Trial By Media
Peter Dahlin, author
There is something terribly wrong with CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. In China, anyone seen as a threat to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) can be disappeared. Some are held in secret prisons, while some are placed in detention centers under false names. Family, lawyers, and even China’s state prosecutors are denied access. Many months later, they appear on CCTV, confessing to vague almost non-crimes, criticizing themselves, or discrediting others. This book, utilizing first-person accounts from victims, some speaking out for the first time, despite considerable risks, exposes with clarity what goes on behind the scenes of forced confessions. They are proof that Chinese media and its journalists collaborate not just in broadcasting but in helping extract, record, and produce these confessions. Since Xi Jinping came to power, the role of media in these forced confessions, a stark violation of the right to a fair trial, is just one of several examples of the deterioration of the law in China. This book looks at not only the nature of Chinese state media, but its role in China’s quickly expanding influencing operations globally, and analyzes it alongside several other trends, such as the co-opting of independent Chinese media abroad, and how several mechanisms operate in tandem, under the guise of the CCP’s United Front Work Department. All these developments have the same purpose, to sow division in- and between western countries, and to undermine the current international system, ultimately to replace it with one designed by and for China and the CCP.