More Than Propaganda Behind China's Disinformation on COVID-19
Beijing's desperate attempts to change the COVID-19 narrative show how hard the crisis has hit the regime, writes Jonathan Berkshire Miller.
Beijing has been working in overdrive in recent weeks to alter the narrative on the rapidly evolving crisis linked to the spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world. This past week, the United States officially passed China as the country with the largest reported number of viral infections. As Washington struggles to manage the outbreak on one hand, it is also trading barbs with China over a growing narrative from Beijing, which is aggressively looking to deflect criticism of its management of the outbreak. Senior Chinese diplomats have openly flaunted false narratives and conspiracy theories that the virus may have originated in the US, drawing a strong rebuke from Washington.
China has been looking to implement narrative-changing moves in other ways too. As the country appears to be recovering with less viral infections, it has begun “aid” shipments to several of those affected countries in Europe, such as Spain and Italy. The reality however is that these packages of protective equipment, masks, and tests are being sold, not given, and are intended to obscure China’s own mismanagement of the virus in its early stages. Even more worrisome has been recent reports that these supplies have been defective, leading some European countries to reject such "aid."
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