Chinese State TV Unveils Global Expansion Plan

The Chinese government has put tremendous resources into expanding its media empire globally as part of a broader soft power push. A new push by central broadcaster CCTV will expand overseas staff tenfold by 2016, focusing especially on the markets in Africa and the U.S. The Guardian reports:

China Central Television hopes to win millions of viewers in the US and Africa with English-language services produced in Washington and Nairobi. It is the latest in a multibillion-pound soft power push, as Beijing searches for a “cultural aircraft carrier” to extend its global influence.

“Global competition nowadays is not just political and economic, but cultural … Countries that take the dominant position in cultural development and own strong cultural soft power are the ones that gain the initiative in fierce international competition,” argued an essay in Chinese journal Leadership Decision-Making Information last month.

Beijing has created almost 300 Confucius institutes around the world, teaching Chinese language and culture, and spent a reported £4bn on expanding state media. It has created a new English language newspaper, Russian and Arabic TV channels and a 24-hour English news station run by the Xinhua state news agency.

For more on CCTV’s international ambitions, see “The Voice of China’s ‘Soft Power’” via CDT. Read also more on China’s soft power efforts, including the spread of Confucius Institutes, and a recent article about how Confucius Institutes are trying to influence of American universities where they are located. See also CDT’s coverage of China’s external propaganda, including the push to spread domestic media worldwide.