Jakarta (Diplomat Times) – China has expanded its media influence globally to support its growing clout in the world.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, is also a target of Beijing media propaganda due to the former’s strategic location for China’s Belt and Road Initiatives.
Around the world, the Chinese government is dispersing its version of information through content-sharing deals under media partnership, censorship and training of foreign journalists.
China adopts the above strategies to amplify narratives in line with the Chinese Communist Party’s interests, especially in countries where Beijing has high stakes.
Indonesia is no exception and here, China is using at least three media strategies.
Inviting journalists to China and cooperating with Indonesian media
Additionally, in the past few years, China has actively invited foreign journalists to the country to supply them with its own version of information.
In 2019, the Indonesian Journalists Association attended the Belt Road Initiative Journalists Forum conference organised by CCP-affiliated All China Journalist Association (ACJA).
Supported by the China Communications University and China International Radio, the cooperation covers journalist exchange, journalist training, joint reporting and academic activities.
Upon returning, one journalist from Lombok wrote a piece on local newspaper, praising China and its press freedom.
In the same year, following increased protests on China’s repression of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Indonesian journalists, along with leaders of the country’s Muslim organisations were invited to China on a choreographed tour to Xinjiang, in which they were taken to only limited parts of the Uyghur camps.
Besides inviting journalists to China, Chinese media entities have also established ties with their Indonesian counterparts to support its content-sharing strategies. This strategy enables Chinese state media contents to circulate widely, reaching Indonesian audiences through local media.