Nicholas Eftimiades is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in the field of international affairs based in Washington.

He previously worked in the Central Intelligence Agency, State Department, Diplomatic Security Service, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

He recently talked to NTD, a sister media outlet of The Epoch Times. In the interview, he said that China is using social media to stir up racial tensions on social media to make Americans more politically divided.

“China works a lot now … attempting to divide the United States.” 

“Race baiting is a tactic that we’ve seen starting to evolve from China in the United States. This goes back to the riots in 2020.”

The former intelligence official also said that Beijing had a number of organizations that carried out overseas information operations. 

Among them are China’s United Front Work Department, which spreads propaganda, the Ministry of State Security, which is in charge of intelligence, and the People’s Liberation Army. These groups have conducted covert influence operations in foreign countries.

Eftimiades said that China’s social media campaigns didn’t last long because social media security experts found out about them. 

However, some could thrive in online echo chambers, which are places where users only see content customized for them based on proprietary algorithms.

The former CIA officer also commented on a China-based misinformation campaign ahead of the 2022 midterm elections that Meta Platforms has recently exposed. 

The campaign was seemingly designed to increase polarization among Americans on major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Eftimiades said that this was a change in how the CCP used information in its influence operation. Before, China used to target public opinion about Americans abroad, but now it’s messing with its people internally. 

He said:

“It’s a concept of divide and conquer internally.”

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