The Chinese Foreign Ministry declared on Saturday that the United States is the real “empire of lies,” slamming a State Department report that claimed Beijing invests billions of dollars each year in efforts to manipulate information.
According to a report released on Thursday by the U.S. State Department, China is attempting to influence international media through censorship, data collection, and covert purchases of foreign news organizations.
Despite the unprecedented resources devoted to the campaign, Beijing had hit “major setbacks” when targeting democratic countries, due to local media and civil society push-back, according to the report, which was produced under a congressional mandate to detail state information manipulation.
The report has disregarded facts, and is itself false information, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.
The agencies of the U.S. State Department that produced the report “were the source of false information and the command post of ‘cognitive warfare’,” the Chinese ministry said.
“Facts have repeatedly proven that the United States is the true ’empire of lies’,” it added.
The U.S. report comes amid controversy over China’s attempts in recent years to increase the global footprint of its government-controlled media. Beijing is seeking to combat the negative images of China it feels are propagated by global media.