China’s Subtle Propaganda on Tibet at Work

I was reminded of China’s new propaganda strategy on Tibet when I read the following sentence recently in the course of my internet browsing. “The best propaganda is that which the target audience does not recognize as overtly propagandistic in nature.”   The latest example of this is today’s news about President Jimmy Carter’s forward to a book on Tibet by “three Sino-US experts.”  Given President Carter’s experience with China and his knowledge of Tibet (he has met the Dalai Lama and discussed Tibet with him) I cannot imagine him supporting Chinese policies in Tibet.  May be if we read the full forward we may be able to understand him better, but the point at hand is the way his involvement is being projected by the Chinese media tasked to spread their version on Tibet (I reproduce their posting below). The topic is soft, i.e. environment and the person is a wellknown international figure. This is subtle propaganda at work with the impression that President Carter is somehow on their side of the fence, if you will. This fits well with some of the quotes that Xinhua seems to be getting from “Tibet experts” on issues relating to Tibet.

Former U.S. president writes preamble for ‘Close to Tibet’
2009-01-27
kristen zhang
China Tibet Information Center

“Close to Tibet” written by three Sino-US experts is a comprehensive book collecting more than 200 pictures to show the ecological environment of Tibet.

“Close to Tibet” does not only introduce the nature of Tibet Autonomous Region, but also record the history of ecological protection in TAR. Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President said :”In the past 20 years, no one would like to spare 40% of the areas as nature reserve to save endangered species except diligent Tibetans. They preserve almost all the species, such as snow leopards, wild yaks, Tibetan antelopes and elks with their efforts.”

A variety of endangered species of wild animals are increasing and rates of Deforestation have reduced 80%. Natural resources such as solar, geothermal, hydropower are widely used in Tibet.
(Translator & editor: kristen zhang)

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