Earlier this week, economist Nouriel Roubini predicted that the US-China trade war would heat up because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
He claimed that the language from Washington and Beijing has become increasingly raw lately. Roubini, known as Dr. Doom because of his mostly bearish forecasting, believes this will only get worse and that we are in for a brutal trade war between the two most powerful countries in the world. Technological warfare and cyber crime would be central to this.
In the past few weeks, European governments have also become increasingly critical of the Chinese government and even the WHO. The biggest German newspaper Bild told China it owed their economy 149 billion Euro over the Corona losses whilst the best watched Dutch TV show stated that the WHO and China were clearly sending ‘questionable’ messages. Even French President Macron stated in an interview with the Financial Times that it would be naive to believe the official Chinese version of events.
In response, Chinese state media has now launched a first offensive…. In lego, clearly aimed at their younger viewers and mocking the US’s response to the Corona pandemic.
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In a video that glorifies how China handled the Covid-19 outbreak and mocks how the US government responded to it, the WHO also plays a central role.
The New China TV is a smaller operation located in Xinhua. At state level, there is for example China Central Television (CCTV) and China Educational Television (CETV) with 16 channels and 3 channels respectively, which are all much bigger. At provincial level, there are 32 satellite channels and more than 100 regular channels. Presently, China has more than 2,000 city TV channels.
New China TV’s video pits China versus the US and has both parties discussing their standpoint.
The Chinese position is explained by a terracotta warrior whilst the US government’s response is given by the Statue of Liberty.
A report on Al Jazeera TV (the first English-language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East) also featured the Chinese video on a segment discussing the growing rivalry between China and the US.
It is clear that worldwide media is focusing on the rivalry more and more as also in Australia there was talk of tension today. Sky News Australia even stated that China is ‘running a global disinformation campaign’.
The video comes at a very uncomfortable time, just as the US death toll has surpassed 65,000 people and the number of known infections in the US has climbed to more than 1.1 million.