Keep squeezing the Chinese regime

Monitoring Chinese regime propaganda about the Wuhan Virus pandemic allows insights into the Communist Party leadership and can reveal vulnerabilities to guide American strategists.

That’s why we continue our extensive daily pandemic propaganda timeline.

Some of the most important conclusions to draw from the timeline to date have been the absurd lengths to which the Chinese government has covered up its role in unleashing the pandemic, insisted that the world praise the regime for its response, and attacked the United States government for insisting on holding the regime accountable.

We are now seeing fissures within the Chinese Communist Party leadership. That means the US should remain on the offensive to deepen those fissures and force the regime to take responsibility and be held accountable.

Even the propagandists say their propaganda has been a disaster

Now comes an unauthorized report out of China that the Party’s own Central Propaganda Department is struggling to avoid responsibility for the disinformation offensive it has unleashed worldwide.

The official propaganda has backfired so badly that the Department is trying to deflect blame for pushing the faulty Party line that it was instructed to push.

It reportedly issued an urgent notice recently – unusual in that the notice did not come in the name of Xi Jinping, which could indicate infighting or divisions within the CCP leadership. Chinascope has the story, translated and summarized from the original in Minghui. Highlights:

  • ‘Emergency notice’ to ‘suspend official CCP propaganda’ on virus immediately. “Minghui reported that, according to internal sources, the CCP Central Propaganda Department recently issued an ’emergency notice’ to media in mainland China to suspend the official CCP propaganda on the Wuhan virus immediately.”
  • Propagandists unwilling to take responsibility. “Analysts interpret the notice as an indication that the CCP Central Propaganda Department is not willing to assume responsibility for the previous CCP propaganda guidelines.”
  • International blame against CCP seen as trigger. “It is believed that the notice was due to the claims filed against China and to the increased advocacy from the international community to hold China accountable for the cover-up of the pandemic.”
  • ‘Brakes must be applied immediately.’ “According to the emergency notice, ‘brakes must be applied immediately’ on all propaganda that advertises how remarkable the Chinese anti-pandemic effort is and how ‘inferior’ the anti-pandemic efforts in foreign countries are. The notice also stated that this was ‘a painful decision made by its senior leadership based on the current situation.’”
  • Possible internal rift, but CCP not seen as changing. “Analysts believe that the CCP Central Propaganda Department is attempting to avoid being a scapegoat in the future. Some experts believe that this may be the result of an internal rift and that the CCP will not change.”
  • Anti-US finger-pointing and cover-up did more harm than good. “Since the outbreak of the Wuhan virus in January this year, the CCP has engaged in a major propaganda campaign setting off another anti-America wave, while doing everything it could possibly do to cover up that which allowed the coronavirus to become a global pandemic.”

Bottom line: President Donald Trump and the rest of his team, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, are exactly correct in laying the blame squarely on the Chinese Communist regime. Beijing and its apologists here and abroad have been begging the administration to stop. Now is no time to slow down. It’s time to squeeze even harder.

About J Michael Waller

J Michael Waller is a Senior Analyst for Strategy at the Center for Security Policy. He was a founding editorial board member of NATO’s Defence Strategic Communications journal, and for 13 years held the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair as a professor at the Institute of World Politics. He holds a PhD in international security affairs from Boston University. Click here for full bio.