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The Buzz

Still, that partial limitation isn’t satisfactory for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crusade against the “Western values” of free speech and democracy.

Xi’s recent clampdown on the internet should be viewed as a component of China’s “three warfares” strategy involving legal warfare, public opinion warfare, and psychological warfare.

According to Heritage Foundation fellow Dean Cheng:

Public opinion/media warfare is the struggle to gain dominance over the venue for implementing psychological and legal warfare. It is seen as a form of warfare independent of armed confrontation or actual hostilities. Indeed, it is perhaps understood most accurately as a constant, ongoing activity aimed at long-term influence of perceptions and attitudes.

Public opinion warfare uses the medium of news outlets, television, books, movies, and the internet to influence foreign and domestic public opinion of China.

The crackdown on free speech in China should be understood in the broader context of Chinese attempts to control public opinion through fear, intimidation, and censorship. The U.S. should not hesitate to strongly oppose these suppressions and voice its support for the basic rights of Chinese people to free speech and access to information.

This piece first appeared in The Daily Signal here

Image: Creative Commons.