Chinese observers called an EU report “a thief crying ‘stop thief,'” as the report accused Chinese and Russian media of “disinformation” while ignoring the West’s preposterous smears of China on, but not limited to, COVID-19-related issues.
A report released by the European External Action Service (EEAS) on Wednesday said that Chinese and Russian state-controlled media target Western vaccines, amplifying content on side-effects of the Western vaccines, which may fuel an anti-vaccination mood in Europe, and “reinforce the promotion of Chinese and Russian vaccines as alternatives.”
“A disinformation report that has no factual basis is in itself an example of disinformation,” the spokesperson of the Chinese Mission to the EU said on Thursday.
Eighteen stories by Global Times were listed in EEAS’ report, along with four from CGTN and four from China Daily. Even tweets by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokespersons were listed as “disinformation” – Zhao Lijian questions the US bio-lab activity while Hua Chunying celebrates 100 million doses of Chinese vaccines supplied globally.
Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday that it was precisely the Western media that reported the Western vaccine safety issues first, and the Chinese media reports were based on that.
“If the Chinese media reports are disinformation, so are the Western media reports… accusing the Chinese media is actually beating their own punches in the face,” Li said.
Among the 18 Global Times’ stories, five of them were commentaries, and the rest were news reports, whose news sources are almost all from Western news outlets.
When it comes to the content, one of them questioned the Western media’s double standards. Another was about AstraZeneca’s blood clot spats within the Europe, which were directly quoted from Western media.
Six stories from Russian media Sputnik were listed. Analysts believe that such information interchange is standard in the world’s media.
Li Baiyang, an expert on data analysis from Wuhan University in Hubei Province, told the Global Times on Thursday that most cases of disinformation collected by the EUvsDiSiNFO, the database where the EEAS report was released, are from Western and US media.
The accusations against Russia in the report were full of political purpose and those accusations toward China were untenable since Chinese media reports listed in the EU report cited data and cases reported by Western media, he said.
From the virus “lab-leak” theory to Donald Trump’s “China virus” narrative, from questioning the authenticity of China’s COVID-19 cases data and the efficacy of China’s anti-epidemic model, from BBC’s “underworld” filter on the Wuhan video to hyping the “low-effectiveness” of the Chinese vaccine, it is the Western media and politicians who have been vilifying China, not the other way around.
China suffered the most from disinformation on COVID-19 and vaccines, Li Baiyang said.
Some Western media and politicians with ulterior motives have been slandering China since the beginning of the epidemic, which reflects the ulterior motives to suppress China, Li said.
Western countries have performed very poorly in vaccine distribution, stockpiling vaccines rather than exporting them, in sharp contrast to China’s export of vaccines as a global public good, the expert said.
Although the current pattern of international public opinion dominated by the West has not changed, the efforts of China and other countries and organizations will expose more and more ugly behavior, analysts said.