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Policy report

Seeking to undermine democracy and partnerships

How the CCP is influencing the Pacific islands information environment
World politics Democracy Political campaigns International relations Relations with China Diplomacy Freedom of speech Propaganda Misinformation China Pacific Area

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is conducting coordinated information operations in Pacific island countries (PICs). Those operations are designed to influence political elites, public discourse and political sentiment regarding existing partnerships with Western democracies. This research shows how the CCP frequently seeks to capitalise on regional events, announcements and engagements to push its own narratives, many of which are aimed at undermining some of the region’s key partnerships.

This report examines three significant events and developments:

  1. the establishment of AUKUS in 2021
  2. the CCP’s recent efforts to sign a region-wide security agreement
  3. the 2022 Pacific Islands Forum held in Fiji.

This research, including these three case studies, shows how the CCP uses tailored, reactive messaging in response to regional events and analyses the effectiveness of that messaging in shifting public discourse online.

This report also highlights a series of information channels used by the CCP to push narratives in support of the party’s regional objectives in the Pacific. Those information channels include Chinese state media, CCP publications and statements in local media, and publications by local journalists connected to CCP-linked groups.

Publication Details
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All Rights Reserved
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Policy Brief Report No.70/2023