fredag 3. april 2020

China steps up western media campaign over coronavirus crisis

The Chinese state is ramping up its English-language media campaigns in a bid to defend the country’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, highlight the failings of western governments, and raise China’s standing on the world stage.

Photographs of Chinese aid – dubbed “facemask diplomacy” – arriving at Heathrow on Saturday including boxes labelled “Keep Calm and Cure Coronavirus” have been promoted to UK audiences by the Xinhua news agency. Some younger Chinese diplomats have used English-language Twitter, which is banned within China, to spread false suggestions that the virus may have been started by the west to discredit the Chinese state.

Prof Kerry Brown, an associate fellow on the Asia-Pacific programme at the thinktank Chatham House, suggested the country was trying to turn a national disaster into a global triumph: “They’re trying to push back against some of the politicisation of this in America and to try to get control of the narrative before it spirals out of control.”