Researchers claim that China’s communist leadership is seeking to sway the forthcoming U.S. midterm elections by disseminating propaganda and false information.
According to a report (pdf) released on October 13 by intelligence firm Recorded Future, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is running influence campaigns with the apparent goal of escalating political polarization among Americans and harming the reputations of candidates for Congress who have been critical of the regime.
Chinese state-sponsored influencers almost probably engage in malicious influence campaigns on social media, spreading controversial political multimedia content to audiences in the United States that speak English and Chinese.
Chinese spies are expected to target congressional candidates and members who openly oppose the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and who back measures that would have a negative impact on China.
The study was released less than a month after internet company Meta Platforms declared that it had stopped a misinformation campaign targeting the elections in China.
Through the amplification of extreme positions on both sides of the political spectrum, that campaign sought to deepen political division among American voters.
The Recorded Future investigation also discovered that influence operations based in China sought to encourage extremism and cause conflict among American voters.
According to the report, the CCP appears to be using social media to spread stories that aim to delegitimize the United States by using political hot-button topics like abortion, gun control, fascism, homelessness, immigration, race, technological decoupling, Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, and others.
According to the research, the most of these initiatives might have an indirect impact on the results of the midterm elections, but in one instance, the CCP tried to meddle directly.