The United States Department of State’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) recently publicly recognised the existence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propelled global disinformation campaign to conceal the true COVID-19 or CCP virus pandemic origins. This move is the Biden administration’s first public accusation against Communist China of spreading a false pandemic origin narrative.
“The department has been pushing back against Beijing’s disinformation and other manipulative tactics in the information space since the start of the pandemic. . .While the US government takes a holistic approach to identify and counter COVID-19 disinformation regardless of the source, we remain concerned by baseless conspiracy theories about the origins of the virus amplified by officials from the People’s Republic of China,” the GEC told The Washington Times in a recent statement.
However, the organisation declined further comment on the State Department’s specific actions to counter Beijing’s propaganda campaign.
Although the initial false narrative was that the virus was transmitted from animals to humans at a Wuhan seafood market, CCP spokespeople are now advancing a worldwide propaganda campaign that claims the CCP virus originated outside China. Recently, Chinese scientists claimed COVID-19 arrived in China on frozen food packaging. A recently published report by the WHO and Beijing states this frozen food thesis seems more credible than the Wuhan lab leak theory, despite most virus experts dismissing the former.
Chinese state media has also accused United States Army soldiers of bringing COVID-19 to a Wuhan conference held in October 2019. Although US government officials have since denied this claim, deputy Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhou Lijian has tweeted further accusations of the US Army as the pandemic culprits, quoting a supposedly credible Chinese study.
Furthermore, the CCP-backed China Global Television Network has aired a production claiming the US Army produced COVID-19 at a US military bio-warfare research centre at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to probe into these allegations.
The CCP’s various accusations seem to parallel the mounting reports from Western nations that COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) laboratory, which had been researching and experimenting with the lethality of multiple bat coronaviruses in collaboration with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
A senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, Joshua Kurlantzick, stated in a report that the CCP’s pandemic propaganda had experienced moderate success.
“Although China once shied away from the aggressive, conspiratorial type of disinformation favoured by Russia, it has increasingly turned to this approach during the coronavirus pandemic. . .Beijing is both manipulating factual information and spreading disinformation — or willfully false information — to distract from the origins of the virus, highlight the failures of the United States, and promote China as a global leader,” said Mr Kurlantzick.
“Beijing has spread some COVID-19 rumors, but Chinese leaders appear wary of fully following Moscow’s path of outright trolling,” he said. “Doing so could undermine China’s simultaneous efforts to portray itself as a responsible global leader.”
Mr Kurlantzick added that US intelligence agencies have stated Chinese intelligence agents and individuals linked to CCP spy services spread pandemic panic throughout the United States through text messaging and messaging apps.
“US officials had not previously noticed Chinese intelligence agents trying to spread disinformation by texting citizens’ mobile phones, a strategy that requires significant knowledge of US infrastructure,” cited Mr Kurlantzick.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has also criticised the CCP for deliberately providing misleading pandemic statistics and silencing all whistleblowers who attempt to reveal the pandemic’s true origins.
“The Chinese Community Party’s self-serving attempts to protect its image have resulted in catastrophic outcomes throughout the rest of the world and proven yet again that it cannot be trusted to act as a responsible world power,” Mr Rubio told The Washington Times.
“We must hold Beijing responsible for its deadly obstruction. I encourage the Biden Administration to share any information it has about the CCP’s obstruction with the American people and the world.”
The Washington Times. (April 8, 2021). Information war: For the first time Biden admin. accuses China of lying about COVID-19.