China's top EU envoy rubbishes COVID-19 misinformation allegations
Updated 02:37, 25-Apr-2020
Nilay Syam

China's top envoy to the European Union has slammed allegations that Beijing was misleading the world over the COVID-19 crisis.

Tensions spiked after an internal report from Brussels accused the Chinese government of trying to deflect blame for the coronavirus.

Rejecting the charge that China was attempting to leverage on the disease to advance its strategic interests, Zhang Ming advised that it was better to "forget the politics for now" and focus on the fight to eradicate the virus.

Speaking at an online event organized by the think tank Friends of Europe on Friday, Zhang said: "COVID-19 is a human tragedy, not a playground for politics. As WHO pointed out, we are fighting both a pandemic and an infodemic.

"Disinformation is an enemy for all of us and it should be addressed by all of us.  From the very beginning China has suffered a lot from disinformation," he added.

Zhang's rebuttal was triggered by a report by the EU's diplomatic corps this week, which claimed that Beijing was using "both overt and covert tactics" in a "global disinformation campaign."

An edited version of the report – parts of which have been leaked – is expected to be published soon.

"China's help to Europe, like Europe's help to China is a sign of solidarity not a political calculation," Zhang pointed out.

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