The Kremlin’s RT broadcasting service has stepped into the fray between the U.S. and Beijing and provided access to a tool of a sort that China’s Communist Party is still working to perfect: a sleek, 24-hour news channel aimed abroad that blurs the lines between news and state propaganda, The Wall Street Journal reports:
Beijing-friendly content on RT and other Russian foreign-language news outlets underscores efforts by the governments and state media of China and Russia to foster cooperation in what Moscow sees as an information war against the U.S. Relations between Moscow and Beijing have blossomed as both countries’ ties with Washington have wilted….
Russia has shifted from a relatively neutral tone to one backing China’s stance on Hong Kong. Moscow has likewise echoed Beijing’s line on detention camps for China’s ethnic Uighurs and the country’s continuing trade war with the U.S.
The documentary on RT, “Hong Kong Unmasked,” hit a chord on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, where Chinese users praised it for airing allegations that the protesters are tied to the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. nongovernmental organizations such as Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy.
“Russia and China’s interests align on a number of fronts and most often against the U.S.,” said Alexander Gabuev, senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “It’s only natural that they would fight back-to-back in what they see as a hostile media landscape populated by Western media outlets.”
China and Russia have been waging political warfare against the West, according to a new analysis, The Art of Deceit: How China and Russia Use Sharp Power to Subvert the West. The report from The Henry Jackson Society and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, details how Beijing and Moscow’s operations threaten three pillars of Western democracies: a pluralistic politics, free media, and academia.
We live in a world of influence operations run amok, where dark ads, psy-ops, hacks, bots, soft facts, trolls, and even world leaders seek to shape our very reality. In this surreal atmosphere created to disorient us and undermine our sense of truth, we’ve lost not only our grip on peace and democracy—but our very notion of what those words even mean, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation SNF Agora Institute adds.
Visiting Scholar Peter Pomerantsev discusses the disinformation age with his latest book, This is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality.