China Expands Soft Power in Australia

AFR: Virgin stake sale to trigger Chinese interest in Qantas
However, China's interest in aviation markets in Australia and other parts of the world may change that situation. Some analysts are now saying it is only a matter of time before a Chinese airline tries to buy a strategic stake in Qantas.
FT: China’s $10bn propaganda push spreads Down Under
China’s “soft power” strategy has for years funded Chinese language lessons in schools and supported local think-tanks. But now, as Beijing is raising hackles over territorial claims at sea, it is extending its propaganda tentacles into independent media.

The Australian deals — which follow similar pacts with Washington Post, the UK’s Daily Telegraph and Le Figaro in France — illustrate that reach. China Watch, the new monthly pullout in Fairfax Media newspapers, marked its inaugural issue with favourable coverage of China, including an article backing Beijing in its stand-off over contested waters in the South China Sea.

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