Russia and China team up to push Ukraine propaganda

This campaign is drawing on a deep reservoir of resentment among former colonies towards wealthier, formerly imperialist NATO countries. And it is succeeding in keeping a significant number of the world’s countries, if not actively on Russia’s side, at least reluctant to wholeheartedly endorse “Team USA.”…

In this battle for hearts and minds, both Russia and China appear to be drawing on a variety of tactics. One is the use of foreign-language, government-funded media tailored to an African audience. Beijing has invested heavily in CGTN Africa, a regional arm of the Chinese Global Television Network founded in January of 2012. China Daily launched an African edition later that same year. Today, the stories both outlets run about the Ukraine war focus on the hardship Africans will face as a result of the conflict. One recent CGTN report emphasized that the price of wheat in Africa rose 19.7 percent in March, alone.

The Kremlin similarly supports a global media network aimed at audiences outside the country. And like CGTN, RT operates inside Africa primarily in English. But RT has also fallen on hard times. Once vastly more popular than its Chinese counterpart, RT has, since the Russian invasion, seen its broadcasts banned in the United States and European Union and its programs thrown off YouTube. But such setbacks in the Western world seem to have encouraged the company to shift its focus. Just weeks before the outbreak of war, RT announced plans to open a new “African hub” in Nairobi, where both CGTN Africa and China Daily Africa are based. The company says it is looking to hire journalists with “a nose for narratives and angles that people from across Africa believe in but [which] are dismissed by mainstream media” and “a strong understanding of how to use digital media creatively to build a passionate and dedicated community.”