Hua Chunying: “I want to reiterate that China is the biggest victim of disinformation”

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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on June 12, 2020 (English)
2020年6月12日外交部发言人华春莹主持例行记者会 (Chinese)

AFP: Twitter today said it removed tens of thousands of state-linked accounts used by China to spread disinformation or praise China’s response. As Chinese diplomats are becoming regular users of Twitter, I wonder what’s your comment on that?

法新社记者:推特公司今天表示,移除了数万个中方用来散布虚假信息、赞扬中国疫情应对的账号。中国外交官越来越多通过推特平台表达观点,你对此有何评论?

Hua Chunying: I’m not sure what is the basis of Twitter’s decision, but I would say that to equate plaudits for China’s epidemic response with disinformation is clearly untenable, unless we redefine what “disinformation” is. It is generally understood that disinformation should be false, untrue, or even maliciously fabricated lies and rumors. However, China’s efforts to combat COVID-19 and the results it achieved are real and witnessed by all. Recently, a white paper titled “Fighting COVID-19: China in Action” issued by the Information Office of the State Council unequivocally presents how the Chinese people have fought in unity in this great war against COVID-19 by providing a clear timeline and hard facts.

华春莹:我不清楚推特公司做出这一决定的依据是什么,但我想说,将肯定中国对疫情的应对等同于虚假信息显然是站不住脚的,除非重新定义什么是“虚假信息”。一般人理解,虚假信息应该是假的,不真实的,甚至是恶意捏造的谎言和谣言。而中国为抗击新冠肺炎疫情所做的努力和取得的成效是实实在在、有目共睹的。近日,中国国务院新闻办公室发表了《抗击新冠肺炎疫情的中国行动》白皮书,以清晰的时间线和铁一般的事实,清清楚楚地记录了中国人民团结一心抗击疫情的伟大历程。

At the same time, as you can see, since the outbreak of the pandemic, some people and forces in the international community have been almost crazy and hysterical in slandering and badmouthing China with rumors. You must have known that as exposed by the Politico website, the US National Republican Senatorial Committee has sent campaigns a 57-page memo advising GOP candidates to address the coronavirus crisis by “aggressively attacking China”. A few days ago, the same news website reported that in late March, 2.6 million tweets related to coronavirus were retweeted 25.5 million times within 10 days, and a lot of them spread rumors like “the coronavirus was a bioweapon created in China”. According to the report, an analysis of these Twitter accounts found that many of them are linked to supporters of the GOP and the right wing in the US, and had the hallmarks of “bots”.

与此同时,大家也都看到,疫情发生以来,国际上有一些人、一些势力在近乎疯狂、歇斯底里地针对中国进行造谣、污蔑和抹黑。你肯定知道,美国“政治”新闻网站曾曝光共和党参议院全国委员会向竞选机构发送57页备忘录,鼓动通过“积极攻击中国”应对疫情危机。几天前,也是美国“政治”新闻网站报道,3月下旬推特上有260万条与新冠病毒有关的推文10天内被转发2550万次,其中大量推文造谣称“病毒是中国生产制造的生化武器”。有关报道称通过分析发现其中很多推特账号与美国共和党及右翼势力支持者有关,且很多都是“机器人”账号。

If Twitter believes that those tweets praising China’s anti-epidemic efforts are “disinformation” and the accounts should be shut down, I wonder what they will do with the real disinformation which has undeniably smeared China with malicious intentions? If those who create and spread such disinformation can be allowed to go their own way and do everything in their power, then this is the perfect example of ideological prejudice, bias against China, blatant double standards, and the behavior to confuse right and wrong. What should be shut down is precisely the accounts that attack and smear China in an organized and coordinated manner.

如果推特公司认为肯定中国抗疫努力的是虚假信息并要关闭,不知道他们对于那些对中国恶意造谣抹黑的、真正的虚假信息怎么处理?如果任由他们大行其道、横行霸道、甚嚣尘上,那么什么是意识形态偏见,什么是戴着有色眼镜看中国,什么是赤裸裸的双重标准,什么是是非不分、黑白颠倒,这就是最好的例证。真正应该关掉的,恰恰是那些有组织、有协调来攻击抹黑中国的账号。

Let me reiterate that China is the biggest victim of disinformation. China always opposes the fabrication and dissemination of disinformation. The United Nations and WHO have repeatedly called on all countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation to combat disinformation. We call on the international community to enhance solidarity and coordination, jointly reject disinformation, so that those political viruses such as rumors and slanders and the perpetrators and manipulators behind the scene will have no place to hide.

我要重申的是,中国是虚假信息的最大受害者。中方一贯反对制造和传播虚假信息。联合国和世卫组织已多次呼吁各国加强团结合作,打击各类虚假信息。我们呼吁国际社会加强团结协作,共同反对和抵制虚假信息,让那些谣言、诽谤等政治病毒及其幕后策划者、操纵者在阳光下无处遁形。

As for the more frequent use of Twitter by Chinese diplomats, I think it’s nothing strange. This is an era of new media. Just as many foreign diplomats and journalists in China use WeChat and Weibo, Chinese diplomats have taken Twitter as a channel and platform to communicate with people in other countries.

至于中国外交官越来越多使用推特,我想这很正常。这是一个新媒体时代,如同很多外国驻华外交官和外国媒体驻华记者在中国使用微信和微博一样,推特是中国外交官入乡随俗、与外国民众进行交流的一种方式和平台。

Meanwhile, some foreign media and social platforms are fraught with lies and rumors against China. In the dark and ugly world of disinformation, it is necessary for some people, including Chinese diplomats, to speak in a truthful, objective and impartial manner, like striking a match in the dark night to make some light. Anyone who is not playing deaf and dumb will be able to see the truth.

同时,现在一些外国媒体及社交平台上充斥着大量针对中国的恶毒谎言、谣言。在黑暗、丑陋的虚假信息世界里,需要一些人、包括中国外交官发出真实、客观、公正的声音,如同在漆黑的夜里擦亮一些火柴,发出一些光亮。只要不是铁了心、闭上眼、假装叫不醒的人,就能看到一些事实和真相。

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Related

A victim of disinformation, May 26, 2020

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Updates / Related

Friday morning  intrusion, June 12, 2020

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