Games. It is not even clear venues will be available and tens of thousands of hotel rooms will need to be cancelled and rebooked.“It is mind-bogglingly complex to make a sudden change after seven years of preparation for the biggest sporting event in the world,” Michael Payne, the IOC’s former head of marketing, told AFP.Squeezing in the 16-day Games into what will already be a hugely crowded 2021 calendar is another major headache, with arguably the two biggest sports, swimming and athletics, due to hold their world championships that summer.However, World Athletics has already said it was prepared to shift its world championships, scheduled for August 6-15 next year in Oregon, to accommodate a rescheduled Games.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img read more

Alex Peters is England’s top woman golfer for 2013

first_img14 Sep 2013 Alex Peters is England’s top woman golfer for 2013 International Alex Peters has won a nip-and-tuck race to top the England Golf ladies’ order of merit, sponsored by the golf tour operator Lorrin Golf.Alex, from Notts Ladies’ (image © Leaderboard Photography), has claimed the title of England’s top woman golfer by a tiny margin from fellow international, Sarah-Jane Boyd of Cornwall.The two players were neck-and-neck over the closing stages of the competition. Sarah-Jane took the advantage after the British stroke play championship – where she tied seventh – but Alex snatched back the top spot in the penultimate event when she tied third in the Royal Birkdale scratch trophy.Third place went to Meghan MacLaren of Northamptonshire, while Georgia Hall, the British amateur champion from Dorset, was fourth.“I’ve had a good year and I’m really pleased to have won the order of merit,” said Alex, 19, who thanked Lorrin Golf for their support.“It’s a big thing to win because it shows that all my hard work has paid off. I’ve been steady throughout the year and it proves that you don’t need to win, but you do need to be consistent to get to the top.”David Kelly, the managing director of Lorrin Golf, commented: “Lorrin Golf would like to congratulate Alex Peters on her fantastic golf throughout 2013. As winner of the England Golf order of merit we wish Alex all the very best for her new challenges in 2014.”Alex, who has represented England since she was 14, was runner-up in both the English amateur and Welsh stroke play championships. She also reached the last 16 in the British amateur championship.Other highlights of her year included representing GB&I in the Vagliano Trophy match against the Continent of Europe. She was the only GB&I player to win her singles on the second day.Now she plans another year in amateur ranks and will be targeting a place in the 2014 Curtis Cup team.Women’s Order of Merit, sponsored by Lorrin GolfLeading final places:1 Alexandra Peters (Notts Ladies)2 Sarah Jane Boyd (Truro)3 Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough)4 Georgia Hall (Remedy Oak)5 Gabriella Cowley (Brocket Hall)6 Rachael Goodall (Heswall)7 Charlotte Thomas (Singapore)8 Emma Tayler (Saunton)9 Samantha Fuller (Roehampton)10 Charlotte Thompson (Channels)last_img read more