An international group of volunteers has generated anger and fear in the Chinese regime because they translate information that the regime prefers to hide. 

The translators, mostly of Chinese origin, created The Great Translation Movement (TGTM) and, from their Twitter accounts and other social networks, shared the version of reality experienced by citizens inside China. 

The world usually receives only the image that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) disseminates as propaganda. At the same time, the authentic account of the Chinese is blocked by censorship and the lack of knowledge of their language abroad.  

TGTM’s work is to break down these barriers, making citizens’ publications and local media accessible abroad and helping to make the information available internationally more balanced and closer to reality.  

The administrator of the TGTM Twitter account expressed in an interview with CNN that they wanted to counteract the efforts of the media affiliated with the Chinese regime, showing the West some content that they want to keep hidden.

Among their objectives is to show the outside world at least what is going on inside, and they doubt that there can be any change from inside the country. They also want to show the true state of public opinion in China.

To achieve this, they collect messages from popular Chinese media and on social networks such as Weibo, Bilibili, and Zhihu to disseminate through their accounts.

Part of the reception TGTM has received is evidenced by its followers exceeding 166,000 in just three months. 

The languages into which they translate their content are English, Japanese, Korean, French, and Arabic. Although its volunteers prefer anonymity for “personal security reasons,” they are shown to be ethnically Chinese, for the most part, according to Insider. 

Beijing’s wrath

It is to be considered that the Chinese regime often holds two different narratives about the same events, one for domestic and one for foreign audiences, something TGTM seeks to disprove. 

“The image that the Chinese government tries to cultivate overseas is that of a big, cuddly panda bear who spreads traditional Chinese culture in a friendly way and takes the initiative to befriend the whole world,” one of the volunteers reportedly said, according to author Timothy McLaughlin. 

Likewise, the CCP fights free speech and relentlessly persecutes citizens who try to deviate from the version of events disseminated by the media linked to the regime. 

It also restricts access to international journalists. It also blocks free navigation on the Internet, subjecting readers to receive only censored content. 

Therefore, and as expected, the work of TGTM translators causes anger and rejection from Beijing, which sees this initiative as a threat to its iron control of information and, eventually, to its power because it unmasks its double-talk. 

In favor of free speech, this campaign has been criticized by media linked to the CCP, such as the Global Times, which accuses the group of being “Chinese-speaking bad faith actors.”

It also attributes to the movement the involvement of “foreign hostile forces” that are waging “psychological warfare against China.” Several articles in the CCP media criticize the movement’s work as a smear campaign.

An associate professor at the China Youth University of Political Studies in Beijing, Cong Peiying, compared the movement to a mutating virus that had to be stopped.

In this context, the Global Times also accused the group stating, “The image of China and Chinese people in their depiction has been arrogant, populist, cruel and bloodthirsty.” 

The impact of the movement is threatening enough for the Chinese regime to deploy such a campaign of rejection. 

In fact, the TGTM volunteer group has breached the CCP’s propaganda narrative, which previously relied on isolation, misinformation, and information gaps.

On the one hand, the Chinese regime promotes an appeasing and friendly image to other countries while cultivating an image among citizens that the enemy is abroad. It is now facing those who are working to unmask this untruthful policy. 

TGTM Strategy

On its Twitter account, TGTM does not hesitate to post videos pointing out deficiencies of the system imposed by the Chinese regime on its citizens.

For example, they published a video in which a primary school teacher verbally abuses children while they are petrified with fear.

One of the effects of the comments and complaints published by TGTM is to provide a space for other Chinese citizens, possibly living abroad, to share their own experiences of abuse. 

Likewise, the readers’ comments are a sample of what they think of the deplorable treatment of children and the dissatisfaction that arises for them concerning the CCP. 

A Twitter user identified as @LamhakLee2 wrote: “They treat our children like slaves, it’s underworld education…teachers are so uneducated…”. 

And @lgeicheung commented, “It seems to be ridiculous, but this is the China, where NO humanity and empathy [exists] between the people who are not from a family.”

Meanwhile, netizen @BreezeMountains thinks: “The CPC government has not made China better. There’s more money thanks to foreign investment. That’s it. The society is rotting.”

Other similar initiatives

TGTM is not the only initiative that seeks to reveal to the world the reality of the Chinese people and the oppression they suffer in the absence of political systems that allow their participation free of coercion.

Among them is the organization The Truth Warrior Alliance, which disseminates content from KOLs, i.e., Key Opinion Leaders. 

They express their objectives: “… with the mission to counteract the propaganda and disinformation of the Chinese communist regime worldwide, through forums and public campaigns.”

And they add: “With our collective efforts, we hope that more and more people in the world will know what is the reality inside China, and more and more with the mission to counter the Chinese communist regime’s propaganda and disinformation globally, via public forums and campaigns Chinese people will break away from the lies of the CCP, hear the supporting voice from the world and embrace a hope of future China without CCP.”

On the other hand, according to the Tuidang Global movement, “It coordinates the global movement to help Chinese people quit the CCP, and it helps educate people around the world as to the evil nature of Communism.”

This movement records on its website that more than 398 million people have left the CCP.  

Also, Chinese journalist, Jennifer Zeng, works for the same objective. She warns about the work of TGTM: “but this is not enough; we need more decision-makers politicians and people from business communities technical communities and other communities to tear down the ccp’s great power all together.”

And she adds: “to enable and empower the Chinese people so they can gain freedom and become part of the civilized world.

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