As PH, Cambodia struggle for press freedom, China amps up influence

China continues to exert influence on media and journalists in Southeast Asia, in a bid to reform its international image and catch up with its rival United States' soft power in the region.

As Southeast Asia remains a battleground between China and the United States, the region is a continuing target of the Asian giant’s media influence, with strategies ranging from press trips to content-sharing, media ownership, and economic incentives.

These are evident in both the Philippines and Cambodia, two countries long marked by United States involvement in their media sectors but whose media environments are under pressure from their governments allied with China.

The Philippines is embroiled in a maritime row with the Asian superpower over the South China Sea, while Cambodia continues to be China’s closest ally and beneficiary in the region.

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