Chinese state news agency floods social media with anti-US COVID memes
While the United States and the World Health Organization are still trying to determine the origins of the coronavirus – despite China’s efforts to block these investigations – a different war is unfolding online.
Chinese State News Agency Xinhua practically floods its pandemic propaganda streams, ranging from conspiracy theories suggesting that the US military covered up leaks of other viruses harmful to Memes on the topic of “Tetris” on America’s failure to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The sometimes unintentionally hilarious memes appear to be a direct response to repeated calls by the United States to investigate the true origins of the virus, a feud that shouldn’t end anytime soon.
It’s an effort that has continued from the early stages of the pandemic. In April 2020, for example, Xinhua released an animated video titled “Once Upon a Virus” poking fun at the slowness of the US response using Lego minifigures.
And in an article published on Monday, Xinhua cited a Maldives Information Network article – at best a dubious source – which claimed that “the politicization and deviance of the United States from the scientific facts on the research of the origin of the COVID-19 virus is part of a false flag operation”.
In other words, the United States is trying to hide its true motives by studying the origins of the COVID-19 virus – a convenient narrative for Beijing, to say the least.
At the same time, memes sometimes strike uncomfortably near home. One black and white specimen, for example, describes the United States as a global ‘super-broadcaster’ by pointing out that it represents just four percent of the world’s population but almost 18 percent of the global COVID-19 workload, numbers that coincide with the John Hopkins University world tally.
The United States has indeed contributed significantly to the global spread of COVID-19 – and this despite the widespread availability of vaccines.
At the same time, the laboratory leak hypothesis has undoubtedly been a highly politicized subject among US lawmakers. After all, many members of Congress have a clear interest in portraying China as enemy number one.
This is a thorny question. As Beijing repeatedly opposes official investigations, the theories of lab leaks are sure to persist into the future.
There is also the fact that many experts doubt that we will ever get a definitive answer as to the real origin of the virus.
The Chinese government’s goals are as obvious as they are botched. Xinhua repeatedly emphasizes the many failures of the United States in responding to the global pandemic.
But if vaccination rates, non-existent mask warrants and general confusion over how to respond to the threat of COVID-19 are anything to go by, this is more than fair criticism.
Learn more about lab leak theories: The laboratory leak theory is a tragic gallery of mirrors