Russia and China: Joining Forces Against Fake News

Russia and China are alien to the United States and to the collective West. Therefore, in the future, information war will be the new normality. This is worth understanding, and we have to reflect the creation of a strategy of collective non-Western cohesion. In particular, that applies to Russia and China. Sheng Shiliang, Senior Research Fellow at Xinhua News Agency’s Global Challenges Studies Center, discussed how to deal with fake news on the sidelines of the Valdai Club’s Russian-Chinese conference.

“For the West, Russia and China are the so-called revisionist states. For them, we are the major strategic adversaries. <…> At the same time, Russia and China have not any hostility towards the West. It does not accept us. Now even the liberal, pro-Western [parts of society] begin to understand that we will not be accepted in the collective West. Therefore, we need to do our own business, to strengthen our positions in our home countries. That is why bilateral relations between China and Russia are very important”, Sheng stressed.

Although Russia and China are strategic partners, one has to admit that the two peoples are very different. “The Chinese like even numbers, the Russians like odd ones, the Chinese like red, the Russians prefer blue, the Chinese are deductive, and the Russians are inductive. But since we are neighbors, strategic partners, we need to get to know each other better”, the expert said.

Unfortunately, Sheng said, not all the media in China have their own translators, specialists in the Russian language; information about Russia comes from the Western media and distorts reality. This problem is also present in Russia to some extent. Therefore, specialists, translators and journalists from the two countries need to help each other in learning more about the partner.

Fake is the major enemy of truth. To fight it, we should quickly refute the fake information with the objective one. “We cannot wait for Western – hostile – media to convince everyone [that they are right], so we have to publish truthful information on time,” Sheng said.

In addition, Russia and China need to shape their own agenda – we should not surrender to the Western press, which, unfortunately, plays a dominant role in the information space now. “Therefore, China and Russia (and the entire collective non-West) need to boost cooperation. The first step to cooperation between the non-Western information resources was taken within the framework of the SCO”, the expert said.

Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.