News Analysis |
Voice of China (VOC), the new China‘s government-funded international radio broadcast source will be launched soon, state news agency ‘Xinhua’ released the document on March 21, 2018. This proposal was approved by China’s parliament. VOC will be formed by combining three mammoth state-run national networks: China Central Television (CCTV), China National Radio and China Radio International employing more than 14,000 people, reportedly. It will be the international broadcast.
It is interesting to know that CCTV has launched large operations in Washington and Nairobi, the capital of Kenya which has employed non-Chinese journalists fronting news reports. Moreover, China Radio International is disseminated in 65 languages — more than any other station in the world.
“Telling good China stories”
Just like the Voice of America (VOA) which serves as the United States’ official institution for non-military, external broadcasting since its inception in during the Second World War, likewise, VOC- Voice of China is tasked with “propagating the party’s theories, directions, principles and policies” as well as “telling good China stories,” according to the document.
It may be the best time for China for launching an international broadcast as it is engaged with almost all the countries of the world through its investment modes in multifaceted fields of life including defense, trade and commerce, military, banking systems, economic, health, space and so on. The most important development is China’s Belt & Road Initiative including more than 65 countries of the world.
Games for attaining soft-power
In this regard, many anti-BRI elements including the US’ perception have been promoting all over the world. China is investing a lot under its BRI development strategy mainly in the developing countries. A lot of western literature has been spread or published against China as it is threatening to the world peace encircling the small, middle powers (developing countries) through BRI or China’s String of Pearls Strategy.
It is pertinent to discuss here that the countries joining or engaging itself with China’s development projects; they are chasing their own national interest and policies whether they are receiving more loans than their capacity to manage to pay back.
The impact of VOC will not be as much as VOA in its initial stages but VOC will be able to counterbalance anti-China sentiments around the world.
It is quite interesting terms that describe China as a competitor, a confronting state and as an aggressive policy maker are trending relatively more than China’s narrative of peaceful coexistence. Negative sentiments about China are being publicized more in Indian and the US media forums. Therefore, VOC may play a constructive role in order to tackle a negative propaganda against China’s policies through disseminating China’s own vision and memo. Simultaneously, it is true that China has never been open about its exact objectives, keeping its policies under the hood.
How good PR helps selling a country: a booming business of positive image building
In order to build a more positive image China invested heavily on overseas media and education initiatives. This included a 500-strong network of Confucius Institutes that teach Chinese culture and language. The impact of VOC may prove positive in many perspectives for China spreading a positive rhetoric of “China’s peaceful rise” in order to get confidence of more countries. In true meaning, all emerging economies including India, Russia and China are seeking the global power status. It is quite evident that the world is moving towards multi-polarity.
According to a survey in 2017 by Center for International Communications Studies of CIPG China’s global image is steadily improving. Though scoring just a little above 6 on a scale of 10，it’s still a step ahead compared with 2011.
China’s global image is steadily improving. Though scoring just a little above 6 on a scale of 10， it’s still a MAJOR step ahead compared with 2011.
Nevertheless, the impact of VOC will not be as much as VOA in its initial stages but VOC will be able to counterbalance anti-China sentiments around the world. China may introduce VOC in multiple languages for an international broadcast. As media plays very much constructive and paramount role in building or spreading any country’s national narrative.
As China is dealing with the developing countries and even the third world countries (Africa), the media leaves an impeccable impact on the people of minds of people compared to any other mode of communication. Information warfare (IW) which is a concept involving management of information and communication technology (ICT) in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent, in this regard VOC may serve best to China’s interests.