China spreading ‘Russia-style’ propaganda as demands for coronavirus investigation rocket

Australia’s demands for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus in Wuhan has sparked outrage from China. The state has faced criticism over its response to the pandemic, in which some claim Beijing was too slow to reveal the severity of the crisis. LBC host Maajid Nawaz agreed, explaining why it was vital that an inquiry happens.

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He told listeners: “To understand how this thing could have been leaked requires a thorough and full and independent investigation into all of this.

“That’s what Australia has been asking for, and that’s why the spat between Australia and China is now out in the open and become quite fierce.

“The Chinese Communist Party, the one-party state in China, are rather upset at even the suggestion that there should be some investigation.

“In fact, they’ve doubled down and continued, through their various online platforms that they control, Russia-style, to spread instead propaganda that this was spread by US military.”

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Mr Nawaz continued: “They’ve even blamed a poor lady, who was accused of being the American citizen who was patient zero who took it to China deliberately.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda is at full speed, in the highest gear possible.

“They’re focussing on a US Army Reservist, who lives in the United States of America, but became the target of a wild and widely shared claim on the internet that she is ‘patient zero’.

“It’s got so bad for this particular US Army Reservist because she’s been named that she’s getting death threats online.”

The LBC host added: “It’s incredibly unfortunate that one particular American lady is taking all the blame for this online.

“If they want to play that game then sure, let’s have a full investigation.

“Let’s look at your lab in Wuhan and see if this thing accidentally emerged from there.”

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Chen Wen, the Chinese deputy ambassador to the UK, told BBC’s World at One that demands such as these are purely “politically motivated”.

She said: “Of course, we will always want to know where the virus comes from. It could happen anywhere at anytime in the world.

“All the people want to know the origin of this virus. The independent inquiry is politically motivated.

“One, we are fighting the virus at the moment. When we are concentrating our efforts on fighting against the virus, why are we talking about an investigation into this?

“This will divert our attention and divert our resources, and this is clearly a politically motivated initiative. I think no one can agree with this kind of politically motivated investigation, and it will serve nobody any good.”

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