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Victor Shih

Although not taken serious, when a spokesperson of China’s Foreign Affairs ministry blamed the US army for bringing the coronavirus into China, many paid attention. Political analyst Victor Shih explains why China relied on this very unlikely scenario at the New York Times.

The New York Times:

The circulation of disinformation is not a new tactic for the Communist Party state. The United States, in particular, is often a foil of Chinese propaganda efforts. Last year, Beijing explicitly accused the U.S. government of supporting public protests in Hong Kong in an effort to weaken the party’s rule.

The old tactic has been amplified by more combative public diplomacy and a new embrace of a social media platform that is blocked in China to spread a message abroad.

Victor Shih, an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego who studies Chinese politics, said that while the campaign was very likely an attempt to distract and deflect blame, a more worrisome possibility was that some officials fabricated the idea and persuaded top leaders to believe it.

“If the leadership really believes in the culpability of the U.S. government,” he warned, it may behave in a way that “dramatically” worsens the bilateral relationship.

More at the New York Times.

Victor Shih is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

Are you looking for more political experts at the China Speakers Bureau? Do check out this list.

 


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