09/10/2019, 16.28
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Beijing's media war against Hong Kong protests

by Paul Wang

Chinese ambassadors from 70 countries around the world have published articles defending Beijing’s policy and warning foreign countries against interference in Hong Kong. After the censorship, hundreds of social media accounts to counter and destroy the anti-extradition and democratic movement. The state media forge fake news. The support of show business personalities.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - An article published today in the Global Times - an semiofficial tabloid, linked to the People's Daily - accuses the Western media of promoting a "color revolution" in Hong Kong. By "colored revolution" it means the popular uprisings that took place in Eastern European countries, which led to the fall of the USSR, or those linked to the "Arab Spring", which led to the fall of several  regimes in the Middle East.

The author of the article, Shen Yi, director of the Center for Cyberspace Governance at Fudan University (Shanghai), accuses the Western media of bias, of portraying Hong Kong protests as "a non-violent and resistance movement for the democratic struggle ", whereas instead they are only" street riots ", supported by foreign governments spurred on by "national interests".

Shen Yi's is just one of the articles that the Chinese Communist Party's advertising machine has unleashed to counter information from Hong Kong and influence international public opinion.

The demonstrations in Hong Kong started in June. At first the Chinese media downplayed and censored the news. But after chief executive Carrie Lam declared that she would "bury" the extradition law, the media war started in China.

First and foremost, many ambassadors in more than 70 countries around the world have written newspaper articles to claim Hong Kong events as "China's internal affair" and to warn the West of triggering a new "color revolution".

Then the social media war has begun. Although Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are censored in China, in the second half of June, hundreds of accounts appeared that posting photos and judgments on what was happening in Hong Kong, branding the youth of demonstrations as "violent rioters", "cockroaches", "rat shit ”; extolling the police and their service in maintaining order. No word on the demands for democracy, or on the excessive use of force by the policemen.

Facebook, Twitter and Youtube have had to remove many accounts because they are clearly linked to the Chinese government.

Then came the state media, which also created fake news: a demonstration of Hong Kong parents defending their children from accusations of revolts (see photo) was presented as a demonstration against the "rioters"; the violence of the hooligans and mobsters in Yuen Long against the young demonstrators presented as a spontaneous reaction of the population to the abuses and violence of the demonstrators.

The state media has continued to stoke  patriotism, arguing that mass movements are manipulated and guided by foreign powers (first of all the US), and that the "rioters" want to destroy the welfare of Hong Kong, based on the principle " one country, two systems ". The young maintain just the opposite: China is destroying this principle, drowning Hong Kong in the Chinese dictatorship.

Further support for China came from some personalities in the world of show business: actress Liu Yifei, who plays Mulan in Disney's upcoming film, hoping to succeed in China, posted messages praising the Hong Kong police. For this reason the young people have decided to boycott her film. Even the famous actor Jackie Chan wanted to testify his patriotism in Beijing, posting the sentence (suggested by the state television) "I am a guard of the five-star flag", after in Hong Kong, some young people had thrown the Chinese flag in Victoria Harbor.

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