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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: Europe, Slovakia

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: 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: North America, United States

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: 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: Associated Press

Publication Date: February 14, 2021

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

Authoritarian Country: China, Iran, Russia

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: China, Russia

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: 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: North America, United States

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: Asia-Pacific, Philippines

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.

Source: New York Times

Publication Date: April 12, 2020

Putin’s Long War Against American Science

Authoritarian Country: Russia

Affected Region: Global

Author: William J. Broad

View Resource: Putin’s Long War Against American Science

As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, it was accompanied by a dangerous surge of false information—an “infodemic.” Russian Leader Vladimir Putin played a key role in the spread of false information as part of a wider effort to discredit the West and promote his own agenda.

Source: Axios

Publication Date: March 9, 2020

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Map Changes “Taiwan” to “Taipei and Environs”

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: North America, United States

Author: Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

View Resource: Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Map Changes “Taiwan” to “Taipei and Environs”

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center began an interactive map that tracked the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide. The center changed the way the map referred to Taiwan, labeling it as “Taiwan and environs” (which is one way the CCP’s refers to Taiwan) before switching back to just “Taiwan.”

Source: Quartz

Publication Date: March 4, 2020

China is Mobilizing to Control the Narrative on Coronavirus

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Global

Author: Annabelle Timsit

View Resource: China is Mobilizing to Control the Narrative on Coronavirus

PRC embassy officials published statements criticizing global press outlets for their coverage of COVID-19. Chinese embassies aimed to promote the idea that the CCP’s response to the outbreak was effective and transparent.

Source: Thai Enquirer

Publication Date: January 30, 2020

Thai Media is Outsourcing Much of its Coronavirus Coverage to Beijing and That’s Just the Start

Authoritarian Country: China

Affected Region: Asia-Pacific, Thailand

Author: Jasmine China

View Resource: Thai Media is Outsourcing Much of its Coronavirus Coverage to Beijing and That’s Just the Start

The dominance of Chinese content in Thai news long preceded the COVID-19 outbreak. Since 2019, Chinese media has made tremendous inroads into Thai-language news, including English-language Thai newspapers.