The problem is not new; the article has honestly identified long-standing issues. China's lack of effective soft power is not assisted by the government's insistence on building 'discourse power', which makes sense within the internal propaganda system but actually reinforces the idea of a propaganda state outside China: i.e. not real authentic voices, not really organic stories. And when so-called external communication bears fingerprints of government agencies, as seemingly it must in China, this runs the risk of being counterproductive, in turn reinforcing distrust and suspicion among those it is trying to persuade.

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A problem-oriented approach sounds eminently sensible

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Hi, I just subscribed to your publication. It’s very interesting. Thanks for your work.

I tend to agree there is a lack of authenticity in the Chinese mainstream media. There are in fact many critical voices in China, but the Chinese mainstream media don’t seem to reflect the wide range of views. Just my view as an external observer. I may be wrong.

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I would identify a 6th "predicament" - and it matters so much that it probably should be elevated to "over all" and the other five are merely symptoms or subordinate problems.

Simply stated - China's voice is not being heard.

China lacks skills when it comes to getting western citizens and governments to hear what she says.

It might sound foolish, but China would be well advised to hire some of the better marketeers we have in the west. These people may be seemingly dumb enough to sell the sizzle rather than the steak BUT they understand their audience(s) and what they do actually works.

The west is demonising China ... successfully.

This is normal war preparation.

It is absolutely vital that China gets its countering message across - "we are normal, just like you".

It is vital and it is urgent.

I will know China has done its job properly when PM Albanese says in Parliament "I apologise for accusing China of acts of genocide - I was wrong".

Litmus paper, if you like.

My litmus paper test of the success of a new, smarter communications strategy.

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