WHO Slams US Disinformation Campaign Against Chinese Vaccines

June 20, 2024

WHO Slams US Disinformation Campaign Against Chinese Vaccines

Responding to recent media reports that the US Pentagon spread disinformation in the Philippines to undermine China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine during the pandemic, the World Health Organization told Xinhua that spreading disinformation is a major threat in healthcare today, stating that “using vaccines as a political weapon can have severe consequences.”

Reuters: Reuters identified at least 300 accounts on X, formerly Twitter, that matched descriptions shared by former US military officials familiar with the Philippines operation. Almost all were created in the summer of 2020 and centred on the slogan #Chinaangvirus—Tagalog for China is the virus.
“We weren’t looking at this from a public health perspective,” said a senior military officer involved in the program. “We were looking at how we could drag China through the mud.”

SCMP : The department said on Sunday, in response to a query about a Reuters report that the Pentagon tried to discredit the quality of Chinese face masks, test kits and the country’s Sinovac vaccine, that it conducts “a wide range of operations, including operations in the information environment (OIE), to counter adversary malign influence”.

On June 18, a spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines issued a statement saying the US constantly touts respecting human rights yet did the opposite regarding Filipinos’ basic human rights of health and life by spreading deadly disinformation.

The WHO told Xinhua, “The Sinovac vaccine is safe and effective at preventing severe COVID-19 and death.” The WHO website has detailed information affirming the safety and efficacy of Sinovac’s vaccine.

Sinovac received the WHO emergency use listing for its COVID-19 vaccine on June 1, 2021.


US Presses Japan, Netherlands for New Curbs on China’s AI Chip Capabilities

Bloomberg: A senior US official is set to visit Japan and the Netherlands to ask them to add fresh restrictions on China’s semiconductor sector. This would include on China’s ability to make the high-end memory chips that are needed for AI.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Alan Estevez, Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, will pressure his counterparts in Japan and the Netherlands to place further restrictions on the activities of Dutch supplier ASML and Japanese Tokyo Electron in China. Estevez is expected to focus on Chinese chip factories developing so-called high-bandwidth memory (HBM) chips as part of ongoing discussions with allies, the sources said.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lin Jian said at a regular press briefing Wednesday in Beijing that “The US has been inciting bloc confrontation and even extending it to trade and technology, and coercing other countries to go after China’s semiconductor industry. The US behavior is aimed at perpetuating its supremacy and denying China’ legitimate right to grow and thrive. In order to take exclusive control of the top end of the value chain, the US would go so far as to destabilize global industrial and supply chains. This will not only handicap the global semiconductor industry, but also eventually backfire and do no one good.”

He added that it was Beijing’s “hope that relevant countries can distinguish right from wrong” and protect their own interests.


China Coastguard Thwarts Philippine Resupply Mission to Occupied Reef, Videos Go Viral

Videos and images released by Chinese authorities of the country’s coastguard blocking and boarding Philippine vessels attempting to resupply military personnel illegally stationed at Ren’ai Reef in the South China Sea have gone viral on Chinese social media, sparking heated discussions.

On June 17, China’s coastguard announced that it took lawful countermeasures to stop Philippine ships from illegally entering waters near Ren’ai Reef to deliver supplies to Filipino military forces grounded there, safeguarding China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights.

Multiple Philippine media outlets, like Palawan News, quoted sources on June 18 claiming China’s response foiled the resupply mission, with casualties including seven injured Filipinos, one losing a finger, eight guns confiscated, and a ship damaged.

The reports said the Philippines deployed multiple vessels aiming to provide provisions to its grounded contingent at Ren’ai Reef, but none could approach the feature. China’s coastguard stated the Philippine ships dangerously closed in and deliberately collided with its normally navigating vessels.

In an interview with Global Times, Ding Duo, deputy director at the Ocean Law and Policy Institute under the South China Sea Institute, said the Philippines had a stronger motive to make provocations and test China’s resolve after its recent resupply attempt was forcefully rebuffed.

“The Philippines is now deliberately escalating maritime frictions in a coordinated manner alongside diplomatic, legal and public opinion offensives, such as recently submitting an extended continental shelf claim in the South China Sea and officials threatening new arbitration,” Ding said. “As the anniversary of the illegal South China Sea ruling nears, the Philippines aims to exert greater pressure through synchronized maritime actions, propaganda and diplomacy.”

The hashtag #ChinaCoastguardBoardsPhilippineShipsForFirstTime became a top trend on Weibo as footage circulated widely.

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