CCP Propaganda in Overdrive on COVID-19, South China Sea, Foreign Investment

For every new lie, China should get a new economic sanction
By Anders Corr
Anders Corr
Anders Corr
Anders Corr has a bachelor's/master's in political science from Yale University (2001) and a doctorate in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. His latest books are “The Concentration of Power: Institutionalization, Hierarchy, and Hegemony” (2021) and “Great Powers, Grand Strategies: the New Game in the South China Sea" (2018).
April 17, 2022Updated: April 17, 2022

News Analysis

China’s propaganda machine is in overdrive against America on issues like the South China Sea, U.S. investment in China, and the threat of forced child separation from parents as a method of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Beijing is trying to separate off our allies, our money, and our simple observations of the truth through lies meant to lull us into a sleep from which we will never wake up.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping recently met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to publicly declare an intention to decrease tensions in the South China Sea. The Philippines used to be a solid American ally. No more. Its islands are being eaten one by one by China’s navy and air force, but one wouldn’t know it from what Xi says publicly.

China’s top securities regulator claimed to an industry group in Beijing that he is working hard to widen market access. He’s actually negotiating with the Biden administration for a continuation of securities regulation loopholes that bilk American and other investors of billions of dollars.

And China’s foreign ministry has struck back at the United States, labeling as “groundless accusations” American claims that China’s authorities are separating children from parents as a lockdown measure. As with most of Beijing’s propaganda, it is all full of lies and half-truths meant to advance and protect the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

South China Sea Propaganda

At Xi’s virtual meeting with Duterte on April 8, the two supposedly spoke about Ukraine. Duterte must have gotten in trouble for the Philippine vote to remove Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The two “leaders” also spoke about COVID and “stressed the need to exert all efforts to maintain peace, security and stability in the South China Sea by exercising restraint, dissipating tensions and working on a mutually agreeable framework for functional cooperation,” according to a presidential office statement.

This “framework” discussion is more of the CCP’s take-and-talk strategy, which is apparently unending on the South China Sea as claimants have been unable to convert a 2012 declaration into a binding agreement on all members, including China.

As recently as March, the Chinese Coast Guard engaged in dangerous maneuvers close to Philippine ships at Scarborough Shoal, which is a traditional fishing spot within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

Epoch Times Photo
Activists hold up signs against a recently passed Chinese Coast Guard law during a rally in Manila, Philippines, on Feb. 24, 2021. The Philippine government summoned the Chinese ambassador on March 14, 2022, to protest what it said was the “illegal incursion” of a Chinese navy ship into the country’s waters for three days and demanded China to order its ships to respect the country’s territory and follow international law, officials said. (Aaron Favila/AP Photo)

According to my sources, Duterte’s network of friends and family has gotten millions of dollars for looking the other way as Beijing expands its influence and territory at the expense of Manila. Most of the billions of dollars worth of promised Chinese aid, loans, and investment to the Philippines never materialized.

COVID Lockdown Denials

On April 10, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, said, “We express strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the groundless accusations against China’s pandemic prevention policy from the U.S. in its statement, and have lodged solemn representations.”

On April 8, the U.S. State Department said its non-emergency staff and families of employees in Shanghai could depart, given the risk that China’s regime would separate COVID-infected children from parents as part of the city’s draconian lockdown measures.

Food is running low in cities under lockdown, including for the seven U.S. Marines who protect the consulate in Shanghai. On April 6, State Department employees distributed an appeal to collect fresh food for the American soldiers, who had to rely on prepackaged “Meals Ready-to-Eat,” known as MREs.

Citing the risk of parent-child separation, the United States also advised America citizens to limit travel to Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Jilin Province in China. Diplomatic representations from 30 countries recently pleaded against the separations.

In response, the CCP called its lockdown measures “scientific and effective.”

Market Access Claims

The chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), Yi Huiman, claimed on April 9 that he is working with the United States to resolve concerns about the lack of accounting standards in Chinese companies that are publicly traded on American stock exchanges. Beijing seeks more U.S. investment in China through initial public offerings of Chinese companies on American stock exchanges.

The CCP is likely seeking to shift regulation from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to an international agency more vulnerable to Beijing’s influence. Yi said that China is moving forward with its plan to “establish an international regulatory environment for a highly [liberalized] capital market.”

Beijing has been working to “bridge the gaps in auditing rules” since at least 2012, according to the South China Morning Post.

The CCP is widening its “connect cross-border investment channels” with London and Hong Kong exchanges, which are linked to China’s two exchanges in Beijing and Shanghai. In addition to equities, the network will now trade financial derivatives and commodities, according to Yi. The Beijing Stock Exchange opened in November.

Epoch Times Photo
People walk past the Beijing Stock Exchange on its first day of trading in Beijing, China, on Nov. 15, 2021. (Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images)

Yi sought to calm investor nerves over bad news in China’s capital markets, including from the COVID lockdowns and increasing property development debt that is being shifted to state-owned enterprises in unrelated sectors, such as aerospace defense and mining.

According to the South China Morning Post, “Yi’s prepared remarks would bolster confidence among investors who have been beaten down by a relentless sell-off in technology stocks, combined with concerns of an economic slowdown as the Covid-19 pandemic flared up in Shanghai, Jilin province and Guangzhou city.”

Propaganda Central to CCP Expansion

Propaganda, lies, and the suppression of free speech has always been an important means for CCP expansion.

Alternative viewpoints on any of the “three T’s”—the Tiananmen massacre of 1989, the Tibet invasion of 1949, and the success of democratic Taiwan—are strictly censored in China. Beijing instead promotes an official narrative of few deaths in Tiananmen on June 4, 1989, which was in any case, according to the narrative, necessary for national stability. Tibet and Taiwan, the official story goes, were always part of China.

These are all CCP lies, to which are added new untruths on a daily basis in Beijing, most recently on topics as disparate as the South China Sea, capital markets, and COVID lockdowns.

At some point, the world must stop giving Beijing’s propaganda the benefit of the doubt, and start increasing its defenses against the CCP’s fake news. At some point there should be, for every new lie, a new economic sanction.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

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