China’s cognitive strategy called successful in altering mass perceptions of reality

Special to, May 23, 2024


China’s military defines cognitive warfare as activities to alter the attitudes and behaviors of people and populations for political purposes by degrading rationality and changing perceptions of reality.

As of January 2024, the United States was the country with the largest TikTok audience by far, with almost 150 million users.

TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app, is a key to the communist country’s cognitive warfare strategy, according to a national security expert.

As far as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is concerned, TikTok has served its purpose well.

“China’s strategy to make America angry and stupid with an app has proven remarkably successful,” said Ian Oxnevad, senior fellow in national security at the National Association of Scholars.

Removing Chinese control will not guarantee that a new TikTok will be better or halt what Oxnevad said is a program to erode societal cohesion and the mental capacity of young Americans.

President Joe Biden in April signed legislation that contains a provision requiring TikTok to divest from ByteDance within a year or face a U.S. ban.

The app is already banned in 18 nations over concerns China’s government is covertly gathering personal data of its users and the propaganda impact of its pro-China content rules, according to a Washington Times report by security correspondent Bill Gertz.

Forcing the sale of TikTok will not resolve those issues, Oxnevad said.

“There is a good chance that TikTok’s algorithms, which contain its secret sauce of subversion, would not be included in a forced sale of the app to an American buyer,” he said.

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