Pentagon’s secret anti-vax campaign against China reveals Manila is seen as nothing more than consumable
Published: Jun 16, 2024 09:27 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Reuters published a report on June 14 that angered the people of the Philippines. In order to counter what it perceived as China's growing influence in the Philippines, the US military launched a secret campaign in the Philippines amid the COVID crisis, attempting to sow doubts among the local population about the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.

According to Reuters, the US military used fake accounts on various social media platforms to spread propaganda aimed at "sowing doubt about the safety and efficacy of vaccines and other life-saving aid that was being supplied by China." This anti-vax campaign targeted the Philippines, with the Pentagon using multiple fake social media accounts not only to scare people by claiming that Chinese vaccines are dangerous, but also to say that all aid from China is unsafe.

Ironically, despite the Philippines now serving as a pawn of the US, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines was a "hard-hit area" by US information warfare. A large number of innocent Philippine people were infected and died from the virus. By November 2021, the death toll in the Philippines due to COVID-19 reached over 48,000. However, this meant nothing to the US, as what it did was to spread false information to prevent the Philippines from acquiring safe, effective and available vaccines. 

This report has sparked anger among the people of the Philippines. Dr. Nina Castillo-Carandang, a former adviser to the World Health Organization and the Philippines government during the pandemic, noted, "We don't have our own vaccine capacity," and the US propaganda effort "contributed even more salt into the wound." Philippine activist Renato Reyes Jr. posted on social media, "US intervention in the Philippines during a health crisis, in the service of its imperialist agenda in the region. This is unacceptable." Apparently, the Marcos Jr. government has turned a deaf ear to those voices. 

Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the US choosing the Philippines as the target of its anti-vax campaign was strongly driven by a motivation to contain China. During the time of former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippine government was committed to formulating an independent foreign policy and attempting to establish friendly relations with China. This is exactly what the US does not want to see. The US sought to regain control over the Philippines through a clandestine program at the cost of the lives and health of the Philippine people.

The Reuters' report fully exposes the US' positioning toward the Philippines, not only as a "pawn" but also as a "consumable." Currently, under the brainwashing of the US, the Philippine government has adopted a confrontational policy toward China, leading to increased tension in both China-Philippine diplomatic and economic relations due to the South China Sea issue. Sadly and ironically, the Philippine people are unaware that their country has become the subject of a security transaction with the US.

For a long time, the US has been smearing China's international image and global influence through information warfare, attempting to isolate China from the international community. 

Li believes that the US' information warfare should be called "rumor warfare." This despicable and unethical practice has become common tactic in US foreign policy. As a US military officer involved in the program disclosed to Reuters, they were not looking at the issue from a public health perspective but rather focused on "how we could drag China through the mud." How brazenly they bluntly said so.

Since Ferdinand Marcos Jr. came to power, the Philippines has been encouraged and instigated by the US government to strengthen the US-Philippine alliance, leading to an increase in risk-taking, speculative mentality, and gambler's mindset. Under US' instigation, the Philippines has continuously provoked the South China Sea issue, gradually becoming a pawn in the US' confrontation with China. 

The Marcos Jr. government harbors illusions, believing that if the situation in the South China Sea gets out of control, the US will firmly stand with the Philippines. The report by Reuters has made the Philippine government's illusions even more ironic. US' "support" for the Philippines has always been to defend US security interests and hegemony, not the security interests of the Philippines.

In this smear campaign by the US, the Philippine people are undoubtedly the ones who suffered the most. The Filipinos should see clearly that the US never truly wants to help the Philippines develop. As a geopolitical "pawn," the Philippines is seen as nothing more than a "consumable" by the US.