China accuses US of 'malign intention' to discredit its COVID vaccines

Report found US military aimed to sow doubt about safety of vaccines, and other life-saving aid supplied by China

Reuters June 19, 2024
A vial labelled "Sinovac COVID-19 Vaccine" is seen in this illustration taken January 16, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration


China's embassy in the Philippines accused the US military of "hypocrisy, malign intention and double standards" in response to a report of a secret US campaign to undermine confidence in Chinese vaccines and other aid during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The remarks made by the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Manila on Tuesday were in response to a Reuters investigative report that said the US military launched a clandestine programme during the COVID pandemic to discredit China's Sinovac inoculation in the Philippines.

The investigation found the US military aimed to sow doubt about the safety and efficacy of vaccines and other life-saving aid supplied by China. Through phoney internet accounts meant to impersonate Filipinos, the military's propaganda efforts morphed into an anti-vax campaign, according to the report.

"People around the world are indignant about the US military's actions which lay bare the hypocrisy, malign intention and double standards of the United States," an embassy spokesperson said in a statement.

"While talking about respecting human rights, the United States does just the opposite regarding the fundamental human rights of life and health of the Filipino people."

The US Embassy in Manila referred a request for comment to its Department of Defense. In the Reuters report, a senior Defense Department official acknowledged the U.S. military engaged in secret propaganda to disparage China’s vaccine in the developing world, but the official declined to provide details.

A Pentagon spokeswoman was cited in the report as saying the US military "uses a variety of platforms, including social media, to counter those malign influence attacks aimed at the US, allies, and partners." She also said China had started a "disinformation campaign to falsely blame the United States for the spread of COVID-19."


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