12/11/2023, 09.10
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Chinese propaganda in Bishkek

by Vladimir Rozanskij

In the local press of Kyrgyzstan, but also on social networks, materials supporting Beijing and criticizing democratic values are multiplying. China imposes itself with a global rhetoric of "union of Eurasia" which must "free all the new energies of the East", always in harmony with Moscow.

Bishkek (AsiaNews) - In the last two-three years, China's information propaganda has become very active in Kyrgyzstan. In the local press, but also on social networks, there is a lot of material supporting Beijing and criticizing democratic values.

Many of these contents are found on fake accounts, or on dedicated channels of various applications, spread throughout Central Asia and especially in Kyrgyzstan, considered the most easily "penetrable" country in the region.

On Facebook and Telegram you can find the pages of Salam Kyrgyzstan, a service well known to users. It is a source that has addressed many popular topics since the beginning of its diffusion, attracting readers with interesting images and videos, and texts in Russian.

For some time now, China has become the main topic, not only with explicit articles supporting Beijing's policies, but with news of various events, statistics, photographs, short video stories and sensational news. In the last two years, over 400 contents on China have been published on the channel, and more than 100 relating to "Beijing".

Very often in these pages the great help offered by the Chinese to the development of Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian countries is highlighted, their close mutual economic ties and the fruits of Beijing's state program initiatives, without ever neglecting the references to Bishkek's large debt to China.

For example, the recent summit of the Shanghai Organization in Kyrgyzstan is praised, "the first platform in which the emphasis was placed on a new geopolitics and division of the world, in which the leading countries of Iran, China and Russia they have clearly expressed their priorities in relations with the West”.

The interventions and trips around the country by the Beijing ambassador Du Dewen are highly publicised, accompanied by comments from "experts" in criticizing Westerners, collecting posts from numerous other more serious and official Telegram channels such as Polit Lombard, Diplomatija, Logistan, The sun rises in the East and others.

In recent days an independent Kyrgyz magazine, PolitKlinika, published an investigation in which it criticizes these pro-Russian and pro-Chinese channels, denouncing the evident interference of the hand of these countries to strengthen their influence on Kyrgyzstan, also leveraging the “nostalgia for Soviet times”.

PolitKlinika journalist Čynargul Žumabekova observes that "China does not seem to want to impose itself too explicitly in the various levels of information, but often associates itself with considerations about Russia, as the two allies that defend us from the evil that comes from the West, always adding that Beijing is the main partner in ongoing projects in Central Asia.

" And when plans such as the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway are praised, the comments always have the foresight to point out that China has "broader motivations" that are not always well clarified, but which somehow include Russia's involvement .

China imposes itself with a global rhetoric of "union of Eurasia" which must "free all the new energies of the East", always in harmony with Moscow's brother country, with which it evidently shares various information strategies, also because the the vehicle language of this propaganda always remains Russian.

In reality, pro-Chinese information is starting to spread more and more even in the sections of websites and social pages in the Kyrgyz language, complete with advertisements from the Chinese media and the International Chinese Radio, mainly to support the proposals of the tourism sector, around to which are added general comments on various topics of international current affairs and customs.

The campaign of conquest of Central Asia is now launched on many fronts, and is destined to develop ever more rapidly, no longer only depending on military strategies and international political relations, but by immersing itself directly in the life of the Kyrgyz people and the countries neighbors.

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