Top EU Diplomat Spotlights Beijing’s Propaganda Push Amid Pandemic

March 25, 2020 Updated: March 25, 2020

The European Union’s (EU) top diplomat recently highlighted Beijing’s attempts to divert global attention away from its initial coverup of the CCP virus outbreak.

EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell Fontelles, in a March 23 statement, noted the Chinese regime recently began presenting itself as a global leader in fighting the pandemic. He warned that there is a “geopolitical component including a struggle for influence through spinning and the ‘politics of generosity’.”

Amid a “global battle of narratives…we need to defend Europe against its detractors,” he said.

The regime has recently deployed a massive propaganda campaign to deflect blame for the outbreak by pushing the unfounded theory that the CCP virus originated from the United States, while also claiming that it is an exemplar in global containment efforts.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Borrell described how Beijing’s narrative has evolved since the outbreak began.

“In January, the dominant framing was of this being a local crisis in Hubei province, aggravated by the coverup of crucial information by Chinese party officials,” he said.

At that time, “Europe was sending a lot of medical equipment to help Chinese authorities that were overwhelmed,” Borrell noted.

However, since the virus has spread rapidly overseas, in particular in Europe, the roles have appeared to reverse.

“China is aggressively pushing the message that, unlike the U.S., it is a responsible and reliable partner,” he said.

The Chinese regime and its state-controlled media outlets have touted its sending of medical experts and supplies—some of which were actually purchases under export agreements rather than donations—to hard-hit European countries, such as Italy, Spain, and France.

Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser for Asia and director of the China Power Project at Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, previously told The Epoch Times that such initiatives formed part of Beijing’s plan to “advance its goal of leading global governance reform and promote the Chinese model as an option for developing countries to copy.”

If Beijing successfully portrays itself to be handling the crisis effectively, the regime “can further undermine the appeal of democracy and capitalism around the world,” she said.

Bowen Xiao contributed to this report. 

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