EU anti-fake news agency now targeting Chinese propaganda

AP Photo/Sergei Ilnitsky, Pool

The European Union’s anti-fake news agency, EUvsDisinfo, is looking to counter Chinese propaganda, especially as it relates to the war in Ukraine. 

EUvsDisinfo, a project from the European External Action Service, published two reports in Chinese over the past few weeks about misinformation on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Euronews.

“Among the litany of lies Russia has spread about its war in Ukraine, disinformation that Ukraine is developing biological weapons is particularly insidious,” the European External Action Service said in a translated tweet originally posted in Chinese.

“The rumor not only attempts to justify the brutal Russian invasion, but also denigrates legitimate biological and epidemiological research around the world, jeopardizing global public health,” the tweet added.

The reports marked the first time the organization published content in Chinese, as it typically publishes its reports in European languages. 

A spokesperson from the EU Commission told Euronews that the reports were intended “to provide Chinese-speaking audiences with fact-based information to help raise awareness of disinformation surrounding the war in Ukraine.”  

“In the past, EUvsDisinfo has reported on alignment between pro-Kremlin and Chinese State-affiliated and State-controlled sources, for example on COVID-19, human rights violations in Xinjiang, Afghanistan and Ukraine. It has also covered China’s messaging around Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine,” the spokesperson added.

The Hill has reached out to the EU Commission for comment. 

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, China’s government has called for peace but has not condemned Moscow for waging the war.

Beijing has instead promised to deepen ties with Russia while attempting to characterize itself as a neutral party in the Ukrainian conflict. 

President Biden has warned Chinese President Xi Jinping about the “implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia as it conducts brutal attacks against Ukrainian cities and civilians.”

White House officials have previously raised concerns about China amplifying Russian claims that the U.S. is developing biological weapons in Ukraine, saying the false claims could be intended to lay the foundation for a possible Russian chemical attack. 

Tags disinformation Joe Biden Russia-Ukraine war Xi Jinping

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