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Disinfo: Yahoo Publishes Chinese Government Propaganda Piece

On January 24, Yahoo! published an article titled "Taiwan couple in tune with Chinese mainland". The original source of the piece is China Daily, which is an English-language newspaper owned by the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The article and its accompanying video may seem quite harmless to people who are not familiar with the politics of the People's Republic of China (PRC), but they hide a very specific agenda. 

In the video, a young couple from Taiwan are interviewed about their experiences in China, and especially during the Lunar New Year festivities. They are asked questions about their jobs as DJs, and about the similarities and differences between Taiwan and "the mainland". 

The way they talk and the words they use convey a message: that Taiwan is just a part of China. 

The CCP views Taiwan as part of the PRC and has vowed to use force to annex it. Beijing's stance can be compared to the Russian government's policy towards Ukraine, denying another country's statehood on the basis of ethnonationalist ideology. 

The couple interviewed by China Daily never mentions the word "China". That's because contrasting China and Taiwan would suggest that Taiwan is a separate state. Instead, they carefully use the word "mainland", signifying that the "mainland" and Taiwan are just part of the same entity. The PRC has a long-standing policy of censoring words related to Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The couple stressed the similarities between Taiwan and the "mainland". 

"The customs on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are very similar in many ways", they said. 

When it comes to the differences, they resorted to the politically safest choice: talking about the weather. 

"The most different thing is that winters in Shanghai are colder than those in Taipei," one of the interviewees said, before both of them burst out laughing. Another difference, he then added, is how they give out lucky money for Lunar New Year.

Towards the end of the interview, the political message becomes more straightforward: 

"(music) exchanges are quite a profound way to boost exchanges across the Taiwan Straits ... which makes us feel that we (DJs) are pretty needed," one of the interview stated.

Some people may dismiss such videos as just harmless entertainment or cultural exchange. But those who know how CCP propaganda works understand what such videos are really about. 

CCP-controlled media manufacture a narrative of Taiwan and the "mainland" as one nation. This narrative then influences domestic and foreign audiences. 

First, propaganda portrays China as one nation with Taiwan as part of it. Once this point has been asserted, another assertion follows: that the PRC is the only legitimate government of China. These two assertions are the arguments for CCP domination. 

One example of how the CCP's narrative spread around the world is a recent interview on the Lincoln Project with David Rothkopf, about which I will write a separate post. To sum it up briefly, Rothkopf stated that Taiwan will some day be part of China, and he repeated CCP talking points to justify it. This is the equivalent of people saying that Ukraine should be part of Russia. 

The question is: how could a PRC state media video with propaganda undertones such as this find its way on Yahoo's news aggregator? 

This is pure disinformation, spread by a large corporation to a global audience on behalf of the world's biggest one-party dictatorship and its expansionist agenda. 

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  1. How indeed. It turns out PRNewswire is to blame. This article was syndicated and pasted across many properties. That Yahoo! either chooses not to filter these articles or that it made it past their filter is what pollutes their properties.


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