Wednesday, November 24, 2021
That was followed by an increasingly creepy series of pictures and videos posted on the Twitter account of Hu Xijin, the editor of the Global Times, a party-owned nationalist tabloid. One of them showed the 35-year-old Peng, whom Hu also referred to as a “girl” with a “sunny smile,” posing with cuddly toys. (I used to work for the Global Times’ English-language edition and know Hu a little.)
As CCP influence expert Mareike Ohlberg pointed out, the crudeness and obviousness of the propaganda was in itself an exertion of power. This is a strategy commonly deployed against dissidents, who are, for example, forced to write letters to family claiming they are fine and grateful to the party. CGTN, the TV station, also has a record of broadcasting forced confessions.