Ed. Note: The Foundation for Defense of Democracies Long War Journal and The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center both report on China expelling reporters from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and The Washington Post this week, seen as an attempt by the Chinese Communist Party to control reporting during a time of crisis in China. At the same time, domestic reporting by Chinese state-run media organizations highlights China’s quick response to COVID-19 and testing, a lack of anticipated impact to China’s economy, and other efforts to convey a positive narrative. Chinese officials also are publicly broadcasting that the U.S. military may be to blame for the virus’ movement outside Wuhan and even that the virus may be a product of American biological warfare. While such disinformation and attempts to control foreign media access to China are not unexpected, we should be concerned that the information environment today is such that the public is bombarded with Coronavirus reporting from all over the globe, and is armed with little or no ability to verify and validate the facts.
China’s Dangerous Coronavirus Disinformation Campaign