June 08, 2020

Behind China’s Twitter Campaign, a Murky Supporting Chorus

Featuring Kristine Lee

Source: The New York Times

Journalists Edward Wong, Paul Mozur, Ronen Bergman, Raymond Zhong, Aaron Krolik

As the Trump administration lashes out at China over a range of grievances, Beijing’s top diplomats and representatives are using the president’s favorite online megaphone — Twitter — to slap back with a pugnaciousness that is best described as Trumpian.

Behind China’s combative new messengers, a murky hallelujah chorus of sympathetic accounts has emerged to repost them and cheer them on. Many are new to the platform. Some do little else but amplify the Beijing line.

No doubt some of these accounts are run by patriotic, tech-savvy Chinese people who get around their government’s ban on Twitter and other Western platforms. But an analysis by The New York Times found that many of the accounts behaved with a single-mindedness that could suggest a coordinated campaign of the type that nation states have carried out on Twitter in the past.

Read the full article and more in The New York Times.

Authors

  • Kristine Lee

    Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Security Program

    Kristine Lee is an Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she focuses on U.S. alliances and partnershi...