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Larry Diamond On Countering Chinese Propaganda With Truth


Published: November 19, 2019

China has a dedicated international and institutionalized infrastructure for propaganda and the promotion of influence around the world. They have even continued to undermine American’s democratic processes, values, and institutions. However, American still has an intrinsic advantage – the truth, which can be mobilized and broadcasted to counter the lying narrative.

This video’s audio is excerpted from the 2019 Hoover Institution Centennial Lecture Series.

Additional Resources

  • Read the report “Chinese Influence & American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance.” Available here.
  • Watch “Battleground of Perception: Countering Threats to Free and Open Societies” as Larry Diamond, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, H.R. McMaster, and Niall Ferguson discuss the nature of threats and the identities of freedom’s adversaries, their goals and strategies, and what can be done to defeat these threats across government, the private sector, academia, and civil society. Watch here.
  • Read “China Gets Its Message to Americans But Doesn’t Want to Reciprocate,” by Larry Diamond and Orville Schell in the Wall Street Journal, available here.
View Transcript


I think there are a striking number of parallels between where we were at the peak of the Cold War, and where we are now. 

And one of them was, around 1960, we got back a sense of purpose and self-confidence and energy in waging this ideological struggle. 

It is a struggle for freedom, for the open society, for the equal worth of every human being. 

And against all these sources of illiberal ideas, whether they’re radical Islamists, whether they come in the Kremlin version of a kind of white Christian conservative nationalist European stand against the rest of the world, or whether they come in the form of, if not Communism, then the China model of authoritarian capitalism being superior. 

People actually do not want to live in an authoritarian, surveillanced state where they have no freedom, no privacy, and can be sent to a concentration camp at any point. 

And if we can’t make that work for us in this next round of global competition, we are doing something deeply wrong or ill-conceived.