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Coronavirus: China's Propaganda Campaign in Europe

  • What remains unclear is if European publics, which are bearing the brunt of the suffering caused by the epidemic, will be as easily willing to overlook the malfeasance of Chinese officials.

  • “This is a propaganda operation that hides various truths. The first and most important is that the culprit for this pandemic is the Chinese regime. It does not take any conspiracy theory to point it out.” — Emilio Campmany, Libertad Digital, March 3, 2020.

  • “China wants to take advantage of this calamity to wrest global leadership from the United States. It will be the communist country that makes us the most energetic medicines to fight the virus. It will discover the vaccine before anyone else and distribute it worldwide in record time. It will buy our assets and invest in our countries to rescue our economies. Ultimately, it will claim to be our savior.” — Emilio Campmany, Libertad Digital, March 3, 2020.

The Chinese government has been fast-tracking shipments of medical aid to Europe, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The largesse appears to be part of a public relations effort by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Communist Party to deflect criticism over their responsibility for the deadly outbreak.

Beijing’s campaign as a global benefactor may deliver results in Europe, where pandering political leaders have long been notoriously fearful of antagonizing the European Union’s second-largest trading partner. What remains unclear is if European publics, which are bearing the brunt of the suffering caused by the epidemic, will be as easily willing to overlook the malfeasance of Chinese officials.

In what can only be described as a geopolitical humiliation, Ursula Von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, the administrative arm of the European Union, which touts itself as the “largest economy in the world,” heaped praise on Communist China for donating an inconsequential amount of medical equipment to the bloc. On March 18, she tweeted:

“Spoke with Chinese PM Li Keqiang who announced that China will provide 2 mil surgical masks, 200,000 N95 masks & 50,000 testing kits. In January, the European Union helped China by donating 50 tons of equipment. Today, we’re grateful for China’s support. We need each other’s support in times of need.”

The European Union has been incapable of providing meaningful assistance to Italy, the bloc’s third-largest member, which has been especially hard hit by the virus. After Germany, the EU’s most powerful member, banned the export of medical protection gear to avoid its own supply shortages of masks, gloves and suits, China stepped in….[   ]

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