With the potential closure of the federal government on Dec. 21 due to the U.S.-Mexico wall budget, many nations are watching America intently—especially China. China’s state-run media attempted to use this as a chance to denigrate the American government, but they did not succeed due to inaccurate coverage of the story.
Chinese state-run media outlets China News Service and the Global Times reported that U.S. President Donald Trump is shutting down the government on Dec. 24, Hong Kong Economic Times reported on Dec. 19. What those media outlets didn’t realize is that this is a day when the president shuts down the government early in observance of Christmas.
The actual news is about the government possibly shutting down due to a $5 billion financing deal not yet being reached.
When the error was discovered, Chinese state-run media outlets quickly took down the story from their websites.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) bolsters itself as the keystone of modern China, often telling Chinese citizens that “without the Party, there would be no China.” This self-importance and communist political-thought often carries over to its perception of other nations, assuming that a country is collapsing if the government shuts down.
Losing Face, Ruining Reputation
This is not the first time the Chinese media has made such blunders, including running stories from comedy websites and presenting digitally edited images as truth. The CCP further uses the most widely used Chinese chat app WeChat to spread propaganda and false news, including fervent nationalism to Chinese diaspora communities in English speaking nations.
Generally, the state run media in mainland China uses media to agitate its citizens about foreign affairs, and thus will quickly attempt to capitalize on negative events abroad. In an Orwellian fashion, it does not acknowledge any error or issue correction, but instead deletes mistakes from existence.
The CCP’s media reach has gone beyond its own borders, disrupting elections in Taiwan, even leading a politician to suicide. It attempts to influence American elections, including running a 4-page editorial in an Iowa newspaper.
This media influence is a long term method of warfare employed by the CCP, wherein it subtly alters people’s perception of events, and further manufactures events to validate those altered perceptions. This goes along with its ultimate goal of defeating America.