As China’s economic power has risen, so has its belligerence in asserting the numerous overlapping territorial claims it has with at least 14 of its neighbours. In the recent weeks, China has sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat in the disputed South China Sea, persistently harassed a Malaysian offshore oil rig, threatened Taiwan with an attack, tightened its grips on Hong Kong by passing a controversial national security law and flexed muscles with India along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.
Recently, violent clashes broke out between the Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control in Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh after the Indian forces found Chinese troops intrude into its region following a disengagement plan agreed between the Lieutenant Generals of the two sides earlier this month. At least 20 Indian soldiers, including Commanding Officer of the 16 Bihar Regiment, were killed in action in the military confrontation between the two forces. Heavy casualties have been reported on the Chinese side as well, but no official number has been released by Beijing.
Amidst this border standoff between India and China, it is important to revisit the pithy observations made by Investigative Reporter Joshua Philipp on China’s use of psychological warfare, media warfare and legal warfare to “strangle countries with their own system” and view them in the context of its pervasive dispute with its neighbours.
In an interview on American Thought Leaders, Joshua Philipp talked on an array of topics concerning China, specifically about the origins of coronavirus in China, coronavirus as a fallout of Beijing’s biological weapons program, and the Chinese Communist Party’s strategy to foment unrest in other countries using psychological, media and legal warfares.
As a part of their agenda to instigate trouble in the enemy country, the Chinese Communist Party observes how different countries operates, sensitivities of people in those countries, what are the controversial elements in their system, and how can they be exploited to use those drawbacks against them and unleash chaos in the country.
“If you say you have faith in free speech, they will set up crippling protests in your own backyard to call you out. If you claim you believe in free press, they shall set up a state-run media in your country and use their services to lie to your population to spread their propaganda. This is what they do. You tell them you believe in free markets and they will bring state-owned companies that will sell products at low cost and drive your companies out of business. This is what they do. “Strangle you with your own system,” Joshua explained.
China’s “Three Warfares Doctrine”
Joshua enunciated the Chinese military’s publicly adopted “Three Warfares Doctrine’ which include psychological warfare, media warfare and legal warfare. According to the Investigative Reporter, psychological warfare doesn’t necessarily entail peddling lies. In fact, it means changing the way information is interpreted by the population. Explaining the concept, Joshua said when the virus emerging out of the central Chinese city of Wuhan is called “Chinese Virus”, the CCP swings into action its psychological warfare and twists the news by claiming it to be a racist reference discriminating against the Chinese people.
The media warfare, according to him, is the ability to control and manipulate outlets of information, not just news outlets, but social media, online platforms, the power of speaking freely. Anything that would enable people to communicate to a larger audience that could galvanise trouble for the CCP would be a target of the media warfare. Elaborating over the media warfare waged by the Chinese Communist Party, Joshua cites the document accessed by him which said that the Propaganda arm of the CCP had hired 1,600 operatives to sweep Internet and clean potentially incriminating information against China on social media platforms. He also added that the CCP hired the services of 50 cent Army which go on the comments section of websites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other Chinese social media website and firehose them with lies and disinformation.
A case in point, Joshua claims, is the disinformation campaign surrounding the origins of the coronavirus attributed to US military. A senior Chinese spokesperson publicly called the US military as the source of the coronavirus. Joshua contends that soon after the Chinese spokesman ascribed the virus to the US military, all the arms of the media warfare coalesced to amplify the disinformation that US military was responsible for unleashing the pandemic.
“They had everyone online pushing this narrative. They also control and regulate the discourse that goes along in the Chinese social media space. The head of Global Times, one of their state-run media, now registered, notably, in the United States as a foreign mission of the Chinese Communist Party also actively partook in pushing this propaganda. A branch of the Chinese government was posting this as well. Soon, people in China started believing that the virus had its origin in the United States and they started calling it USA virus,” Joshua said.
“The document accessed by me said that the Chinese Communist Party commissioned hundreds of articles, from online influencers, well-known individuals, whose opinions shape social impact. Perceived credibility—that is the nature of disinformation. Recently, Taiwan did an analysis and found the same thing. They discovered that 70% of online articles about these things were being done by the Chinese agents,” Joshua averred.
Regarding legal warfare, Joshua asserts that for CCP legal warfare means manipulating the international legal system. It is to this end that China is resisting an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus and fighting tooth and nail to avert a global inquiry on the matter.