Coronavirus News Asia

Wolf warriors, Twitter trolls and China’s virus ‘lies’

Every day the numbers continue to rise as the Covid-19 crisis infects the world. 

But scratch beneath the surface of the data and another narrative is taking shape in which deceit has become as virulent as the disease itself.

Last week, an influential ministry attached to the European Union accused China of running “a global disinformation campaign,” according to a report leaked to the media.

The white paper by the European External Action Service was due to be circulated among the 27-member states. It outlined how the world’s second-largest economy was trying to “deflect the blame” for the coronavirus outbreak.

“Official sources and state-controlled media and social media channels have been running a coordinated campaign … promoting false health information,” the EEAS, a ministry combining diplomacy, foreign affairs and defense, initially stated as quoted by news outlets.

“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 original version said.

Yet at the weekend, Reuters revealed that Beijing had moved to block the publication of the EU study until it was watered down.“The report was eventually released with some criticism of the Chinese government rearranged or removed,” it said.

“The public summary, posted to, attributed the disinformation to ‘state-backed sources from various governments, including Russia and – to a lesser extent – China,’” Reuters added.

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