A Chinese-funded international media platform to build a favorable narrative is part of Pakistan’s information war, according to a concept paper on the Sino-Pakistani collaboration intercepted by Indian intelligence agencies.
The leaked documents that Indian agencies got hold of the Pakistani security establishment show that Pakistan wants to work with China on a global information war campaign, with Beijing providing finance and advices.
The concept paper, reviewed by India Today, is titled Building Capacity to Challenge Hostile Narratives through Alternative Counter-Narratives. The document states that projects examine truth and factual aspects with a view to eliminating misperceptions.
Internal dynamics in Pakistan are favorable to open media, but financial challenges are a hindrance, the newspaper said while justifying the need to team up with China. There is a need for a news outlet of Al Jazeera and RT’s stature to propel an accommodating narrative. A Pakistan-sponsored and China-funded news outlet will meet the stated targets, the document said.
He adds that media experts of international stature can be hired. While China and Pakistan do not share cultural or civilizational markers, the concept paper speaks of two competing thoughts at play, the clash of Western civilization against the integration of Chinese civilization.
It comes as Pakistan has consistently ignored the persecution of the Muslim Uyghur population in China’s Xinjiang region, officials said. At a recent Chinese Communist Party Politburo meeting, Chinese President Xi Jinping acknowledged the negative impact of targeted attacks by his “wolf warrior” diplomats against countries around the world.
In the recent past, Pakistan wanted to collaborate with Turkey to set up an Islamic channel to portray “correct Islamic values” in the world. The project was scrapped due to lack of interest and energy from both sides, officials said. Indian officials believe the project is an attempt to correct Pakistan’s image and which could also benefit China. The very fact that the funding is provided by China is sufficient proof that China intends to use this channel as a springboard to improve its image.
The document further adds that China competes with the West in terms of technology and economics, but continues to catch up with the United States. In a world dominated by social media, winning the storytelling battle is more important than the physical battle, he adds.
Pakistan-China team up for information warfare
Indian officials following the cyberwar claim that Pakistan has played a role in spreading a pro-China narrative in the past amid border tension in Ladakh. There has been an attempt to push a narrative that only a few Chinese soldiers were injured after the horrific clash in Galwan Alley last year where 20 Indian soldiers were killed.
China’s collaboration with Pakistan is not limited to the purchase of military equipment, but takes another form and becomes more and more strategic with the sharing of space resources as well. The Chinese BeiDou navigation system will soon be used by Pakistan for military and civilian purposes.
The China Satellite Navigation Bureau (CSNO) has agreed to establish a BeiDou-compatible Continuously Operating Radar Station (CORS) network in Pakistan for precise geospatial application, especially in surveying and mapping, construction and scientific studies.
Pakistan has acquired remote sensing satellites from China. In addition to military means, Sino-Pakistani defense cooperation has also been noted in the field of information warfare. Pakistan has also received help from China for cyberwarfare.
Pakistan has sought Chinese cooperation in the field of cyber insurance and cybersecurity. He would like help from China in monitoring the Internet and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
China is also helping Pakistan strengthen its overall cyber warfare capabilities by setting up an information security lab as part of Pakistan’s National Electronics Complex.