China’s Public Diplomacy Operations

As part of the strategy to ‘tell China’s story well’, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has significantly expanded its public diplomacy efforts. The PRC makes use of both state-controlled media outlets and over 270 diplomatic accounts on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to amplify the PRC’s perspective on global affairs and current events. In this event, researchers based at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, present a global audit of social media activity by PRC diplomats and ten of the largest state-controlled media outlets between June 2020 and February 2021, they find that diplomats and state media are very active, gain high numbers of engagement, and profit from inauthentic amplification. Furthermore, they disclose a coordinated inauthentic network amplifying UK-based PRC diplomats, consisting of 62 accounts dedicated to promoting the content by PRC diplomats stationed in London. Between June 2020 and January 2021, the network amplified tweets by diplomats more than 25,000 times, accounting for nearly half of all retweets of the PRC ambassador to the UK.