Addressing the world's economic elite on Monday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that "containing the coronavirus is the most pressing task for the international community."
In a speech to the World Economic Forum, Xi called for "closer solidarity and cooperation, more information sharing, and a stronger global response," as well as "international cooperation on Covid vaccines."
China has been praised for its "vaccine diplomacy," promising shots to developing countries and investing in vaccine candidates that do not require expensive cold storage to be effective. But as questions have been raised over the effectiveness of one of those vaccines, the country's state media has reacted aggressively, targeting not just critics but also other vaccines, in an apparent effort to tear down their reputation in the name of defending the Chinese shots.
Along with hyping reports of deaths allegedly related to vaccines -- a dangerous game that could undermine not only confidence in the Pfizer and Moderna candidates targeted by Chinese media, but all coronavirus shots -- China's propaganda organs have also pushed alternate theories about the origins of the pandemic itself, including a long-debunked claim that it began in a US army lab.