US’ information warfare on COVID-19 discredits itself
Published: Dec 29, 2022 05:21 PM
Habitual fault finder. Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

Habitual fault finder. Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

A peculiar trend has emerged in the US-led West's Mainstream Media (MSM) over the past few weeks whereby they've not only reversed their prior stance towards COVID-19, but are nowadays actively weaponizing this new narrative against China. On the one hand, they claim that the latest COVID strains are less dangerous than the original ones and that's why the West reopened its economy, while on the other hand, they claim that China is endangering the world by reopening its own economy. 

Before analyzing the ulterior motives driving this latest soft power attack against China, it's important to reflect on the unparalleled contributions that the People's Republic has made over the past three years in helping the international community fight the pandemic. First and foremost, the importance of its strictly enforced epidemiological policies can't be emphasized enough. They ensured that an uncontrollable outbreak didn't occur in the world's most populous country. 

To that end, observers shouldn't ever forget that China administered over one billion vaccine doses by June 2021, which reached 3.46 billion ones by the middle of December 2022. The pace, scale and scope of its vaccination drive are the widest in the world, which successfully contained the virus at home during the time its most dangerous strains were circulating in every country. In parallel with that, China helped dozens of its partners across the Global South do the same. 

By October 2021, the People's Republic had already provided over 1.5 billion doses to 106 countries and four international organizations. One month later, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged another one billion COVID-19 vaccines to Africa. By March 2022, a total of 2.1 billion doses had been provided to 120 mainly developing countries.

For as much as the West claims to have also helped in this respect, its contribution indisputably pales in comparison to China's. Instead of celebrating the ways in which China selflessly saved humanity, however, the West maliciously sought to manipulate perceptions about China's role and fearmonger about the efficacy of its policies. 

This information warfare campaign is driven by jealousy since the West hates that China's economic and political models were more successful than its own in responding to the pandemic. China surpassed their societies in vaccination production, inoculation rates, and the support extended to developing countries, all three of which collectively contributed to discrediting the West's claim of superiority over everyone else. That in turn shattered the false foundation upon which the rest of its soft power is based. 

The preceding insight provides the context required for properly understanding the West's latest soft power attack against China. The prior narrative that its strictly enforced epidemiological policies risked crashing its economy has suddenly transformed into warning that the latest changes risk killing millions of Chinese. There's no logical continuity between these polar opposite narratives except the observation that the only thing they have in common is condemning whatever policy it is that China practices. 

This narrative reversal on their part is entirely self-interested and aimed at misportraying everything that China does as supposedly being the most obviously counterproductive choice. Whether it's maintaining its strictly enforced epidemiological policies out of an abundance of caution for as long as it did, or finally easing them like the West itself earlier did after Chinese scientists were confident that this wouldn't endanger their people, the MSM consistently claims that China is always wrong. 

There's more to it right now than just those propagandists reacting to everything that China does by framing it as supposedly being the most obviously counterproductive choice. The contemporary context in which these latest information warfare attacks are being made adds credence to the suspicion that they're intended to discredit China's unquestionable achievements in fighting the pandemic as well as its related support to the international community. 

By so desperately attempting to marginalize and eliminate China's influence and voice in the sphere of global public health that it's resorting to such blatant lies, the West is hoping to mislead the world into once again thinking that its own economic and political models are superior to everyone else's. This reaffirms the earlier mentioned observation that the ongoing information warfare campaign against China is driven by the West's jealousy. 

The pandemic mustn't ever be politicized since people's lives are more important than politics, yet the US politicized it from the get-go by blaming China for COVID-19, not to mention consistently attempting to discredit its epidemiological policies literally every step of the way up until the present. It's indisputable that these efforts have always failed to influence China's policies or discredit its impressive achievements in the eyes of the international community. 

Nevertheless, it's still important for the global public to be aware of the lengths to which the US will go in its multifaceted Hybrid War on China, especially with respect to politicizing the pandemic. Everyone should know that there are no limits to American propagandists' perfidy. They'll literally lie about a virus and everything connected to it whenever they think that it'll advance their own interests at someone else's expense, but all that they really end up doing is further discrediting themselves. 

The author is a Moscow-based American political analyst. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn