EU tracks Chinese and Russian vaccine disinformation campaigns

by Brooks Tigner

China and Russia have shifted their pandemic-related disinformation strategies against the West from distortions about face-masks and the Covid-19 virus itself to Europe’s “failed” public health campaigns and alleged attempts to suppress non-Western vaccines, according to the EU’s European External Action Service (EEAS). In its 28 April analysis of fake news about the virus and its impact, the EEAS stated, “Since the beginning of 2021 state-sponsored disinformation has intensified, targeting in particular Western-developed vaccines. ‘Vaccine’ diplomacy has fully replaced ‘mask’ diplomacy.”

The report, entitled ‘Short Assessment of Narratives and Disinformation Around the COVID-19 Pandemic’, is the EEAS’s sixth since the global spread of the disease began in early 2020. “What we see is a new tendency of an extremely hyper-aggressive promotion of those two countries’ national vaccines, which is often combined with equally aggressive denigration or undermining of the other [Western] side,” a senior EU official told Janes just before the report’s release. “Trolling and very targeted campaigns aimed at suppressing social media dialogue are a big red line that has been crossed in recent months.”

High Representative of EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (far right, seated) attends an event as part of the 10th anniversary of the European External Action Service (EEAS), in Brussels, Belgium, on 1 December 2020. An EEAS task force has been central to the EU’s efforts to monitor Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

High Representative of EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell (far right, seated) attends an event as part of the 10th anniversary of the European External Action Service (EEAS), in Brussels, Belgium, on 1 December 2020. An EEAS task force has been central to the EU’s efforts to monitor Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns. (Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/eu-tracks-chinese-and-russian-vaccine-disinformation-campaigns

China and Russia have shifted their pandemic-related disinformation strategies against the West from...

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