The European Union was scheduled to release a report last week detailing China's disinformation campaign to downplay its role in the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. The Chinese Communist Party pressured the EU to downplay the regime's role in the pandemic after a POLITICO article quoted an advanced copy of the report.
From the original POLITICO story:
DISINFO WARNING: Russian and Chinese “official and state-backed” accounts continue to “widely target both conspiracy narratives both at public audiences in the EU and the wider neighbourhood,” according to a report by the European External Action Service’s StratCom division, obtained by Playbook ahead of publication, which is expected for today.
Health claims: Russian “official sources and state-controlled media and social media channels have been running a coordinated campaign … promoting false health information.” Particularly affected are “smaller media markets within and outside the EU” where “tech companies face lower incentives to take adequate counter-measures,” according to the report.
That’s more than an annoyance: “A growing body of evidence suggests that coronavirus related disinformation can have direct impact on public health and security,” the report says.
China’s goals: “China has continued to run a global disinformation campaign to deflect blame for the outbreak of the pandemic and improve its international image. Both overt and covert tactics have been observed,” according to the report.
The new report – that had China's stamp of approval – was released shortly before the start of the weekend. Harsh criticism for China was "rearranged or removed," Reuters reported.
A Chinese official reportedly contacted the EU and warned that “if the report is as described and it is released today it will be very bad for cooperation." China accused the EU of attempting to please "someone else," a clear reference to the United States and President Donald Trump.
Reuters detailed the differences between the April 21st report and the report that was actually released:
The four sources said the report had been delayed as a result, and a comparison of the internal version of the report obtained by Reuters and the final version published late Friday showed several differences.
For example, on the first page of the internal report shared with EU governments on April 20, the EU’s foreign policy arm said: “China has continued to run a global disinformation campaign to deflect blame for the outbreak of the pandemic and improve its international image. Both overt and covert tactics have been observed.”
The public summary posted Friday to the bloc’s disinformation portal, euvsdisinfo.eu http://www.euvsdisinfo.eu, attributed the disinformation to “state-backed sources from various governments, including Russia and – to a lesser extent – China.”
The public summary did note “significant evidence of covert Chinese operations on social media,” but the reference was left to the final six paragraphs of the document.
The regime has continually engaged in a propaganda campaign. At one point the CCP said the virus started in the United States and our military brought it to Wuhan.
2/2 CDC was caught on the spot. When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation! pic.twitter.com/vYNZRFPWo3— Lijian Zhao ??? (@zlj517) March 12, 2020
This article is very much important to each and every one of us. Please read and retweet it. COVID-19: Further Evidence that the Virus Originated in the US. https://t.co/LPanIo40MR— Lijian Zhao ??? (@zlj517) March 13, 2020
More evidence suggests that the virus was not originated at the seafood market in Wuhan at all, not to mention the so called “made in China”. https://t.co/8cRxkSZB3z— Chinese Embassy in South Africa (@ChineseEmbSA) March 16, 2020
The regime likes to make it seem like they're doing everything in their power to help out the world but what do they do? Sent defective tests to the EU.
"The UK government’s new testing chief has admitted that none of the 3.5 million antibody tests ordered from China are fit for widespread use...The tests did not pass the evaluation stage". https://t.co/AxqFupLpGz #COVID19— Wilson Leung ??? ???? (@WilsonLeungWS) April 6, 2020
Spain bought 640,000 testing kits from China. They don’t work https://t.co/Q2wrgsapDn— Bruno Maçães (@MacaesBruno) March 26, 2020
Netherlands recalls hundreds of thousands of defective Chinese face masks https://t.co/T5eZDkZemw— Natasha Fatah (@NatashaFatah) March 29, 2020
And, again, the CCP went to work to save face.
1/2 China export "defective" masks to the Netherlands? True story about masks purchased by a Dutch procurement agent: the Chinese manufacturer stated clearly that they are non-surgical & the exported customs clearing procedures were also under the name of "non-surgical masks".— Hua Chunying ??? (@SpokespersonCHN) April 2, 2020
2/2 Masks of various category offer different levels of protection, for day-to-day use and for medical purposes. Pls Double-check the instructions to make sure that you ordered, paid for and distributed the right ones. Do not use non-surgical masks for surgical purposes.— Hua Chunying ??? (@SpokespersonCHN) April 2, 2020
Plus, if the regime wasn't trying to cover up their tracks as a PR gimmick, why did they censor various Wuhan coronavirus-related phrases commonly found on the internet?
A study by the University of Toronto shows Chinese authorities had blocked virus-related keywords on the internet, including "human-to-human," "unknown #Wuhan #pneumonia," and "Wuhan seafood market" a few weeks before the public announcement of the novel #coronavirus outbreak. pic.twitter.com/kqDJWqvOwF— China in Focus - NTD (@ChinaInFocusNTD) March 6, 2020
The fact of the matter is this: the disease started in Wuhan. Wuhan is in China. Chinese officials lied about what took place. They were focused on protecting their country's image (even though it wasn't all that stellar to begin with) instead of protecting lives around the world. Taiwan did everything in their power to blow the whistle on what was taking place. They alerted the World Health Organization back in December and the warning fell on deaf ears. Not only did the WHO fail to alert the world but they pushed Chinese propaganda.
China can continue with their propaganda campaign but the world knows the truth and some of us aren't going to let them get away with unleashing this virus.
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