Local audiences in Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia have increasingly become direct targets of not only ‘mask diplomacy’, but more complex propaganda efforts to strain transatlantic relations, promote a positive image of China, and directly attempt to rewrite narratives around sensitive issues.
To an increasing extent, these declarations are posted directly to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. MapInfluenCE experts across the V4 nations examine the strategy, methodology, and effectiveness of the new steps in information warfare in this exclusive research paper.
“Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, China’s external propaganda has been working hard on damage control, including enlisting the help of Chinese state entities’ social media accounts on international platforms. At first Beijing’s propaganda focused on deflecting international criticism over its domestic response, however, it soon gained an offensive edge, spreading disinformation over the origin of the virus, engaging in ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy including attacking other countries’ responses and fighting social media ‘battles’ with representatives of foreign governments. The ‘march’ of Chinese diplomats to social media seems to have been motivated as much by explicit instructions from above as by the bottom-up initiative to impress superiors within the Chinese party-state apparatus.
In Central Europe, Chinese state-backed entities had not been prominent actors in cyberspace until the 2019 Hong Kong protests. Before that China’s modus operandi largely focused on passively boosting its image and spreading ‘positive energy’ about China. The defense of Chinese positions has reached a wider audience thanks to local Chinese Embassies’ outreach to some traditional media and the help of local pro-China proxies.”
Read more in the paper down below.