In recent weeks the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda and disinformation blitz around COVID-19 has drawn increasing attention, and with good reason. In addition to promoting a narrative about Beijing’s global leadership around the pandemic, the Chinese government has adopted Russian disinformation tactics in promoting conspiracy theories purporting that COVID-19 originated in Europe, the United States, and beyond to distract from its failed initial response to contain the outbreak from spreading beyond Wuhan.
Several accounts of China’s information operations have noted the incorporation of Russian disinformation tactics. Yet the full significance of this development cannot be understood without appreciating the broader alignment between Russia and China. In other words, China’s adoption of Russian information operation techniques is about more than “authoritarian learning,” or the passive diffusion of such practices from one authoritarian regime to the next. Instead, Russia and China are deepening ties and increasing coordination on a range of economic, defense, technological, and political issues. These repeated interactions facilitate an intentional sharing of best practices and are building a foundation for sustained cooperation moving forward.
Read the full article from the National Endowment for Democracy's Power 3.0 blog.
More from CNAS
PodcastCrackdown Ahead of Duma Elections, with Russian Opposition Member Dmitry Gudkov and Maria Snegovaya
What does the Kremlin’s crackdown ahead of the recent Duma elections tell us about the current domestic political situation in Russia? Russian opposition leader Dmitri Gudkov ...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Dmitri Gudkov & Maria Snegovaya
CommentaryThe Biden administration just stalled China’s advance in the Indo-Pacific
Australia, by intensifying the military competition with China, could tee up a chain of as yet unforeseen events....
By Robert D. Kaplan
CommentaryBrussels Should Follow Biden’s Lead in Engaging Russia
EU leaders should emulate Washington’s Russia strategy of balancing engagement with upholding core values....
By Nicholas Lokker
CommentaryChina tariff policies flounder without a strategy
The White House ought to be asking a series of questions. What problem are we responding to? What are we trying to achieve? How will 301s and tariffs further that?...
By Van Jackson