Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Vloggers knock down western media anti-China propaganda

By Teck Lim - posted Monday, 15 April 2024

In the first two months of 2024, China recorded 2.95 million inbound and outbound trips by foreigners, an increase of 2.3 times compared with 2023. Should this trend continue, we may see a new phase in the war waged against China by western media supported by its Asian allies.

This new phase pits the Davids of ordinary travellers with modest resources against the mighty Goliaths of western media augmented by the enormous financial resources and cloak and dagger activities of China's enemies.

According to a recent Reuters report, two years into his presidential office, Trump authorised the Central Intelligence Agency to launch a clandestine campaign on Chinese social media aimed at turning public opinion in China against its government, according to former US officials with direct knowledge of the highly classified operation.


Three former officials told Reuters that the CIA created a small team of operatives who used bogus internet identities to spread negative narratives about Xi Jinping's government while leaking disparaging intelligence to overseas news outlets. The effort, which began in 2019, had not been previously reported.

It has been expanded by Biden and Sunak judging by the constant stream of anti China reporting by CNN, BBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Nikkei Asia, Sydney Morning Herald, some of India's mainstream media, and other non-western media drawing their news from the western agencies that dominate the international media market.

This hitherto one-sided battle is now more evenly fought out. In the daily contestation in the media, travellers from around the world are covering every part of China - the mega cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and others; second to fifth tier cities; out of the way and allegedly repressed, exploited and unsafe provinces such as Xinjiang, Tibet and other areas with large non-Han and indigenous populations; rural and urban poor and less developed areas, side lanes and alleys.

Armed with audio and photographic equipment, and with an increasing number of flying drones to capture the beauty of the countryside as well as probe into forbidden or the ugliest and least developed parts of China, these mainly budget and backpacker travellers provide evidence of a society, government and nation different from that provided by the sedentary highly paid journalists, operating from Washington, London, Tokyo, Taipei, New Delhi, and others ensconced in five star hotels to concoct and spin their anti China news reporting

Unlike their professional counterparts who have to scavenge for anti-China stories to justify their job and career advancement, the vloggers have absolute freedom to go anywhere and video and comment on everything that they come across.

There is no China mission for them to justify. No editorial panel to oversee their work. No concern that they may be at risk for writing a story or report news that may be construed as favourable to China. No claim that they are living up to trumpeted journalistic values of integrity, honesty, fairness, balance, independence and credibility. No need to give priority to any political or commercial interest, except their own.


Many of these vloggers come from developed, more 'democratic' countries with pronounced anti China sentiments amongst some of their fellow citizens - US, Canada, UK, Japan, Australia and some EU countries. An increasing number come from Africa, Middle East, South America and elsewhere in Asia and the Pacific. They all, with a few exceptions of Trump's and now Biden's paid cyber troopers, marvel at the China they are discovering.

Fed with an incessant stream of news and stories that go beyond just being simply partisan into the toxic realm of misinformation, manipulation and propaganda by the guardians of the old world order determined to bring China down, these Davids were expecting an authoritarian police state; the absence of freedom of speech, expression, religions; human rights abuse and slave labour; repression of Uyghurs, Muslims and minorities. Some expected zombie-like citizens cowed and silenced by the apparently ubiquitous surveillance cameras training down and snooping into every nook and corner of China. Others relate how they have been fed stereotypes of China as unsafe; the Chinese as inscrutable and anti-foreign; the government as xenophobic and power crazy

The great majority have gone home with a new and favourable awareness. More than a few are enchanted by their experience and better knowledge of China's history, culture, economy and food!

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

This article was first published in Eurasia Review  under a different title.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

4 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Lim Teck Ghee, a former graduate of the Australian National University, is a political analyst in Malaysia. He has a regular column called, ‘Another Take’ in The Sun, one of the nation’s print media.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Teck Lim

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 4 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy