Mohamed Keita writing in an NYT op-ed:
In January, Beijing issued a white paper calling for accelerated expansion of China’s news media abroad and the deployment of a press corps of 100,000 around the world, particularly in priority regions like Africa. In the last few months alone, China established its first TV news hub in Kenya and a print publication in South Africa. The state-run Xinhua news agency already operates more than 20 bureaus in Africa. More than 200 African government press officers received Chinese training between 2004 and 2011 in order to produce what the Communist Party propaganda chief, Li Changchun, called “truthful” coverage of development fueled by China’s activities.
China and African governments tend to agree that the press should focus on collective achievements and mobilize public support for the state, rather than report on divisive issues or so-called negative news.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in Ethiopia, which remains one of the West’s foremost recipients of development assistance and whose largest trading partner and main source of foreign investment is China. The prisons in Ethiopia, like those in China, are now filled with journalists and dissidents, and critical Web sites are blocked.