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China today thinks it’s safer to be feared than to be loved

Beijing

The france-based research body has described how “Machiavellian” China has built a tentacular network to exert its influence worldwide, a media report said.

The Strategic Research Institute of France’s renowned Military College’s (Irsem) 650-page report titled “Chinese influence operations– a Machiavelli moment” digs through the layers of secret and not-so-secret institutions, actions, and styles used by Beijing to control western opinion, reported Radio France Internationale.

The report is written by an intelligence expert and China specialist Paul Cheron in partnership with political scientist Jean-Baptiste Jeangene Vilmer.

Cheron has credentials from Harvard and China’s most prestigious university Qinghua while Vilmer could be a security specialist.

Probably, the report is that the “most extensive analysis of China’s propaganda machine ever published in French”.

For a long time, China wanted more to be loved than feared and it wanted to seduce, projecting a positive image of itself within the world then arousing admiration. Recently China has increasingly shown another side, Radio France Internationale said citing the report.

According to the report, “Beijing’s influence operations have hardened considerably in recent years and its methods increasingly resemble those employed by Moscow.”

Quoting Machiavelli’s The Prince, the authors say that China today thinks that “it is safer to be feared than to be loved”, according to Radio France Internationale.

Highlighting Beijing’s influence the report stated China’s means of exerting influence abroad from “most benign (public diplomacy) to the most malignant, (clandestine activities),” including the attempt to aggressively manipulate public opinion abroad through think-tanks, “Confucius Institutions” and media, said Radio France Internationale.

Illustrating over China, the report stressed that Beijing is viewed with increased skepticism.

It also emphasized that the EU, the UK, the US, Japan, and other countries maintain a greater wariness when it comes to relations with Beijing.

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