How Beijing Is Using Propaganda to Control Its Image at All Costs

Beijing is using propaganda to clear itself from criticism of spreading the CCP coronavirus. (Image:  pixabay /  CC0 1.0)
Beijing is using propaganda to clear itself from criticism of spreading the CCP coronavirus. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Ever since the CCP coronavirus outbreak, the Chinese government has been desperately trying to ensure that the issue does not damage its reputation in any way. For this, Beijing has unleashed disinformation campaigns that seek to blame the U.S. for the viral outbreak and possibly relay fake data about COVID-19 infections and mortalities.  

Disinformation campaign

China’s propaganda campaign consists of three components — shifting blame as the original center of the virus, painting itself as being the sufferer of “Western aggression,” and criticizing democratic healthcare systems as being inferior to communist systems in dealing with the virus.

As the first step, Chinese embassies, consulates, and a large number of fake Twitter accounts have been peddling a fake story of the coronavirus originating in the U.S. and then being brought to China by the American military. Another story suggests that the virus did not originate at Wuhan as is presently accepted, but that its first outbreak was in Italy in November. The fact that Italy currently has a death toll even higher than the official toll China gives fuel to this rumor.

Lijian Zhao, deputy director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department, recently used a tweet made by an Albuquerque woman who spoke about an earlier presence of coronavirus in the U.S. “This isn’t a conspiracy tweet, but I really think COVID-19 has been here in America for a while. Do you guys remember how sick everyone was during the holidays/early January? And how everyone was saying they had the “flu” and the flu shot “didn’t work”?” she tweeted @mamaxbea. Her tweet got more than 310,000 likes and 42,000 retweets further fueling the propaganda that the U.S. had something to do with being the origin point of the coronavirus.

In a nation of 1.3 billion people, it is hard to imagine that the CCP coronavirus has been eradicated. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

However, the greatest damage to America is being done by socialist/communist ideologues who not only support such theories, but are using the pandemic to argue that the U.S. capitalist system is a failure.  An article at People’s World, run by the Communist Party USA, interviews a man who recently returned to Wuhan from Canada. He goes on to criticize U.S. President Trump’s policies against the virus as bowing down to the private sector while painting the Chinese government’s efforts as nationalistic.

An article published in Organizing Upgrade, a leftist website, blames America for developing a racist narrative against China during this outbreak and accuses the U.S. of escalating conflict with the Chinese government. The propaganda campaigns often tend to highlight the recent decrease in cases of coronavirus infections and deaths in China, pointing it as the victory of the communist system. However, many experts disagree with such assessments.

“In a nation the size of China, with 1.3 billion people, it is hard to imagine that coronavirus has been eradicated and that all new cases are being imported… It is an open question, for example, whether coronavirus may be in the Chinese prison and labor camp system since those are not open to outside inspection… Similarly, it is unknown, but difficult to give credence to, the idea that in the entire 2-million-person Chinese military, there have been no cases of coronavirus,” Walter Lohman, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center, said to The Epoch Times.

G7 response

China’s rabid propaganda campaign has evoked a response from the G7 nations. The representatives of seven countries discussed the issue recently during a virtual meeting which was attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Mike Pompeo announced that the US and EU would fight back against China’s disinformation campaign. (Image: flickr / CC0 1.0)

G7 countries have been “unanimous in saying we understand that this is a risk, that this is a problem both to the EU and to the United States and the world, and they agreed to jointly work alongside us to push back against this disinformation campaign,” he said during The Hugh Hewitt Show.

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