Now The EU Gets Blunt With Beijing

THE EU’S ACCUSATION that China, just as much as Russia, is waging a disinformation campaign in Europe over the Covid-19 pandemic is unusually blunt — and underlines a growing willingness among the leaders of the advanced economies to be more openly forthright with Beijing.

In a joint policy paper on tackling coronavirus disinformation across the EU (the image above is courtesy of the EU), the European Commission and the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell Fontelles, said:

Foreign actors and certain third countries, in particular Russia and China, have engaged in targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns around COVID-19 in the EU, its neighbourhood and globally, seeking to undermine democratic debate and exacerbate social polarisation, and improve their own image in the COVID-19 context.

The policy paper references as evidence an update published late last month by the European External Action Service to its Covid-19 Disinformation report laying out multiple examples and showing how Beijing has updated its propaganda playbook for social media.

The Trump administration has led by example in confronting Beijing, but until recently European officials have been more reticent. However, this Bystander expects Beijing to continue to give as good as it gets in this respect. Thus relations are unlikely to become less tense.

Deepening mutual hostility provides a less than ideal backdrop to a video summit scheduled for later this month between Chinese leaders and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the European Council’s President, Charles Michel.

3 Comments

Filed under China-E.U., Media

3 responses to “Now The EU Gets Blunt With Beijing

  1. Pingback: China Fires Back Fast Over Disinformation | China Bystander

  2. You see these everywhere online. Attacking America, holding China and their lapdog WHO blameless for the catastrophe, enforcing Beijing’s line. They come out of the woodwork.

  3. Pingback: Stop The Press | China Bystander

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