Cancel China's Propaganda: Exploring the CCP’s attempt to gain global influence and why we must oppose it

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Media release: Wednesday 17 June, online briefing

Cancel China's Propaganda: Exploring the CCP’s attempt to gain global influence and why we must oppose it 

WHAT: On Wednesday 17 June, 2020, a panel of Tibetan, Uyghur and human rights leaders will conduct an online media briefing about efforts by the People’s Republic of China to export its propaganda around the world. These efforts have been aided by international media, who have run articles written by Chinese state media in their newspapers as part of deals worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Unknown to most people, newspapers in Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the UK, the USA and at least a dozen other countries have been running paid advertorials and inserts supplied by China Daily and Beijing Review, two outlets under the direct control of the Chinese Communist Party. These articles have claimed that:

  • Tibet - one of the most repressive places on Earth - has in fact been undergoing 60 years of “democratic reform”

  • Beijing’s response to the outbreak of the coronavirus has been exemplary and an example that other countries should follow

  • An estimated two million Muslims, mainly ethnic Uyghurs, detained in mass internment camps are in reality undergoing vocational training that has brought them “hope”. 

This propaganda content, branded China Focus and China Watch, has in recent years appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Daily Telegraph, Sydney Morning Herald, Economist and the Wall Street Journal.

At the same time, Beijing has become more assertive at pushing its interests around the world. It continues to fund Confucius Classrooms and Institutes in schools and universities, uses its influence to ban freedom of expression on campuses, punishes foreign governments for allowing the Dalai Lama into their countries, and intimidates human rights defenders attempting to speak out overseas.

The panel will discuss Beijing’s secretive public relations strategy and contrast the image that it presents of itself in its propaganda with the harsh reality faced by those living under its rule. The speakers will also discuss their campaigning work to push back against this propaganda and explain how those watching can help.

 

Panel:

Zumretay Arkin, Program and Advocacy Manager, World Uyghur Congress

Kyinzom Dhongdue, Executive Officer, Australia Tibet Council

John Jones, Campaigns and Advocacy Manager, Free Tibet

Drew Pavlou, Student, University of Queensland

Sophie Richardson, China Director Human Rights Watch

 

Moderator: Gloria Montgomery, International Tibet Network.

The panel has been convened by the International Tibet Network.

 

WHEN: Wednesday 17 June: 10pm AEST / 2pm CEST / 1pm BST / / 8am EST 

The briefing will be  broadcast via Bluejeans and streamed live on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InternationalTibetNetwork/

 

CONTACT: For further information:

John Jones, Free Tibet, UK | +44 (0)777 068 1938 | john@freetibet.org

Mandie McKeown, Tibet Network | +44 (0)7748 158 618 | mandie@tibetnetwork.org

 

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES:

Zumretay Arkin is the Program and Advocacy Manager at the World Uyghur Congress, an organization representing the collective interests of the Uyghur population living in East Turkestan and abroad www.uyghurcongress.org

Kyinzom Dhongdue is the Executive Officer of Australia Tibet Council and an elected member of Tibet’s Parliament-in-exile - www.atc.org.au 

John Jones is the Campaigns and Advocacy Manager for Free Tibet. The organisation was established in 1987 with the vision of a Tibet where Tibetans are able to determine their own future and the human rights of all living there are respected -   www.freetibet.org

Drew Pavlou is an Australian student at the University of Queensland. In July 2019, he helped organise demonstrations in support of the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. He is currently suspended from the university after criticising the institution’s links to China and the Chinese government’s poor human rights record. 

Sophie Richardson is the China Director at Human Rights Watch, one of the largest human rights organisations in the world, which conducts research and advocacy on human rights - www.hrw.org