by WorldTribune Staff, July 6, 2020
Communist China has launched an all-out social media assault aimed at defeating President Donald Trump in the November election.
The U.S. State Department this year has designated several Chinese propaganda outlets which operate in the U.S. as foreign missions.
On June 22, the State Department designated the U.S. operations of China Central Television, China News Service, the People’s Daily, and the Global Times as foreign missions, Diana Zhang noted in a report for The Epoch Times.
The June 22 announcement follows the Feb. 18 designation of Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA as foreign missions.
“These designations provide clarity about China’s state-owned media operating in the United States. They’re not independent media outlets. They’re propaganda outlets seeking to influence opinion on behalf of the CCP. The State Department is showing the CCP that the United States is serious about protecting our country,” Zhang wrote.
But the State Department has yet to touch on the new focus of CCP propaganda in the United States, social media.
Zhang noted: “The CCP’s social media army, sometimes called the “50 Cent Army” (because they are said to be paid 50 cents for each post they make), is very well trained. Hundreds of thousands of operatives follow directions and are grouped into layers. When there’s an important issue — for example, a protest in Hong Kong, or the U.S.–China trade war — they will split into two opposite groups, debate, create controversial topics, make the topics heated, and then gradually guide most of the conversation into the direction the CCP wants.
“It’s a well-planned, well-thought-out strategy. The group that speaks for the opposite side has strict guidelines — what they can say in taking the opposing view, and the red lines never to cross. Some lower level groups only repost. Their work can create big influencers within days. And they can also buy big influencers, give them money, let them keep talking as before, but speak for the CCP at critical times, on critical issues.”
The CCP’s social media army interfered with an election in Taiwan, Zhang noted. The Tainan mayor — who became the head of one of Taiwan’s two major parties — was elected under the influence of the CCP’s social media army.
Now, the “50 Cent Army” has “has marched into the United States,” Zhang noted. “The CCP has a strategy: It’s easier to beat Trump than to beat America as a country. This is the same strategy the CCP uses to target the leaders of organizations, or the elites of countries, going after these individuals rather than tackling the organizations or countries as whole.”
TikTok, the Chinese video-sharing service, was used to create confusion around Trump’s Tulsa rally. It encouraged people to register for the event but not show up.
“This was not an act of individuals, but a well organized attack. And that was just a small test,” Zhang noted.
“This social media army can also pretend to talk like Democrats, attack Trump, and, using a large, well-organized team, appear to dominate opinion.”
The CCP takes advantage of America’s open system, Zhang noted, adding “the United States doesn’t have enough understanding of its tactics.”
The Indian government announced that it has banned 59 apps from China, including TikTok, WeChat, and Baidu map.
“In the United States, every action takes a long process. On the one hand, this is how a democratic system works. But on the other hand, the slow pace is also the result of a long peaceful life that makes most Americans unaware of the enemy next to them,” Zhang wrote.
The Chinese communists “may seem to be clever, but as the popular Chinese saying goes, ‘Heaven is eliminating the CCP.’ Though the CCP continues its insidious tactics, it now faces crises from every direction. No matter how sly, stealthy, and ruthless the CCP is, the wind is now against it,” Zhang concluded.