China has been accused of making determined efforts to weaponise, influence its media and simultaneously suppress critical reporting.
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The allegation was contained in a report by Freedom House, with the United States-based and government-funded organisation also proclaiming that the Asian giant made frantic efforts between 2019 and 2021 to expand its territory.
According to the report, the strategies adopted by China include intimidating media houses and journalists and providing government-backed content to media outlets.
"The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its proxies are using more sophisticated and coercive tactics to shape media narratives and suppress critical reporting.
"Mass distribution of Beijing-backed content via mainstream media, harassment and intimidation of outlets that publish news or opinions disfavored by the Chinese government, and the use of cyberbullying, fake social media accounts, and targeted disinformation campaigns are among the tactics that have been employed more widely since 2019," part of the report claimed.
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Controlling media through power, money and influence
China was also accused of controlling the flow of information and also achieving a stronghold in content distribution platforms.
The report also brings to light some of the cyberbullying attempts by China to threaten journalists abroad, publishing critical pieces, The Singapore Post reports.
According to Bloomberg, the Asian giant allegedly invested a whopping amount of US$ 2.8 billion in strengthening its global media presence between the decade of 2008-18.
The privately held financial, software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown also reported that China used exchange programmes for foreign journalists, training exercises, and regular discussions with domestic and foreign media as part of its strategy.
Apart from this, Beijing used back-door tactics like providing state media content free of charge, paying for huge portions in the newspapers and undertaking cooperation agreements with media houses in China.
Experts worry over China's economic strength as companies shift operation
Meanwhile, it was reported that despite its expanding influence and enviable human power, China was stuck in what finance and economy experts described as a "middle-income trap."
This was linked to different controversies in which the country is embroiled, including human rights violations and alleged military expansionism.
With a staggering 1.4 million population, China boasts one of the most incredible economic success stories and cemented itself as one of the economic world powers.