A few weeks ago, I was driving to a shopping centre in the city of Wuhan in the southern Guangdong province when a billboard above me caught my attention.
It said: ‘You must not have the guts to come to our country, or to visit our beautiful places.
If you have the nerve, go to other countries, like Vietnam and Cambodia.
If not, come to China.
They are our friends.’
I felt a chill, as if I was being followed.
It was not the first time I had seen such a thing on a Chinese billboard.
In the past, Chinese authorities have warned people not to visit places in China or overseas in such a way that it could affect their psychological well-being.’
The messages of propaganda, such as the one above, are very powerful.
They make people feel that the world is hostile, that the other countries are evil and dangerous, and that there is something wrong with them,’ says Li Yanfang, an academic from the University of Science and Technology of China, who has researched the rise of propaganda in China.
‘They are telling people that they are not worthy of the country, that they should leave the country and live somewhere else.’
In a country with the world’s biggest population, China has long been seen as one of the most dangerous places on the planet, and it is often said that Beijing is the world capital of propaganda.
But the Chinese government has been increasingly trying to counter the perception that it is being increasingly aggressive in its dealings with other countries.
‘The Chinese government is trying to use the world as its battlefield,’ says Liu Hong, a journalist and author of the book China’s First China: The Politics of Propaganda.
‘It is a strategy that aims to show that the Chinese Communist Party is leading in a way of war.
But it is not winning.
China is not in a good position to deal with other powers, because it is surrounded by other countries and its strategic balance is weakened.
‘In China, we have an enemy that is trying its best to undermine China, to create an illusion of its superiority.
And China is going to face that challenge in a much more subtle way.’
As long as China continues to act as it does, we will continue to see more and more propaganda and propaganda and more and less diplomacy, and more people being killed, more people dying in China.’
The rise of China’s propaganda strategy ‘This is not a strategy we have always had in the past’, says Liu.
‘But it’s not a problem we are going to solve by ourselves.’
China is becoming a big, powerful country that is taking its foreign policy and foreign policy strategy from the East to the West, and the West to the rest of the world.
So it is very difficult for us to talk about China’s strategy without mentioning the East.
And the Chinese strategy is that it’s based on propaganda and it uses propaganda to persuade people that China is in a position to win.
‘China’s strategy is based on the idea that it can win and it has been winning for decades.
China’s foreign policy is based in this idea that the West is a threat and the East is a dangerous threat, and so China is trying desperately to make the world believe that the East can only be defeated by the West.’
Propaganda has been around for decades, but it has never been more prevalent in China than it is now.
‘This has always been a problem for the Chinese leadership,’ says Zhao Zhenzhi, a researcher at the Institute of International Studies in Beijing.
‘At the same time, the rise in the popularity of the internet and social media and China’s rapid economic development has increased the use of these techniques.
It has become easier to manipulate people in a number of ways, but also to create the impression that there are dangers in China that must be countered.
‘I think this is one of China and the world`s biggest threats.
It is a problem that we will have to confront and confront hard.’
Propagandists in China have long used ‘buzz words’ to create a sense of global danger.
‘We have seen in the last few years that China has started to create more buzz words for its foreign policies,’ says Professor Li Yan.
‘One of them is the concept of ‘Chinese menace’.
In the early 1990s, it was a concept used by Chinese officials to describe the threat posed by the US and the US-led NATO alliance.
‘Chinese foreign policy, especially foreign policy in the region, has been focused on the threat of the US.
The phrase ‘China menace’ is a phrase that has become more and the phrase ‘Chinese threat’ more and it used to be a buzz word that was used to describe China`s foreign policy.
Now, Chinese officials use a different term, `Chinese threat’, and that term is used to indicate that China` is a foreign threat