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Browse resources on authoritarian sharp power and its effects on the integrity of institutions and globalized spaces.

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Source: Medium

Publication Date: June 12, 2020

COVID-19 and China’s Changing Propaganda Tactics in Slovakia

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Slovakia, Europe

Author: Matej Šimalčík

View Resource: COVID-19 and China’s Changing Propaganda Tactics in Slovakia

In addition to spreading propaganda and disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic on social media via the Chinese Embassy in Slovakia’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts, Beijing also relied on more traditional approaches—including Slovak proxies in media and politics.

Source: International Federation of Journalists

Publication Date: April 29, 2021

The COVID-19 Story: Unmasking China’s Global Strategy

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Global

Author: Louisa Lim, Julia Bergin, Johan Lidberg

View Resource: The COVID-19 Story: Unmasking China’s Global Strategy

A survey of affiliate unions of the International Federation of Journalists indicated that the PRC used the COVID-19 pandemic to boost its image in global media. The PRC expanded media manipulation tactics that they had already been employing internationally to spread positive narratives.

Source: Australian National University Department of Pacific Affairs

Publication Date: October 8, 2020

China’s COVID-19 Diplomacy in the Pacific

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Asia-Pacific

Author: Denghua Zhang

View Resource: China’s COVID-19 Diplomacy in the Pacific

Beijing undertook multiple COVID-19 diplomacy activities in the Pacific to project a positive image about its pandemic response: foreign aid in the form of grants and donated medical supplies, shared information between Chinese and foreign health officials, and leveraging mainstream media to publicize the PRC’s support for foreign countries.

Source: New York Times

Publication Date: April 23, 2020

Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Europe

Author: Matt Apuzzo

View Resource: Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation

As European Union officials planned to document in a formal report how Beijing and Moscow promoted disinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic, the PRC pressured officials to revise certain language.

Source: RAND Corporation

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

Superspreaders of Malign and Subversive Information on COVID-19

Authoritarian Country: China, Russia

Affected Region: United States, North America

Author: Miriam Matthews, Katya Migacheva, Ryan Brown

View Resource: Superspreaders of Malign and Subversive Information on COVID-19

Though the Kremlin and Beijing both employed information manipulation tactics to service their respective global agendas during the COVID-19 pandemic, their long-term objectives differed. Russia aimed to destabilize the U.S., while the PRC sought to protect and enhance its own reputation.

Source: Associated Press

Publication Date: February 14, 2021

Anatomy of a Conspiracy: With COVID, China Took Leading Role

Authoritarian Country: Russia, Iran, China

Affected Region: Global

Author: Erika Kinetz

View Resource: Anatomy of a Conspiracy: With COVID, China Took Leading Role

Beijing leaned on a Russian disinformation strategy and turned to a network of Kremlin proxies to spread false or misleading messages that offset international criticism about its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Publication Date: February 23, 2021

For Covid-19 Vaccines, Latin America Turns to China and Russia

Authoritarian Country: Russia, China

Affected Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Author: Ryan Dube, Luciana Magalhães

View Resource: For Covid-19 Vaccines, Latin America Turns to China and Russia

As countries across Latin America began vaccinating their citizens with Sputnik V, CoronaVac, and Sinopharm’s vaccine, China and Russia were poised to boost their standing in a region where Beijing wanted access to oil, copper, and soybeans and Moscow sought to build stronger diplomatic and economic ties.

Source: Foreign Policy

Publication Date: June 15, 2020

China’s Health Silk Road Is a Dead-End Street

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Global

Author: Kristin Lee, Martijn Rasser

View Resource: China’s Health Silk Road Is a Dead-End Street

The COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity for the Chinese Communist Party to tout the superiority of its governance model by leveraging emerging technologies, like 5G networks that connected front-line health care workers and patients to medical experts in Beijing’s remote consultation platforms.

Source: In Queensland

Publication Date: November 8, 2020

How Australia is Sleepwalking into a Trade Disaster with China

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Australia, Asia-Pacific

Author: John McCarthy

View Resource: How Australia is Sleepwalking into a Trade Disaster with China

Economic reliance on China left Australia vulnerable to Chinese economic policy manipulation. In practice, Beijing used trade and other non-economic measures to punish the Australian government for decisions like banning Huawei from the 5G rollout and calling for an inquiry into COVID-19.

Source: ABC

Publication Date: September 13, 2020

UTS Recommended Staff Censor for Chinese Students, Newmarch Resident Records False Positive

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Australia, Asia-Pacific

View Resource: UTS Recommended Staff Censor for Chinese Students, Newmarch Resident Records False Positive

A University of Technology Sydney working group recommended that professors censor their courses to avoid topics that might offend Beijing, in an effort to retain Chinese international student enrollment during the economic turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: The Diplomat

Publication Date: June 22, 2020

The World Is Awakening to China’s Sharp Power

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Global

Author: Simon Shen

View Resource: The World Is Awakening to China’s Sharp Power

Beijing’s global propaganda campaign to control narratives about the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated how widespread its infiltration of Western media outlets had become. To complement its media efforts, the CCP also pulled the strings of state-owned and nominally private enterprises often run by CCP members.

Source: Foreign Policy

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

China Has Its Eyes on Serbia

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Serbia, Europe

Author: Vuk Vuksanovic

View Resource: China Has Its Eyes on Serbia

China’s COVID-19 aid to Serbia, received by Serbian President Alexsandar Vucic with much fanfare, fit into the CCP’s broader ambitions to promote itself as a major power offering novel solutions to regional challenges, in this case at the expense of the European Union and democratic values.

Source: Variety

Publication Date: June 11, 2020

China Claims To Be Victim, Wants Twitter To Delete Attackers

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Global

Author: Patrick Frater

View Resource: China Claims To Be Victim, Wants Twitter To Delete Attackers

Beijing claimed to be a target of disinformation campaigns on Twitter and called on the social media platform to remove accounts that attacked the PRC’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PRC had some previous success in pushing back against Western tech firms as it sought to promote its own worldview.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Publication Date: May 26, 2020

Will China’s Entry into U.S. Publishing Lead to Censorship?

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: United States, North America

Author: Ed Nawotka

View Resource: Will China’s Entry into U.S. Publishing Lead to Censorship?

Beijing deleted Chinese novelist Fang Fang’s blog posts describing conditions in China during the COVID-19 pandemic, and canceled her Chinese book publication. Fang and her translator were also subjected to online threats and harassment.

Source: BenarNews

Publication Date: May 12, 2020

Chinese Program Broadcast on Philippine State-Run Station Stirs Complaints

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Philippines, Asia-Pacific

Author: Jojo Rinoza and Jeoffrey Maitem

View Resource: Chinese Program Broadcast on Philippine State-Run Station Stirs Complaints

Critics slammed the Philippine government for allowing what they called Chinese propaganda to air on a state-run radio station. An episode of Wow China, a collaboration between the Philippine Broadcasting Service and China Radio Interrnational, showcased China’s COVID-19 assistance efforts.