Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

kaixi2_ZhangPengLightRocketviaGettyImages_chinesemetrotravelersoncellphones Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images

China’s New World Media Order

Thirty years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, China's regime is proudly promoting its model of authoritarian capitalism around the world. The new world media order that it is trying to build is less well-known than the Belt and Road Initiative, but just as ambitious.

PARIS – Since the Tiananmen Square massacre 30 years ago, China has achieved extraordinary economic development. Yet, contrary to the expectations of many Western leaders and analysts, the country has not gradually embraced press freedom or respect for civil rights. On the contrary: as a recent Reporters Without Borders(RSF) report shows, China today is actively working to build a repressive “new world media order” – an initiative that poses a clear and present danger to the world’s democracies.

Press freedom, one of the main demands of the Tiananmen demonstrators, is officially guaranteed by Article 35 of the Chinese constitution. Yet the Communist Party of China (CPC) and its state apparatus still routinely flout this provision.

In fact, China is one of the world’s leading jailers of journalists, and ranks 177th of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. The “Great Firewall of China,” an ultra-sophisticated Internet-filtering system, limits the access of most of China’s 830 million Internet users, and the CPC has no qualms about pressuring publishers and social-media platforms to censor themselves. China now openly rejects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with rhetoric about “social harmony” and the “relativity of values.”

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/k9kNbZw;
  1. mahroum18_HAIDAR HAMDANIAFP via Getty Images_iraqprotestfire Haidar Hamdani/AFP via Getty Images

    The Arab World Needs a Brexit Debate

    Sami Mahroum

    The Arab world has witnessed at least one big Brexit-like event every decade since 1948 – and these political, economic, and social ruptures never seem to heal. The impact of these self-inflicted disasters is now painfully evident, and ongoing street protests in several countries suggest that a moment of reckoning may have arrived.

    0
  2. lhatheway7_Claudio Santistebanpicture alliance via Getty Images_ECBFedLagardePowell Claudio Santisteban/picture alliance via Getty Images

    Restoring Central Banks’ Credibility

    Larry Hatheway

    The old central-bank playbook of slashing interest rates to spur consumption, investment, and employment has become less effective since the 2008 financial crisis. Yet without effective tools and the public's confidence, central banks will be unable to rise to the occasion when the next recession arrives.

    0
  3. fischer163_action press-PoolGetty Images_natoflagsoldiers Action Press-Pool/Getty Images

    The Day After NATO

    Joschka Fischer

    French President Emmanuel Macron has drawn criticism for describing NATO as brain dead and pursuing a rapprochement with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But now that a wayward America could abandon the continent at any moment, Macron's argument for European defense autonomy is difficult to refute.

    9