| 31 March 2023, Friday |

China spending billions on spreading disinformation about Ukraine war, says US special envoy

China has been spending billions to spread disinformation on various matters, said James Rubin, a coordinator for the Global Engagement Center, adding that the most of the messaging is completely in alignment with Russia on Ukraine. The Global Engagement Center is a US state department body that works to “expose and counter” foreign propaganda and disinformation.
Rubin’s remarks came during a Europe tour, when he also said that he aims to counter Russian-Chinese disinformation on Ukraine not just passively, but to play offensive by urging countries to throw out people who have been spreading disinformation.
“The well has been poisoned by Chinese and Russian disinformation – it’s pernicious,” said Rubin. He was a broadcaster and former official in the Clinton administration.
Rubin claims that both Russia and China are spending billions of dollars to manipulate information on the Ukraine war and the West hasn’t been quick to bring it under control. However, Beijing is carrying out the operation on a global level, while Moscow isn’t spending as much on the disinformation propaganda.
“We as a nation and the west have been slow to respond and it is a fair judgment that we are facing a very, very large challenge,” he told reporters. “In the communication space, the alignment between China and Russia is near complete.” Chine was “repeating and promulgating the arguments of Russia about the war that it was started by NATO,” Rubin said.
Rubin says that BBC World Service can play a crucial role in combatting this disinformation on Ukraine war. “The straightness of the BBC is one of the great assets of the western world. If we are going to combat the disinformation threat, which is real and worse than I ever thought, by China, by Russia globally, we’re going to need allied unity, allied division of labour. We’re going to need allied actions akin to that which we saw in previous eras, and the BBC is a big part of that.”
Rubin echoed US administration’s warning that China might arm Russia in its war against Ukraine, saying that the cooperation between the two countries might reach a new level. He said he hoped people will not make the same mistake about China as some of them did about Russia.

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