The Chinese authorities defended its use of Twitter and Facebook on Thursday, following a report that it had used its rising social media presence to unfold disinformation concerning the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When requested concerning the report, the Foreign Ministry’s high spokesperson, Hua Chunying, didn’t immediately deal with the allegations about China’s position in spreading virus disinformation. However, she known as the report hype and stated China ought to have the suitable to use social media too.
An Associated Press investigation, performed in collaboration with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, discovered that highly effective political figures and allied media in China in addition to the US, Russia and Iran flooded the globe with disinformation concerning the virus.
The report, revealed earlier this week, stated that Chinese officers went on the offensive in response to a story – nursed by former US President Donald Trump amongst others – that the virus had been manufactured by China. Experts have largely dominated out that risk.
Hua, requested concerning the AP report at a each day Foreign Ministry briefing, stated that some individuals in Western international locations, such because the US don’t wish to hear China’s goal and true voice.
“They are afraid that more people will learn the truth, so that they can no longer spread false information unscrupulously and do whatever they want to mislead and monopolize international public opinion,” she stated.
China’s response, although, was to begin spreading rumors that the virus had been created by a US army lab and launched throughout a global competitors for army athletes in Wuhan, the Chinese metropolis the place the brand new coronavirus was first detected in late 2019.
The seek for the origins of the virus has develop into extremely politicised. Trump sought to pin the blame on China, in half to deflect criticism of his administration’s response to the pandemic in the United States.
China, in flip, has performed up studies that the virus was circulating exterior of the nation earlier than the outbreak in Wuhan, suggesting it might have been introduced in from elsewhere.
Determining the place the virus began is more likely to take years of analysis and will by no means be recognized. Most scientists say the almost definitely state of affairs is it was first carried by bats in southwest China or neighboring Southeast Asia, after which unfold to a different animal earlier than infecting people.