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Wuhan Virus propaganda timeline update, April 23-25


by J Michael Waller / Center for Security Policy / April 27, 2020 – China’s pandemic propaganda and disinformation are so extensive that we’re making our daily Wuhan Virus chronology project more usable by issuing updates at least twice a week as separate stories. This is the first of the series, covering April 23-25.

Of course we’ll still update the chronology regularly, not only adding the most recent material, but backfilling where we discover items from earlier dates.

April 23

CCP renews disinformation about US military starting pandemic. In renewing its disinformation that the US military leaked the virus, the CCP begins a passive, indirect approach. This time, the questions are not raised as comments by a ranking government official as before, but through a scripted event of a low-level Chinese government scientist who hold an authorize news conference to “respond” to “viral reports” about US military culpability. The takeaway is that the world cannot know for sure because the US isn’t being transparent. Highlights from CCP’s Global Times:

  • Science can’t tell whether virus came from US lab. Headline: “Scientists ‘unable to judge’ if US lab is virus source due to lack of govt response.”
  • US has ‘not given any pubic response.’ “Responding to viral reports alleging that the novel coronavirus was leaked from a US military biochemical laboratory, Chinese scientists said that they could not make a judgment on the allegation, as the US had not given any public response on the issue.”
  • Low-level researcher drops the hints for the CCP to expand upon. A “research fellow” at the Institute of Microbiology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences “made the remarks at a press conference … noting that the origin of the virus is a scientific issue requiring a long period of research and involves a great deal of uncertainty.”
  • CCP pretends not to make the allegations and cites unidentified others. “The remarks came amid circulating reports that the Fort Detrick laboratory, which handles high-level disease-causing materials such as Ebola, in Frederick, Maryland, may be the origin of the deadly novel coronavirus. . . .”
  • Fort Detrick was a safety problem last year. “The lab was ordered shut down in July 2019, reportedly for multiple causes, including failure to follow local procedures and a lack of periodic recertification training for workers in the biocontainment laboratories.”
  • Unidentified others said on social media that Patient Zero was a US military cyclist. “Some other posts on social media platforms also alleged that a US armed diplomatic driver and cyclist who was in Wuhan in October 2019 for the cycling competition in the Military World Games, could be patient zero for COVID-19 in Wuhan.”
  • Chinese & US online activists launched White House petition, but US won’t talk. “Netizens from both China and the US have called on the US government to respond to public concerns over the above mentioned issues. Some have even launched a petition on the White House website, but the US government has not made any comment so far.”
  • Let’s not blame anyone, though, because we need to cooperate. “However, the research requires mutual collaboration . . . which take a long time and is full of uncertainty . . . some diseases . . . have occurred in human history such as AIDS and SARS, whose origins have still not been identified even after decades of research.”

Chinese state TV uses comedian Trevor Noah to promote ‘America virus’ on TikTok. Comedian Trevor Noah stars in a 30-second China Global Television Network video saying that the virus should be called the America Virus. In the American-style video, subtitled in Chinese and distributed virally on TikTok, Noah gives his monologue:

  • “In more good news, the Chinese government has announced that there has been so much improvement in Wuhan that the lockdown will be lifted there in just a couple of weeks.
  • “And pretty soon the people of Wuhan are gonna be discriminating against us.
  • “Yeah, they’re just gonna be holding press conferences like, ‘We need to shut down our borders to prevent the America virus from coming in.’
  • “The America virus?
  • “Yeah, that’s how it works, right?
  • “You name it after where it is, ’cause it’s not in Wuhan any more.
  • “So, the America virus. Yeah.” [Noah smiles and gives a thumbs-up, with CGTN logo superimposed.]

Vice News: Winnie the Pooh caricature in Atlanta of Xi Jinping is a ‘racist’ crime. Plaques  that an unknown street artist placed around Atlanta are “racist” and require federal law enforcement action because they feature Winnie the Pooh holding chopsticks and a bat, Vice News says. Atlanta police have been investigating for days. Highlights:

  • “Racist plaques depicting Winnie the Pooh holding a bat with chopsticks have begun to pop up around Atlanta, and police have no leads as to who is responsible.”
  • “The round, bronze and teal plaques bearing the words ‘Wuhan Plague,’ referencing the Chinese city where the coronavirus originated, first appeared April 13 on an electrical box in Inman park, according to the Atlanta police.”
  • “Winnie the Pooh’s association with Chinese culture originated in 2013 when parody comparisons between the cuddly bear and Prime Minister Xi Jinping went viral on social media – and China then banned Pooh images.”
  • “Despite the plaque’s overt racism, Atlanta police department spokesperson Carlos Campos said that the crime will likely not be considered a racial bias crime as police would need further proof that the motive was based on race, sex, sexual orientation or religion.”
  • “Georgia does not have a hate crime statute of any kind, so local police will likely have to hand over the case to the federal government in order to prosecute the unlawful act under federal hate crime laws following an arrest.”

Nearly half of coronavirus content on Twitter might be bots, not people. “Nearly half the “people” talking about the coronavirus pandemic on Twitter are not actually people, but bots, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University,” Vice says in a separate article by a separate reporter. The article cites Kathleen Carley, a professor at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science’s Institute for Software Research. Highlights:

  • 45.5% have ‘characteristics of bots.’ “Researchers there found that 45.5% of users tweeting about the coronavirus have the characteristics of bots, such as tweeting more frequently than is humanly possible, or appearing to be in one country and then another a few hours later.”
  • More than double of what was expected. “Carley says that’s a massive jump from the 20% she’d expected based on previous analyses of bot activity around other major global news events and national disasters.”
  • More than 100 false coronavirus narratives identified. “The Carnegie Mellon team identified more than 100 false narratives relating to coronavirus worldwide, which they divided into six different categories: cures or preventative measures, weaponization of the virus, emergency responses, the nature of the virus (like children being immune to it), self-diagnosis methods, and feel-good stories, like dolphins returning to Venice’s canals.”
  • ‘Bot hunter’ uses AI. “Carley and her team rely on a “bot hunter” tool that they developed, which uses artificial intelligence to process account information from users on Twitter to determine who is or who isn’t a bot.”
  • What the bot hunter looks for. “The bot hunter looks at information like number of followers, the things they tweet about, the frequency of tweeting, language, the types of accounts they retweet, and their mentions network.”
  • Tens of millions of tweets analyzed from 12 million users. “To analyze bot activity around the pandemic, the tool examined all tweets discussing coronavirus or COVID-19 — that ended up being about 67 million tweets between January 29 and March 4, and after that about 4 million tweets on average each day, from more than 12 million users.”

Pandemic in China may be 4x worse than officially reported, study finds. A scholarly University of Hong Kong study published in The Lancet health professional journal finds that the virus pandemic in China may be four times worse than officials are reporting. Highlights:

  • Study is published amid calls for investigating origin of pandemic. “New estimates from Hong Kong come amid call for inquiry into outbreak’s origins.” (Guardian)
    • “The new estimates come amid a mounting clamour for an international inquiry into the coronavirus outbreak’s origins, led by the United States and Australia, although the estimates appear far from constituting the proof of a coverup sought by some on the political right. The US and Australia have called for an international investigation into the handling of the outbreak.”
  • Chinese officials kept changing the benchmarks. “Between January 15, 2020, and March 3, 2020, China issued seven different benchmarks that defined a coronavirus case, a moving target found to have a ‘substantial effect’ on early case numbers, according to the researchers.” (Forbes)
  • Severe underreporting. The study estimates that the “actual toll may be closer to 232,000” as of early March, but “China, which revised its death toll to be 50% higher last week, has only reported 83,000 cases since the outbreak began.” (Forbes)
  • China’s low case count is ‘suspicious.’ “China has been heavily scrutinized for its low case count, especially compared to countries like Spain, Italy, France and the United States, which have reported much higher infection numbers despite having smaller populations.”
    • President Trump doubts China’s numbers. “Prior to the reconfigured death count, Trump notably said, ‘Do you really believe those numbers in this vast country called China, and that they have a certain number of cases and a certain number of deaths; does anybody really believe that?’”
    • US saw ‘hidden outbreaks’ in February. “Now, reports are emerging that the United States saw ‘hidden outbreaks’ in February, suggesting the virus arrived earlier and spread farther than previously thought.”
  • Full text of Hong Kong academic studyClick here for the text of the original University of Hong Kong study.

CCP: China is recovering very well, while US suffering a mass decline in the world. A Global Times essay by British academic John Ross, identified in the tagline as a scholar with the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (but known back home as a lifelong Trotskyist and head of Socialist Action) paints a shiny vision of China and a dim one of the West in general and the US and UK in particular:

  • The West can’t cope with the pandemic the way China did.  “Given the immense efforts and suffering the Chinese people put into fighting the coronavirus, it is difficult for them to imagine that the situation in the West is very many times worse than it was at the worst moment of the crisis in China. But this reality is proven by the facts.”
  • Fatalities in West are many times worse than in China. “Taking into account the recent upward revision of deaths,”  the number of coronavirus deaths “in proportion to CHina’s population” is 40 times as high in the United States and in the UK is “81 times as bad as China’s worst day.”
    • Proportionate to population, the UK death toll “is as though 323,000 people had died in China,” for Spain “as though 602,000 had died in China,” and in the US, “as though 138,000 had died in China.”
    • “Adjusted for population, the US’ death toll is 30 times higher than China’s and rising, while Spain’s is 130 times higher than China’s.”
  • Worst casualties in US and UK since before World War II. “The traumatic effect of these deaths on the political situation will be particularly great in countries such as the US and Britain, where large-scale fighting, with very high numbers of deaths, did not occur in World War II.”
  • Worst ‘mass death’ experience for US since Spanish Flu and Civil War. “Indeed, this is only the third mass death experience in the entire history of the US. The US suffered large casualties among its troops in foreign wars – World War II, Korea, Vietnam – but only twice before, in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and during its Civil War, has the US ever suffered mass deaths on its own soil.”
  • US has to cover up its failures to keep its ‘international ideology and prestige.’ “The US’ reaction to its disastrous death toll is clear. It would be a catastrophic blow to US international ideology and prestige for the truth to be known – that the US had disastrously failed to protect its own population against the coronavirus pandemic and that China had been many more times effective in protecting its population.”
  • America’s future is vested in disinforming the public. “Therefore, the US has already decided that it is vital that this truth is concealed from its population.”
    • Trump is a liar. “Trump’s daily lies on the coronavirus at his press conferences are well known.”
    • Biden is a liar. “Equally distorted are the advertising campaigns launched by Democratic challenger Biden – which concentrate not on the failure of Trump to prepare the US for the coronavirus pandemic but instead make the ridiculous charge that Trump has capitulated to China.”
  • Other countries are becoming more favorable toward China. Ross writes that “a sharp swing of public opinion in favor of China has taken place” in other countries, citing a single poll among Italians.
  • British were fine with Huawei until US used 5G to ‘shift blame.’ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government “defied US pressure and allowed Huawei to participate in the development of the country’s 5G network,” but “in line with the US attempt to shift blame from its disastrous failure to prepare for coronavirus. . . .”
    • US pressured UK against Huawei and UK bowed. Under US blame-shifting pressure, “the acting head of government Dominic Raab [the article does not say why Prime Minister Johnson was not acting] denounced China for the coronavirus crisis, claiming there cannot be a return to ‘business as usual.’”
    • Brits want China’s help, citing mask diplomacy. “Forces tied to the US have renewed campaigns to reverse the country’s previous decision on Huawei. However, other UK political forces are urgently seeking China’s help in fighting the coronavirus – the UK government pointed to the fact that China had supplied 12 million pieces of protective medical equipment to the UK.”
    • British health professionals praise China. “Key representatives of the health profession, for example the most important UK medical journal The Lancet, have been outspoken in their support for China’s handling of the coronavirus.”
  • British government can’t cope or think strategically on its own. “The reality is that the UK government is so preoccupied with the coronavirus disaster that is unfolding that it is unlikely any serious thought is currently being given to strategic foreign policy at the highest levels of government. Furthermore, as with other countries, the outcome of these conflicting forces will only become clear after the effect of the intense coronavirus crisis gripping the West is known.”

Dangers of scientific cooperation with China: ‘ultimately subordinate’ to CCP. “Since my column last week revealing safety concerns regarding the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), some Western scientists have come to the defense of the lab and its scientists,” Josh Rogin writes in the Washington Post. “Their perspectives are important, but many of them seem to overlook a crucial point: that all scientific research in China must ultimately subordinate itself to the dictates of the Chinese Communist Party.” Highlights:

  • Obvious to all, but reinforced by CCP pandemic ‘cover up.’ “This shouldn’t be a controversial assertion. This has been the case for decades, and the message has been amply reinforced by the party’s efforts to cover up the covid-19 outbreak.”
  • Beijing against any scientific investigation into the Wuhan lab. “The Chinese government has systematically thwarted scientific investigation that would either implicate or exonerate the lab — or shed light on alternative theories. The Wuhan seafood market that Beijing originally cited as the outbreak’s point of origin was sanitized before any real scientific examination.”
  • Chinese regime won’t share early virus sample and makes critics ‘disappear.’ “The Chinese government won’t share actual virus samples from the earliest cases. The Shanghai lab that first released the coronavirus genome was shut down for ‘rectification.’ All research on the virus origin in China is now restricted. Critics have been disappeared.”
  • CCP and regime ‘ruthlessly intervene’ in all levels of science. “‘The Party and state ruthlessly intervene in research, punish truth-tellers, make inconvenient facts disappear, and manipulate data and history to put their interests above all others,’ said historian Glenn Tiffert, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, in an email. ‘This is not to malign PRC scientists, many of whom have the highest probity but may find themselves facing impossible choices. It is the system they must survive in.’”
  • How regime politicizes science for its own interests. “Helping build a lab in China to support virus research on the front lines seemed logical, and [a Chinese researcher] was surely trying to do good science. But when the pandemic hit in her city, the party took over. ‘Like all other forms of knowledge in the [People’s Republic of China], science is not open on principle; it is only open as far and as long as it suits the Party,’ Tiffert said.”

Other

  • CCP sowing more doubt: Second Global Times story builds on story that virus may be from US. (Global Times)
  • CCP: China’s epidemic-control model and overall cultural and governance are superior. (Global Times)
  • Beijing to donate another $30 million to WHO, over the recent $20 million. (China Daily)
  • “China denies a cover up over coronavirus.” (BBC Global News Podcast)
  • MSNBC says pandemic has “silver lining” as a way to defeat Trump. (Breitbart)
  • CCP: US leaders are to blame for the sad state of America’s elderly virus victims. (Global Times)
April 24

Chinese government pressured EU to censor report on disinformation. “Bowing to heavy pressure from Beijing, European Union officials softened their criticism of China this week in a report documenting how governments push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents, emails and interviews,” the New York Times reports from Brussels. Highlights:

  • EU delayed and rewrote disinformation report to avoid blaming China. “Worried about the repercussions, European officials first delayed and then rewrote the document in ways that diluted the focus on China, a vital trading partner — taking a very different approach than the confrontational stance adopted by the Trump administration.”
  • Original draft was not strident, but routine. “The initial European Union report, obtained by The New York Times, was not particularly strident: a routine roundup of publicly available information and news reports.”
  • Original draft cited PRC efforts to avoid blame and point at US and allies. “It cited Beijing’s efforts to curtail mentions of the virus’s origins in China, in part by blaming the United States for spreading the disease internationally. It noted that Beijing had criticized France as slow to respond to the pandemic and had pushed false accusations that French politicians used racist slurs against the head of the World Health Organization.”
  • Original report documented Russian disinformation and divisive ops. “The report also highlighted Russian efforts to promote false health information and sow distrust in Western institutions.”
  • Original text: China runs global disinformation to deflect blame & improve image. “‘China has continued to run a global disinformation campaign to deflect blame for the outbreak of the pandemic and improve its international image,’ the initial report said. ‘Both overt and covert tactics have been observed.’”
  • Chinese government blocked document’s release. “But China moved quickly to block the document’s release, and the European Union pulled back. The report had been on the verge of publication, until senior officials ordered revisions to soften the language.”
  • Beijing threatened EU with repercussions. “‘The Chinese are already threatening with reactions if the report comes out,’ Lutz Güllner, a European Union diplomat, wrote to colleagues on Tuesday in an email seen by The Times.”
  • EU excises sentence about China’s ‘global disinformation.’ “The sentence about China’s ‘global disinformation’ campaign was removed, as was any mention of the dispute between China and France. Other language was toned down.”
  • EU cave-in called self-censorship ‘to appease the Chinese Communist Party.’ “The delay and revisions incited anger and frustration among some diplomats and government disinformation analysts. At least one analyst formally objected, writing to her bosses that the European Union was ‘self-censoring to appease the Chinese Communist Party.’”
  • Cash is the motivator: EU is hoping to ‘restore a rich relationship’ with Beijing. “The fight over the document is part of a broad, global battle over the coronavirus narrative. And it comes at a time when the European Union hopes to win trade concessions from Beijing and restore a rich relationship once the pandemic has passed.”
  • Chinese government acted quickly on Politico tip. “Early Tuesday morning, Politico quoted from the document in its morning newsletter and said that the paper was expected to be published that day.”
    • Rapid move to get EU to ‘kill’ report. “But Chinese officials quickly contacted the European Union’s representatives in Beijing to try to kill the report, according to two diplomats with knowledge of the exchange and emails recounting the calls.”
  • EU has disinformation task force whose work is ‘sanitized’ over ‘political concerns.’ “The European Union, like the United States, has struggled to find a coherent approach toward combating disinformation. A task force of analysts regularly highlights foreign propaganda, but its work has been sanitized at times over political concerns.”
    • EU sanitized earlier reports about Russian agitprop against EU. “Senior officials have softened language about Russia in the past as the bloc tried to improve relations with Moscow. A report last year on pre-election propaganda stripped out all references to Russian support for certain European political groups.”
    • EU is now seeking ‘better treatment for its companies in China.’“The new European Union report comes as the bloc is trying to get better treatment for its companies in China. Two-way trade was estimated at more than $1.6 billion per day before the pandemic. German automakers and French farmers, along with other industries, rely heavily on exports to China.”
    • EU denies that report had been delayed. “Peter Stano, a European Union spokesman, said Friday that the report had not been delayed. ‘It is ready once it is complete, cleared in an editorial process and ready to be uploaded,’ he said.”
    • Internal EU message shows the original draft had been approved. “On Tuesday morning, however, an email circulated inside the disinformation task force team with the subject line: ‘READY for publication.’ A supervisor approved it and an analyst was about to publish a summary online.”
    • EU diplomatic adviser Esther Osorio ordered draft held up. “But Esther Osorio, a senior adviser to the European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, ordered it held, according to an email.”

PRC diplomats become ‘Wolf warriors.’ “China’s diplomats show teeth in defending virus response,” the Associated Press reports from Beijing. “From Asia to Africa, London to Berlin, Chinese envoys have set off diplomatic firestorms with a combative defense whenever their country is accused of not acting quickly enough to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.” Highlights:

  • ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomats. “They belong to a new generation of ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomats, named after patriotic blockbuster films starring a muscle-bound Chinese commando killing American bad guys in Africa and Southeast Asia with his bare hands.”
  • Years in preparation. “The tougher approach has been building for several years under President Xi Jinping, who has effectively jettisoned former leader Deng Xiaoping’s approach of hiding China’s ambitions and biding its time.”
  • China will be ‘submissive’ and ‘flaccid’ no more. “The days when China can be put in a submissive position are long gone,’ said an editorial in the Global Times, a state-run newspaper known for its outspoken views. The Chinese people, it said, ‘are no longer satisfied with a flaccid diplomatic tone.’” [Note: Global Times is a CCP-run outlet, and its “outspoken views” are always part of the Party line.]
  • China must ‘fight back.’ “‘If anyone tries to attack China on this issue, China will resolutely fight back,’ said Shi Yinhong, professor of International Studies at Renmin University. “Chinese leaders may think if China doesn’t fight back, it will hurt China even more.”
  • Increased use of Western social media that’s banned inside China. “Chinese diplomats are increasingly taking to Twitter and Facebook — platforms that are blocked in their own country. They’re following in the footsteps of Zhao Lijian, a pioneering firebrand whose tweets while stationed in Pakistan attracted a huge following and also led America’s former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to call him a ‘racist disgrace’ who should be dismissed. Instead, China promoted him — to foreign ministry spokesman.”
  • Xi needs ‘wolf-warrior’ diplomats to strengthen his standing within CCP. “Xi has clearly indicated a preference for ‘wolf-warrior’ diplomats, said Carl Minzner, an expert on Chinese politics at Fordham Law School in New York City. These new-style diplomats are ‘reading the tea leaves, and are using bombastic language overseas as a tool to garner attention from nationalistic audiences at home — both among the party elite and among society at large — regardless of the impact on China’s image abroad,’ Minzner said.”
  • Wolf-warriors borrow from Russia’s social media bot methods. “Lifting a page from Russia’s playbook, it has mobilized thousands of bots to tweet the Communist Party line, according to Twitter. China has pumped funds into state media outlets broadcasting in Swahili, Arabic, Spanish, and dozens of other languages.”
  • China exploits the pandemic it created to ‘assert leadership’ among Western critics. “Beijing’s diplomats see the virus as a chance to assert leadership among countries critical of the West. Many leaders have praised China for sending medical equipment and teams, with one flight greeted by the president of Serbia kissing the Chinese flag.
  • Beijing now at ‘center of world stage’ and must be more assertive. “‘We’ve approached the center of the world stage like never before, but we still don’t have full grasp of the microphone in our hands,’ said Hua Chunying, the foreign ministry’s chief spokeswoman. ‘We must assert our right to speak.’”

People’s Daily cites Dr Fauci to deflect blame from ‘conspiracy theory.’The CCP’s authoritative People’s Daily quotes American infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci to deflect blame away from the idea that the virus escaped from a Wuhan lab. Specifically, the People’s Daily repeats a Business Insider report that quotes Fauci’s April 17 White House briefing in which Fauci recommends of a scholarly article. People’s Daily calls the lab origin concern a “conspiracy theory.” Highlights from People’s Daily, with purported quotes within the quotes (we have not gone back to the original quotes to verify):

  • CCP cites Fauci’s situation of recent study. “‘There was a study recently that we can make available to you, where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences there and the sequences in bats as they evolve. And the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human,’ Fauci replied.”
  • People’s Daily: Natural transmission, not ‘created or enhanced’ in lab. “Studies of the virus’ genome, he added, have strongly indicated that it was transmitted from an animal to a human rather than created or enhanced in a laboratory setting, as a March 17 article in the scientific journal Nature Medicine found.” [Comment: Chinese government will not allow study of the original virus samples.]
  • People’s Daily cites conclusion in US journal. ‘”We do not believe that any type of laboratory-based scenario is plausible,’ the article said. The study, led by computational biologist Kristian Andersen of the Scripps Research Institute in California, compared COVID-19 to the six other coronaviruses known to infect humans and concluded that SARS-CoV-2 ‘is not a purposefully manipulated virus.’”

Chinese regime bypasses US laws by broadcasting propaganda into California from Mexico. The Chinese Communist Party’s “Phoenix TV has used Mexican radio towers to skirt U.S. laws barring the dissemination of foreign propaganda in America and broadcast state propaganda throughout Southern California,” the Free Beacon reports.

Phoenix-TV provocation at White House backfires. The April 6 Phoenix-TV provocation at the White House backfires, drawing the attention of a US senator who introduces legislation to “stop China’s Communist Party from exploiting loopholes in U.S. laws that critics say have enabled it to beam propaganda into America through a radio station connected to a state-controlled press organ,” the Free Beacon reports. Highlights:

  • Bill would crack down on Phoenix-TV’s broadcasting into US from Mexico. “[Senator Ted] Cruz’s bill, the first of its kind, was sparked by the purchase of a radio station connected to was sparked by the purchase of a radio station connected to Phoenix TV—an outlet owned by the Chinese government—that is now using a broadcast tower in Mexico to beam Chinese-language propaganda into the United States.”
  • Close loopholes to squeeze Phoenix-TV. “Cruz’s bill would close existing loopholes in U.S. law by banning the Federal Communications Commission from granting licenses to any person who intends to change the language of the station they are purchasing. In Phoenix TV’s case, the outlet’s affiliates applied for an FCC license and then began broadcasting propaganda in Chinese once it assumed control of the Mexico-based radio towers, located near Tijuana.”
  • Phoenix-TV changed programming from Spanish to Chinese. “While the FCC has not granted the license, the station has continued to operate on a temporary license. After initially assuming control of the station, the new owners switched it from Spanish to Chinese-language programming; it is now heard across Southern California.”
April 25

Beijing slams US as ‘hegemonic’ for calling out WHO. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman calls out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for saying that the US might not restore its funding to the World Health Organization. Highlights from China Daily:

  • ‘Wrong side’ [of history]. The regime says that the US risks being “on the wrong side of the track from the international community.”
  • US has ‘typical hegemonic mentality’ to think that WHO should ‘do its bidding.’ “‘The US assumes that WHO should do its bidding because it is the largest contributor. This is typical hegemonic mentality,’ [spokesman] Geng Shuang said at a press briefing. ‘At present, by supporting WHO, we will be able to contain the further spread of the virus. It is literally a matter of life and death. This is a consensus shared by the majority of countries and a sure choice anyone with conscience would make.’”
  • US ‘smearing and attacking WHO without any factual basis.’ “The US has been smearing and attacking WHO without any factual basis. Its tactics of pressure and coercion will only draw greater disapprobation from the international community, Geng said.”
  • WHO leader Tedros is vital, fair, science-based. Under Tedros’ leadership, “WHO has been actively fulfilling its duties playing an important role in coordinating international efforts to fight COVID-19 in an objective, fair and science-based manner, he said, noting that supporting WHO helps uphold multilateralism and safeguard the role and authority of the UN.’”
  • US is out of step with rest of world. The article cites support for WHO from “many countries and international organizations includingFrance, Germany, the UK, Canada, Japan, and the UN. . . . . WHO’s leadership is also endorsed in the UNGA resolution and statements by the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of 77 and China. In the statement of the recent G20 extraordinary summit, member states stressed that they fully support and commit to further strengthen the WHO’s mandate in coordinating the international fight against the pandemic. All these facts demonstrate a common position and aspiration of the international community.”
  • US is untrustworthy and uncooperative. Foreign ministry spokesman Geng says, “We have offered China’s response repeatedly. Here I would like to stress that WHO members have a legally-binding obligation to pay their assessed contributions, thus the US suspending funding is a fundamental violation of its membership duties, which will definitely deliver a hard blow to the international anti-virus cooperation and probably entail serious ramifications.”
  • US actions against WHO will harm other countries. “‘It will affect all countries, including the US, and particularly those with vulnerable health systems,’ he said.”

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