America is flexing its muscle on digital media platforms against China. America and China face-off in many different areas. From the economy to patrolling in the South China sea. From Influence in Asia to issues in Technology matters. Officials from both sides are engaging in a cold war against each other. Moreover, the American president Donald Trump has many times accused China and Chinese policies directly on twitter citing its regional policies. Moreover, it now seems apparent the US has changed its strategy. By engaging its embassies around the globe especially in the Asian region in perception management operations against China.
A simple example of this is when a few days ago, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo blamed China for seeking “maritime empire role” by claiming 90% of the South China sea.
War of words?
As part of this covert information operation, US embassies in the region have joined with social media campaigns and editors in local newspapers. In hopes of countering campaigns by Chinese diplomats by swiftly reacting and accusing one other of wrongdoing.
Similarly, the Chinese ambassador to Thailand accused Washington of “attempting to sow discord between China and other littoral countries”.
China’s Myanmar embassy accused the “US intelligence community of doing disgusting things to contain china” in a Facebook post. This started a debate attracting thousands of comments and statements from social media users. The debate became intense when diplomats replied to the comments of social media users.
Diplomacy using social media
“Thank you, USA, for doing what the law requires,” commented Chelley Ocampo under the U.S embassy in the Philippines’ Facebook post.
When someone wrote “Imperial Yankee Go Home !!!!!!” U.S. embassy in Malaysia’s page. An American diplomat replied, “Are you saying that you are ok with the PRC’s bullying tactics in the SCS?”
Meanwhile, the US navy is expanding its presence in the South China Sea. It seems this social media war will continue to increase. As America and China are both holding exercises in areas that China claims, the region is going through severe diplomatic tensions. China’s diplomatic influence was seen during its standoff with India in the disputed Galway area, as well. During the standoff, China successfully isolated India from neighboring countries which includes Nepal and Bhutan on which India had great influence in the past.
Will the United States suffer the same regional and international isolation? Only time will tell what happens as these two world powers collide.