China, or more aptly put, the Communist Party of China is a growing threat to the established order that the United States helped to cement post WWII. The current coronavirus crises only helps to deepen this fact and a growing number of nations are lifting the wool from their eyes when it comes to this growing and ever present threat to stability, order and democracy.
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1. Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation https://nyti.ms/2ztUcKD
• Bowing to heavy pressure from Beijing, European Union officials softened their criticism of China this week in a report documenting how governments push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents, emails and interviews. Worried about the repercussions, European officials first delayed and then rewrote the document in ways that diluted the focus on China, a vital trading partner — taking a very different approach than the confrontational stance adopted by the Trump administration.
• It cited Beijing’s efforts to curtail mentions of the virus’s origins in China, in part by blaming the United States for spreading the disease internationally. It noted that Beijing had criticized France as slow to respond to the pandemic and had pushed false accusations that French politicians used racist slurs against the head of the World Health Organization. The report also highlighted Russian efforts to promote false health information and sow distrust in Western institutions.
• But China moved quickly to block the document’s release, and the European Union pulled back. The report had been on the verge of publication, until senior officials ordered revisions to soften the language. “The Chinese are already threatening with reactions if the report comes out,” Lutz Güllner, a European Union diplomat, wrote to colleagues on Tuesday in an email seen by The Times.
• it comes at a time when the European Union hopes to win trade concessions from Beijing and restore a rich relationship once the pandemic has passed.
• Senior officials have softened language about Russia in the past as the bloc tried to improve relations with Moscow. A report last year on pre-election propaganda stripped out all references to Russian support for certain European political groups.
2. Global Backlash Builds Against China Over Coronavirus https://nyti.ms/3d90hdPBut
• With clear encouragement from President Xi Jinping and the powerful Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party, a younger generation of Chinese diplomats have been proving their loyalty with defiantly nationalist and sometimes threatening messages in the countries where they are based.
• In the past several weeks, at least seven Chinese ambassadors — to France, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and the African Union — have been summoned by their hosts to answer accusations ranging from spreading misinformation to the “racist mistreatment” of Africans in Guangzhou.
• Just last week, China threatened to withhold medical aid from the Netherlands for changing the name of its representative office in Taiwan to include the word Taipei. And before that, the Chinese Embassy in Berlin sparred publicly with the German newspaper Bild after the tabloid demanded $160 billion in compensation from China for damages to Germany from the virus
• In recent days, Chinese state media has run numerous inflammatory statements, saying that Australia, after announcing its desire for an inquiry into the virus, was “gum stuck to the bottom of China’s shoe.” Beijing warned that Australia risked long-term damage to its trading partnership with China, which takes a third of Australia’s exports.
3. Josh Hawley: The WTO Should Be Abolished https://nyti.ms/3dbGdHQ
• Take the World Trade Organization. Its mandate was to promote free trade, but the organization instead allowed some nations to maintain trade barriers and protectionist workarounds, like China, while preventing others from defending themselves, like the United States. Foreign agriculture won concession after concession, while American farmers struggled to get fair access to markets. Meanwhile, the W.T.O. required American workers to compete against Chinese forced labor but did next to nothing to stop Chinese theft of American intellectual property and products.
• We must face facts. The only sure way to confront the single greatest threat to American security in the 21st century, Chinese imperialism, is to rebuild the U.S. economy and to build up the American worker. And that means reforming the global economic system.
4. Senior Trump Aides Ease Up on China Pressure https://www.wsj.com/articles/
• Senior Trump administration officials signaled Monday that they won’t seek to punish China economically if Beijing abides by trade commitments made earlier this year, despite rising tensions over U.S. allegations that China mishandled the coronavirus outbreak.
5. China Banishes U.S. Journalists https://www.wsj.com/articles/
• BEIJING—China said it would revoke the press credentials of Americans working for three major U.S. newspapers in the largest expulsion of foreign journalists in the post-Mao era, amid an escalating battle with the Trump administration over media operating in the two countries.
• The measure would affect most of the U.S. journalists working at those newspapers in China, which issues press credentials for up to 12 months and has recently limited them to six and, in some cases, as little as one month.
• It also ordered the three newspapers and two other media outlets—Voice of America and Time magazine—to submit information about staff, finances, operations and real estate in China.
• On March 2, the Trump administration announced a personnel cap on four state-run Chinese media outlets—Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, China Global Television Network and China Daily—forcing them to reduce their Chinese employees in the U.S. to 100 in total, from 160.
6. World Health Organization Criticized for Virus Response https://www.wsj.com/articles/
• Many people who work, or have worked, with the organization, and who study its operations, say that in not declaring a global health emergency earlier, the agency gave too much weight to China’s concerns that the move would damage its economy and its leadership’s image.
• Dr. Tedros said in the interview that China’s quarantine in Hubei province— the outbreak’s epicenter—is consistent with the WHO’s International Health Regulations, or IHR, a treaty signed by member states including China that calls for the least intrusive measures possible and strong protection for freedom of movement and other human rights.