Authoritative PRC media reports of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s live online appearances illustrate authorities’ expanding use of the Internet to set and control policy discourse in Chinese-language virtual space. They also suggest ongoing efforts to manage leaders’ images and portray them as accessible and soliciting online public opinion. While some apparent missteps suggest a cautious, evolving approach to interactive Internet media in relation to top leaders, reported leadership statements indicate sustained attention to the goal of incorporating new technologies into the propaganda system.
This report surveys 10 prominent PRC commentators on military affairs who appear to write blogs hosted on PRC and PRC-owned Hong Kong websites. All of these commentators appear to maintain an online presence using these blogs to promote their viewpoints. Commentators cover such topics as PRC military strategy, air defense, navy issues, army aviation, information technology, defense spending, foreign military developments, military-to-military relations, political education, military history, training, and exercises. These blogs appear on China’s authoritative government websites, popular PRC commercial portal sites, and independent Hong Kong news websites.
While the Google incident and Secretary Clinton’s speech spurred online discussion on the subject of “Internet freedom” in China, reaction differed on two observed popular sites. Public comments in response to Secretary Clinton’s speech on a popular news website subject to state censorship were consistent with official media reaction, emphasizing nationalistic resistance to alleged US “Internet hegemony.” In contrast, discussion on a popular social networking site noted the irony in China’s official response to Clinton’s speech, questioning Beijing’s claims to have an “open” Internet.
(U//FOUO) Open Source Center Chinese Media Use Google Incident to Press Claim for Internet ‘Sovereignty’
Following Secretary of State Clinton’s speech on Internet freedom and Google’s announcement that it may withdraw from China due to hacking and censorship, PRC media commentary on China’s Internet policy suggests an attempt to portray the Internet as sovereign territory and China’s policies as defending against US “Internet hegemony.” PRC authorities could use these claims to expand control over the Internet. Some commentary, however, portrayed the Google dispute as commercial rather than political, suggesting an attempt to downplay the incident. Recent PRC media reporting suggests an attempt to extend sovereignty into cyberspace.
This paper presents a comprehensive open source assessment of China’s capability to conduct computer network operations (CNO) both during peacetime and periods of conflict. The result will hopefully serve as useful reference to policymakers, China specialists, and information operations professionals.
Sweeping social and economic changes triggered by more than two decades of reform in China have led to equally sweeping changes in China’s vast, state-controlled media environment, particularly in the quantity and diversity of media sources and the development of the Internet. The Communist Party of China (CPC) not only tolerates much greater diversity in the media, but has strongly encouraged greater efforts to provide media content that resonates with the lives and interests of the population. Despite these changes, however, all pertinent information continues to be filtered through party censors to ensure that it is consistent with official policy. The party exercises especially tight control over the core mainstream media which deliver domestic and international news along with politically sensitive information. These media constitute the main vehicle for conveying the policy preferences and decisions of the central leadership.