A number of foreign vloggers are suspected of contributing to the Chinese government’s efforts to whitewash the image of the Chinese government to deny the Western countries’ condemnation and sanctions against China over human rights issues in Xinjiang. International media channels such as BBC, VOA, and Deutsche Welle… have discovered this.
Foreign YouTubers support China, criticize the West
According to a VOA report, if you search for the word “Xīnjiāng” (transliteration of the word Xinjiang) on YouTube recently, in addition to reports from Western media, there are also many videos of foreign YouTubers about Xinjiang. Cuong. In these videos, some foreigners have shared their personal visits to Xinjiang or refuted Western reports. Many of the views and opinions of these people almost match the Beijing government’s description of a beautiful Xinjiang.
These YouTubers include Britons like Jason Lightfoot, father and son group Lee and Oli Barrett living in China. The videos uploaded by them do not show they have ever been to Xinjiang, but claim that the US and other Western countries have attacked China with “lies” about genocide and forced labor. The aim is to destabilize China and serve the geopolitical interests of the West.
Canadian citizen in China, Daniel Dumbrill has criticized the West for just speculating on Xinjiang affairs, while also expressing a view to defend China’s policies as a foreign YouTuber. Dumbrill accused the United States of banning Xinjiang products on the grounds that forced labor was unsubstantiated, and that it had taken away the livelihoods of the Uighurs, causing these ordinary people to suffer. disadvantaged.
In the video, Dumbrill said he had recently visited several Xinjiang localities such as Kashgar, a video in which he said he saw Uighur children playing together in their mother tongue, or Street signs are written in both Uighur and Chinese characters, with no indication that the West accuses China of eliminating its ethnic language. Although he confirmed that there were a large number of police and surveillance cameras on the streets, he also added that the local Uighurs feel very safe right now.
The Chinese government drops “fragrant bait” to recruit foreign celebrities as an extension of the party’s propaganda arm
According to VOA, in recent months, the Chinese government has launched a number of operations to find foreigners who can tell better stories about China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). A contest called “Media Challengers”, launched by China Global Television Network CGTN, is trying to find journalists, YouTubers and Internet celebrities all over the world. world. The final winner will receive a prize money of up to 10,000 USD and have the opportunity to get a full-time or part-time job at CGTN.
The BBC quoted several people familiar with the matter as saying that for now, CGTN is focused on using “Internet celebrities and celebrities” to counter foreign media reports. set up a “Internet Celebrities” department to contact foreigners to negotiate the use of their videos or co-produce, even arrange foreigners to come to Xinjiang.
Foreign individual videos deliberately avoid strictly controlled storytelling in Xinjiang
In recent days, these foreign YouTubers who follow the Chinese regime’s views have mostly purposely ignored local tensions when posting videos of visiting Xinjiang. According to a report by Deutsche Welle Radio, two German journalists traveled to Xinjiang to interview a local German-invested factory, both of whom were followed along the way by Chinese government agents, even more encounters with police interrogation.
When the two reporters arrived at the door of a suspected “re-education camp,” they heard a “patriotic song” from within. After they were at the door a few minutes, they were surrounded by eight policemen and checked for identities.
But these scenes will not appear in the movies of foreign internet celebrities. Most of their films will focus on tourism in Xinjiang, there are even titles like “Street of Beauties” to attract tourists. And in these videos, travel bloggers won’t talk too much about the high-tech surveillance vehicles on the streets of Xinjiang, let alone being questioned by the police.
Foreigners living in China can freely post videos on social networks banned in China
Bret Schafer, a researcher on media protection for the Democratic coalition and several disinformation projects at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, told VOA it is difficult to determine whether these foreign YouTubers have receive funding from the Beijing government or share honestly.
However, he said that China has a network firewall, so Western social media platforms like YouTube will be blocked in China and these foreign YouTubers living in China can freely use them. use a VPN to publish videos on YouTube, which shows that they have the approval and support of the Beijing government.
Mr. Schafer analyzed, if your view of the Chinese government is negative, can you still be allowed to log in to these social networking platforms? I think the obvious answer is no. So the question is have they received a certain level of government support?
He believes that Beijing’s strategy is very clear, as Russia has always done, to spread Chinese government propaganda through the mouths of foreigners and make these views more credible. .