China has been going to great lengths for the last decade to establish a “new world media order” under its control. Photo: RSF

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Paris — The Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged the European Union representatives to raise the issue of press freedom violations by the Chinese regime during a virtual summit with president Xi Jinping on 14th September.

The world media watchdog has strongly urged the European Union (EU) representatives Charles Michel, President of the European Council, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, the representative to Germany presidency of the Council of EU, to raise the issue of press freedom violations by the Chinese regime during the virtual EU-China summit on 14th September, which president Xi Jinping was scheduled to attend.

“Human rights is a fundamental value of the European Union, and to not insist for it would only encourage the Chinese regime to continue its policy of information control and repression of independent voices” says RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire. “Any weaknesses would give China free rein to impose a new world information order, which could be more detrimental to European citizens than it is today”.

China is the world’s biggest captor of journalists with at least 118 detainees, often being held in life-threatening conditions. Last year, in an investigative report entitled "China's Pursuit of New World Media Order", RSF revealed Beijing’s strategy to control information beyond its borders that includes blackmail, intimidation and harassment on a massive scale, that threatens democracy worldwide.

The RSF said it is expanding its hold beyond its borders to impose its "ideologically correct" vocabulary, to deter any criticism of itself and to cover up the darker chapters in its history. Less well known than the Belt and Road Initiative, but just as ambitious, this project poses a threat to press freedom throughout the world.

This is what RSF reveals in its investigative report entitled "China's Pursuit of a New World Media Order", available in French, English and Chinese versions on its website rsf.org. The NGO highlights the strategy deployed by the Chinese state to achieve its goals. These strategies include: modernizing its international TV broadcasting, buying extensive amounts of advertising in international media, infiltrating foreign media... but also employing blackmail, intimidation and harassment on a massive scale.

"In the spirit of the Beijing regime, journalists are not intended to be a counter-power but rather to serve the propaganda of states,” RSF Secretary General of Christophe Deloire said, adding: “If democracies do not resist, Beijing will impose his view and his propaganda, which is a threat for journalism and democracy”.

China, ranked 177 out of 180 in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index compiled by the RSF, is expanding its hold beyond its borders to impose its "ideologically correct" vocabulary, to deter any criticism of itself and to cover up the darker chapters in its history. Less well known than the Belt and Road Initiative, but just as ambitious, this project poses a threat to press freedom throughout the world.

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