China’s ‘Media Warfare’: Time to Fight Back


Senior Research Associate, Faculty of Law (CPG), Thammasat University Kerry K. GERSHANECK

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ʻMedia Warfareʼ poses an existential threat to Japan and other democracies. As one of China (PRC)ʼs ʻThree Warfaresʼ that underpin its ʻPolitical Warfare,ʼ ʻMedia Warfareʼ is a vital weapon in Beijingʼs drive to achieve global hegemony. Accordingly, it is vital for democracies to understand the nature of the battlefield on which they must fight if they are to survive.

Chinaʼs version of ʻMedia Warfareʼ is expansive: it entails persuasion, coercion, online terror, propaganda, misinformation, and disinformation--all achieved through control of newspapers, television, radio, and online media. Also called ʻPublic Opinion Warfare ʼ, Beijingʼs ʻMedia Warfareʼ is designed to weaken its adversariesʼ will to fight while ensuring strong will and unity within Chinaʼs population. It is employed to shape public opinion both internally and externally by censoring foreign media, restricting the free flow of information, undermining academic freedom, and curbing civil society.