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Protests in the US on behalf of China? “It’s a really aggressive tactic.”

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The script and financing came from China, but ordinary Americans were hired to execute the strategy. They organized the protests in the US, held banners and were prepared to give interviews. Photos and recordings then appeared as an illustration of Chinese propaganda or an attempt to ridicule American politics. CNN TV footage.

Last year’s demonstration in Washington seems no different from other protests. However, according to Google’s cybersecurity experts, not everything is what it seems. The protesters were allegedly hired by a PR agency on behalf of the Chinese government media. “It’s actually a pro-China propaganda operation,” said John Hultquis of Mandiant.

John Hultquist is a principal analyst at Mandiant, a Google-owned cybersecurity firm. This week, a Mandiant report on a PR firm linked to Chinese state-owned media was released. The report contains information on the company’s employment of Americans who participated in the Washington protests.

– For a long time, this company operated as a troll factory. Over time, they used more aggressive tactics. They managed to ignite a protest that ended in front of the White House. This is a really aggressive tactic, says Hultquist.

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According to Hultquist, the company’s goal is to spread pro-Chinese propaganda and cause division in the United States.

American protesters were employed by a 24-year-old from Baltimore. He told CNN that he himself was recruited through a public freelancer site. – It was just an ordinary job. I went to the march, got some information, photos, took notes – confessed Imani Wj Wright of Tangible Reality Creative Services.

The man says that he was first asked to report on an international summit on religious freedom. The protest request came later. He did not know that he was organizing it for an entity distributing Chinese propaganda.

Read also: The riddle of the resignation of the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. He was a “rising star”, suddenly disappeared

“I want to point out that it wasn’t about anything anti-American. I was asked what kind of protests we can organize? What can we do? What ideas do we have for that? I proposed topics that were the most topical at that moment, which was “Black Lives Matter” and the topic of abortion, which was then taken up by the Supreme Court – said Imani Wj Wright in an interview with CNN.

Wright is an entrepreneur, musician and activist. Like many other young entrepreneurs working casually or on short-term contracts, he advertises his services on platforms where transactions often remain anonymous. Being able to remain anonymous is crucial for someone who organizes disinformation operations.

“Most of the time, people just had no idea who they were working for. This has always been the case, but over the last decade there has been an explosion of opportunities, notes John Hultquist.

They showed a staging that went to Chinese sites

Three months after the successful protest, the same contact asked for another one. This time it was about protesting against the ban on products produced in China in the Xinjiang region. This is a region where the rights of the Uyghurs are violated.

– When I was asked for this project, we had a long discussion with my team. We decided that our country was doing the right thing by stopping production in this part of the world. I said then that we will not present the problem unilaterally, we will remain neutral and show both sides – says Wj Wrigh.

The man says they made a fake protest that never materialized. They showed a staging, the recording of which was to be the content used in the documentary. These recordings appeared on Chinese portals. The video was accompanied by a commentary reporting its course as if it were a real incident.

Chin deny involvement

Wright confessed that when he was approached with the idea of ​​doing a political protest, specifically energy policy relating to national security and China, he was not suspicious. “Even if that were the case, I couldn’t be fussy about the strange assignment,” he adds.

See also: Xi Jinping in 2020 urged the military to prepare for war

Chinese authorities deny involvement in these activities. The country’s ambassador to Washington said he was unaware of such a report. He added that “China always adheres to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.”

The platform through which Wright’s firm was hired told CNN that the offer made to the man by a purported Chinese client violated their terms of service.

Moreover, the website AZCentral, owned by the Arizona Republic daily, has an article about a fake protest in Washington, which was paid to organize. The group that paid for the protest used some kind of automated news site to transfer content to a real American news site. The article was removed and the administrators informed about spreading disinformation.

CNN, Facts about the World TVN24 BiS

Main photo source: 2023 Cable News Network All Rights Reserved

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