Saturday, April 11, 2020

Controlavirus: The Chinese Communist Party CCP Virus And The Great Blame Game



SCMP |  In October, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence noted in the first line of its report on Russia’s use of social media to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election, that “information warfare [is] designed to spread disinformation and societal division”. Zhao’s tweets accom­plished both. The disinformation was obvious. Critical thinking in abeyance, plenty of people will believe a claim that the US Army planted Covid-19 in Wuhan; even more will want it to be true.

When US President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others began fighting back by loudly and repeatedly calling Covid-19 “the Chinese virus”, social division in the US grew, if that is possible. The media accused Trump of being racist and xenophobic, and inciting more of the same towards Chinese-Americans. This only caused Trump to say it louder and more often.

One wonders how much longer Washington will conti­nue fighting the information war against Beijing with one arm tied behind its back. Chinese media enjoy free run of the US, including on Twitter. The US has no such freedom in China.

Not a few pundits in these past few weeks have predicted Covid-19 will end globalisation, or even “life as we know it”. That seems unlikely, given the short-term nature of people’s memories and how profitable “life as we know it” has been for so many. But given the mischief Zhao’s tweets caused, Beijing’s days on Twitter might be numbered.