Xinhua president Li Congjun warned on Wednesday that Western media are trying to destabilize and discredit China. He urged their Chinese counterparts to develop greater sway over public opinion abroad and online. From Ben Blanchard at Reuters:
“Some hostile Western forces and media do not want to see a prospering socialist China and target the spear of Westernization, separation and ‘color revolution’ at China,” Li wrote in a column.
They “use their powerful dissemination abilities to massively play up the ‘China threat theory’ and the ‘China collapse theory’, creating rumors to attack and vilify our country and party which harms our interests and national image”.
[…] “We must continue to be creative in foreign propaganda efforts … to tell China’s story well, explain China’s special characteristics and proactively publicize the polices and positions of the party and government,” Li said. [Source]
See more on the global expansion of China’s state media including the launches of CCTV America and China Daily’s African edition via CDT.
Li’s warning recalls a controversial commentary in the overseas edition of People’s Daily last year, in which Yuan Peng argued that the U.S. would exploit “‘rights lawyers,’ underground religion, dissidents, internet leaders and disadvantaged social groups” to undermine China. Netizens quickly dubbed these groups “The New Five Black Categories,” referring to the original Five Black Categories of the Cultural Revolution era.