China cover-up: Chilling purge of hundreds who spoke out against Xi – terrifying reportComments Off on China cover-up: Chilling purge of hundreds who spoke out against Xi – terrifying report
Originally published by Express on April 5, 2020
Beijing is cracking down on those who challenged the official propaganda that president Xi Jinping had handled the outbreak with transparency and expertise. Many people from Wuhan have expressed their anger at the central government’s negligence, especially after the death of the doctor who originally broke the news of the virus in December. Dr Li Wenliang was officially reprimanded and the news was “covered up”. The Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) community in a report this week said: “Human rights violations surged in China for the reason that Chinese authorities started implementing draconian measures in response to COVID-19.
“This embraces deleting crucial info on-line, censoring the media, punishing whistleblowing docs, detaining and disappearing impartial journalists and authorities critics, and kicking out international reporters.”
Since the end of the outbreak in China, police have eliminated 5,111 circumstances of “fabricating and intentionally disseminating false and dangerous information” according to Chinese state media.
CHRD said it has documented 897 cases between January.
In March, Chinese internet users were penalized by police for their online speech or information-sharing about the coronavirus epidemic, based on official information in the public domain.
The cases were spread across almost every province, region and municipality in China, CHRD said, adding that 467 people were sanctioned in February alone.
The CHRD report said: “The punishments handed out by police fall largely into several types: administrative detention, criminal detention, enforced disappearance, fines, warnings/interrogations, forced confessions and ‘educational reprimand”
China have begun a war of propaganda to change the narritive on Covid 19.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry, wrote on Twitter: “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.
“Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!”
It was unclear whether the spokesman’s suggestion that the US was behind the outbreak in China represented the view of the Beijing government but state broadcaster CGTN tweeted Mr Zhao’s allegations.
That the US, rather than China, is responsible for the crisis, and even owes China an explanation for its muted response to the outbreak, is a concept that has steadily gathered momentum in Chinese media over the past few weeks.
As new cases of the virus plummet in China and surge in the US and Europe, Chinese media and several Twitter-active diplomats are shifting the narrative away and blaming Washington.
Chinese news media has lit up with stories about the dangers of foreigners importing the virus from outside of China and how it is now Chinese experts who are swooping in to rescue Europe’s besieged cities.
Most striking have been the promotion of conspiracy theories and attacks on the veracity of US case numbers.
The sluggish response from the Trump administration is often drawn in stark comparison with the success of China’s sweeping quarantine of hundreds of millions of people.
Mr Zhao wrote in a separate Twitter post: “US should try to find a way to curb the outbreak!
“China has implemented measures for 2 months, allowing time and offering experience for US to learn from it, but US has hardly done anything.”
Hua Chunying, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took to Twitter also to criticise the CDC’s counting method, ending her post with: “It is absolutely WRONG and INAPPROPRIATE to call this the Chinese coronavirus.”
Despite being banned in China, a number of Chinese diplomats have recently taken to Twitter to counter criticism of China.
Mr Zhao has been prolific in his combative tweeting and was recently appointed to a senior position with the foreign ministry.