Global Times
环球时报
GlobalTimesLogo.svg
TypeDaily newspaper (Weekdays with a weekend edition)
FormatTabloid
Owner(s)People's Daily
PublisherPeople's Daily
EditorFan Zhengwei
Founded1993, (Chinese edition)
2009, (English edition)
Political alignmentChinese Communist Party
LanguageChinese and English
HeadquartersNo.2 Jintai Xilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100733, People's Republic of China
ISSN2095-2678
OCLC number144515996
Websiteglobaltimes.cn (English)
huanqiu.com (Simplified Chinese)

The Global Times (simplified Chinese: 环球时报; traditional Chinese: 環球時報; pinyin: Huánqiú Shíbào) is a daily tabloid newspaper under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party's flagship newspaper, the People's Daily, commenting on international issues from a nationalistic perspective.[1][2][3][4] The publication has been labelled as "China's Fox News" by some scholars and writers for its propagandistic slant and the monetization of nationalism.[5][6]

Established as a publication in 1993, its English version was launched in 2009. The editor-in-chief of Global Times was Hu Xijin until December 2021, who has been described as an early adopter of the "wolf warrior" communication strategy of loudly denouncing perceived criticism of the Chinese government and its policies.[7] The newspaper has been the source of various incidents, including fabrications, conspiracy theories, and disinformation.[note 1] It is part of a broader set of Chinese state media outlets that constitute the Chinese government's propaganda apparatus.[15][16]

History

Established as a Chinese-language weekly publication in 1993, an English-language version was launched on 20 April 2009 as part of a Chinese government campaign to compete with overseas media.[17][18][1]

In 2009, Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of both Chinese and English versions at the time, stated that he expected it to make a loss of 20 million yuan in its first year as an English-language publication.[19] In 2016, Hu said the Global Times was profitable but faced difficulties that would be familiar to other newspaper editors.[20]

The Global Times launched its US edition in 2013.[1] In 2016, it was reported that the English-language edition then had approximately 20 "foreign experts" who were involved with assigning stories and copyediting, "as long as the coverage [wa]s not about politics".[21]

In 2019, the Global Times won a three-year contract with the Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China to monitor overseas social media and provide regular briefings and "comprehensive response plans."[22]

In December 2021, Hu Xijin announced that he would be stepping down as editor-in-chief.[7][23]

Editorial stance

The Chinese-language version has been known to have a pro-Chinese Communist Party (CCP) slant, attracting a nationalistic readership since its inception in 1993.[19][6][24] When launched in 2009, its editors claimed that the Global Times' English-language version took a less nationalistic stance than its Chinese-language counterpart.[25]

Sources both in mainland China and abroad have said that the Global Times is not generally representative of the Chinese government's political positions, while the People's Daily is considered more representative.[26][27][28] Others have stated that the Global Times' editorial stance has been viewed as channeling the views of the hardline faction of top leadership.[29] Some scholars have noted that Global Times' more nationalistic stance permits other official state-run media to appear more moderate in tone.[30]

The newspaper's former editor Hu Xijin has been described as an early adopter of the "wolf warrior" communication strategy of aggressively hitting back at criticism of the Chinese government.[7] His departure in December 2021, reportedly due to Beijing "strengthening the paper’s political guidance", was (according to The Diplomat) connected to efforts of toning down overly confrontational rhetoric, following a deterioration of China's international reputation and CCP general secretary Xi Jinping calling for improvements in the country's international communication at a May 2021 CCP Political Bureau session.[7]

Australia

In 2016, the Global Times referred to Australia as a "paper cat" in relation to the South China Sea, and a former "offshore prison" in relation to an Olympic champion Mack Horton calling out rival Sun Yang as a drug cheat (in reference to the country's former status as a British penal colony).[31][32]

Hong Kong

In May 2016, the Global Times ran a boycott campaign denigrating Hong Kong pro-democracy singer Denise Ho for allegedly advocating independence for Hong Kong and Tibet.[33][34] On 5 June, Lancôme cancelled a promotional concert by the Cantopop star that was scheduled to be held on 19 June in Sheung Wan.[34] Lancôme also added, in a Facebook post, that Ho was not a spokesperson for the brand.[35] The Tibet allegation appeared to have stemmed from Ho's May 2016 meeting with the Dalai Lama.[34] The cancellation drew a heavy backlash in Hong Kong.[34][33] Some Lancôme shops in Hong Kong were shut down during the protests.[36] Listerine, another brand that Ho represents, retained the singer despite the fact that the Global Times also criticized that company hiring Ho as its public face in Hong Kong.[34]

In August 2019, Global Times editor Hu Xijin accused the United States of instigating the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.[2]

Incidents

COVID-19 disinformation

The Global Times has spread unfounded conspiracy theories and disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[note 2] It has distributed disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic via Facebook posts and targeted ads.[40][41] In January 2021, the Global Times urged Australia not to use the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.[45][46]

Astroturfing allegations

According to Richard Burger, a former editor at Global Times, in the wake of the 2011 arrest of Ai Weiwei, the Chinese staff of the Global Times were ordered to conduct an "astroturfing" campaign against Ai Weiwei in favour of the Chinese Communist Party's criticism of Ai as a "maverick".[47]

Fabricated quotes

In October 2015, Roderick MacFarquhar, a China expert at Harvard University, spoke at a conference on Marxism in Beijing. He said that Chinese leader Xi Jinping's talk of the so-called Chinese Dream was "not the intellectually coherent, robust and wide-ranging philosophy needed to stand up to Western ideas." The Global Times reported his speech as saying that the "Chinese Dream" would "make great contributions and exert a positive impact on human development." MacFarquhar said that the paraphrasing was a "total fabrication". The line was later removed by the newspaper from its story.[8]

Xinjiang

In 2019, Global Times was criticized for perceived bias in its portrayal of Uyghurs and of disinformation campaigns regarding Xinjiang internment camps, which led Twitter to ban it and other state-sponsored media outlets from ad purchases.[48][49][50][51] In 2021, ProPublica and The New York Times reported that Global Times was part of a coordinated state campaign to deny human rights abuses in Xinjiang.[52]

"Final solution" tweet

In October 2021, a tweet from the Global Times which called for a "final solution to the Taiwan question" was condemned by German politician Frank Müller-Rosentritt of the Free Democratic Party for its similarity to the "final solution to the Jewish question" which resulted in the Holocaust.[53]

Biological weapons labs in Ukraine

Main article: Ukraine biolabs conspiracy theory

In March 2022, during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Global Times promoted unsubstantiated Russian claims of biological weapons labs in Ukraine.[54][55]

Reception

In China

In May 2016, the Global Times was criticized domestically by the Cyberspace Administration of China for "fabricating" news on the US, the South China Sea, North Korea, and Hong Kong, and "disturbing" the order of the cyberspace.[9]

In India

In September 2020, India's Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement saying that comments made by the Global Times were falsely attributed to Ajit Doval.[10]

In Singapore

In September 2016, the Global Times published an article, titled "Singapore's Delusional Reference to the South China Sea Arbitration During the Non-Aligned Movement Summit". Stanley Loh Ka Leung, then Singapore's ambassador to China, criticized the article as fake news. Loh also asked the Global Times to publish in full, in both English and Chinese, a letter he wrote to the newspaper's then editor-in-chief, Hu Xijin. Hu refuted the ambassador by saying that the Global Times' reports were reliable and based on information from people who attended the meeting, without publishing the letter that Loh had requested to be published.[11][12][13][14]

In the United States

In June 2020, the United States Department of State under President Donald Trump designated Global Times as a foreign mission.[56][57]

See also

Notes

References

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