On Wednesday, a European Union report claimed that the Chinese and Russian media are now systematically seeking to sow mistrust in the Western COVID-19 vaccines in their latest disinformation campaigns that are being aimed at dividing the West.
The EU Study said that from December to April, the two countries’ state media outlets have pushed fake news online in multiple languages sensationalizing the vaccine safety concerns, and have made unfound links between the jabs and the deaths in Europe, and have also promoted Russian and Chinese vaccines as superior.
However, Beijing and Kremlin deny all such disinformation allegations stated by the EU, which apparently produces regular reports and also seeks to work with Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter to limit the spread of fake news.
The EU study released by the bloc’s disinformation unit, which is a part of its EEAS foreign policy arm stated that the Chinese and the Russian vaccine diplomacy follows a zero-sum game logic and is also combined with certain disinformation and manipulation efforts to undermine the trust in the Western-made vaccines.
The report citing 100 Russian examples this year further stated that both China and Russia are now using state-controlled media, networks of proxy media outlets, and other social media handles, including official diplomatic social media accounts to achieve this kind of goal.
The NATO and EU have regularly accused Russia of covert action that included disinformation, to try to destabilize the West by exploiting divisions in the society.
The vaccine supplies issues with AstraZeneca and also the very rare side effects with Astra and the Johnson & Johnson have been currently seized upon, the report stated.
Both pro-Kremlin and Chinese official channels have now amplified the content on alleged side-effects of the Western vaccines, and are misrepresenting and sensationalizing the international media reports, and have also been associating deaths to the BioNTech/ Pfizer vaccine in Spain, Norway, and elsewhere, the report added.
It seems that there’s vaccine chaos everywhere.
However, Russia denies all such tactics and President Vladimir Putin has reportedly accused the foreign foes of targeting Russia by spreading such fake news about the deadly coronavirus.
According to a Reuters investigation, it was last year, when China had sought to block an EU report that alleged Beijing was the one to spread disinformation about the coronavirus outbreak.
EU has not vaccinated its 450 million citizens as quickly as Britain, which is no longer a member of the bloc, and the shots are now gaining momentum, led by the U.S. drugmaker Pfizer’s shots and its German partner BioNTech.
Reports have it that the EU has stated that Russia’s official Sputnik V Twitter account has sought to undermine the public trust in the European Medicines Agency.
Meanwhile, China has promoted its vaccines as a global public good and is also presenting them as more suitable for the developing countries, and also the Western Balkans, the report confirmed. The Western Balkan countries are now being seen as future EU members.