Our intern Kristýna Kšírová writes a blog about China and its behaviour towards COVID–19.
Any assistance is of course welcome during a crisis, but it would be naive to see China’s offer of assistance as altruism and unconditional. It is part of a coordinated propaganda campaign, often aided and abetted by national leaders, such as President Zeman, with deep vested interests in China, or Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi di Maio, who posted a video of himself watching live footage of a plane with medical supplies from China remarking that China was the first to send aid. Another proof of rapproachement of Italy and China is a phone-call with Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, in which Chinese president Xi expressed his wish to establish a health silk road as a part of Belt and Road Initiave. Chinese so-called „assistance“ is governed by geopolitical ambitions, and naturally the old adage that a crisis should never go to waste is applicable here.
Political propaganda aside, some countries are rejecting Chinese equipment because of one other reason – faulty products. The Netherlands returned 600 000 respirators after finding out their filters did not work as intended. The Spanish government bought thousands of tests and found out that nearly 60 000 were not able to determine if a person was infected or not. The Chinese Embassy in Spain quickly distanced itself from the company that manufactured them, explaining it was not part of the help provided by the Chinese government and the Alibaba group, even though the Communist party owns those manufacturers. However, Spain was not alone, Turkey also reported that some testing kits provided by Chinese companies did not show accurate results. In Denmark, a shipment of 450.000 masks bought by the Odense University Hospital mysteriously disappeared, with no refund provided.
#China # COVID-19 # propaganda