United we lie
China and Russia to Cooperate on Propaganda?

Many hands make light work—or so the saying goes. If it’s true, the world’s two biggest revisionist powers are going to be finding it much easier to spread misinformation around the world because, according to Chinese state media mouthpiece Xinhua, it appears that Beijing and Moscow are going to try to work together on their propaganda campaigns:

Liu Qibao, head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met with a senior Russian official Thursday on media cooperation between China and Russia.

In a meeting with Alexi Gromov, first deputy head of the Presidential Administration of Russia, Liu said his department is willing to work with the Presidential Administration of Russia on the integrated development of traditional and new media.

The two sides should look to the future and aspire to innovate bilateral media cooperation based on the integration and development of new media and traditional media, so that they can have larger say in the world’s mass media, said Liu, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee.[…]

Noting that Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Russia in May, decided with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, the future path of bilateral relations, Liu expressed the hope that his visit and participation in the media forum could help further implement the consensus reached in the fields of media cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.

It’s always fascinating and instructive to see the mask slip. China is more fully totalitarian than Russia is, though Putin’s regime has been playing catch-up. Both states have proven adept at producing anti-American and anti-Western propaganda, and it is often effective.

Putin, for one, goes to tremendous lengths to maintain plausible deniability when he misbehaves, so that he can introduce counternarratives that redirect and dull the world’s reactions. China, for its part, works tirelessly to make sure no one anywhere in the world can call Taiwan a sovereign state without being hectored and shouted down, and it is deeply aware of the importance of PR for its biggest projects, like Xi’s all-encompassing party purge and expansionism in the South China Sea.

We just can’t wait to see what these two propaganda powerhouses come up with when they put their minds together.

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