The threats from China : A case study over how the Swedish media respond and is affected by threats and harassment from Chinese authorities

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för globala politiska studier (GPS)

Abstract: In 2018, there was clear evidence that Sweden was targeted of China’s attempts to influence their media. The Chinese embassy started criticising Swedish news reporting through insults or even threats. Since 2017 the Chinese ambassador has been summoned more than 40 times to the Swedish foreign department for his spiteful attacks on the media. This thesis examines how the Swedish media has responded and is affected by threats and harassment from Chinese authorities from 2018 to 2020. The thesis is based on interviews with 10 participants from the Swedish media, and documents. The thesis shows, that threats and harassment from Chinese authorities is a unique behaviour from a state towards the Swedish media. The response to the threats and harassment is seen through strategies of adding security, showing solidarity and support and showing resistance. The affect on the Swedish media can increase a self-censorship culture, regarding reporting about China. It has made the Swedish media worried in the working and daily life. In the long run, the threats and harassment can have a negative impact on the independent journalism and the Swedish democratic society.

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