China dismisses EU report on virus disinformation

AFP , Thursday 11 Jun 2020

Beijing dismissed on Thursday a European Union report charging China and Russia with conducting coronavirus disinformation campaigns as a "false accusation".

Brussels says China and Russia have sought to undermine European democracy and burnish their own reputations during the pandemic with "targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns".

The unusually blunt accusation came in an official EU strategy paper for tackling what officials say is a "flood" of false healthcare claims, conspiracy theories, fraud and hate speech surrounding the coronavirus.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the report "avoids the clear facts".

"This false accusation against China is itself disinformation," Hua said at a regular press briefing.

"We never bragged or relied on disinformation to improve our image. The virus is the common enemy of mankind, and disinformation is also a common enemy of mankind."

Despite the report, the EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said Wednesday that he had assured China's foreign minister the bloc does not want a "cold war".

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