“The Chinese are already threatening with reactions if the report comes out.”
Lutz Güllner — Head of communications at the EU foreign service (April 21 2020)
April 29 2020 — China is the main actor spreading, both overtly and covertly, disinformation regarding COVID-19. And yet, for weeks, people saying so were themselves accused of spreading Fake News! Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY
RELATED POST: 5G — Fake News in the time of the coronavirus [UPDATE]
RELATED POST: Disinformation — Who Coined That Word Anyway?
UPDATE (June 12 2020) — Brussels is finally accusing China of running disinformation campaigns inside the European Union, as the bloc set out a plan to tackle a huge wave of false facts about the coronavirus pandemic. Better late than never.
When I wrote this post two months ago, some journalists — including a US veteran journalist — suggested that I should take the story down because everyone ‘knew’ that Russia was the real culprit behind this disinformation campaign.
Now, for the first time ever, the EU executive has publicly named China as the main source of disinformation on COVID-19.
Just a question. Why is it that these journalists and indeed the Belgian Intelligence Services got it so wrong while I was able to figure it out?
Surely, I deserve very little credit as the evidence of the role played by China had already been available for more than a week when I wrote this post.
“French politicians were furious when a Chinese embassy website claimed in mid-April, at the height of Europe’s pandemic, that care workers had abandoned their jobs leaving residents to die.
The unnamed Chinese diplomat also claimed falsely that 80 French lawmakers had used a racist slur against the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.”
In any case, this new stance from the EU executive marks a radical change in tone from the March report that was blaming Kremlin-backed sources for the disinformation campaign.
Today, Twitter announced that it has just deleted 170,000 accounts linked to China influence campaigns focused on Covid-19 as well as the protests in Hong Kong and over George Floyd in the US.
I believe that some folks — politicians, journalists and indeed the Belgian Intelligence Services — have a lot of explaining to do. How could they have been so wrong about this obvious story?
PS — By the way, I would like to remind you that Brussels has the highest death rate due to COVID-19 in the world.
And there is no need to blame it on disinformation campaigns. Incompetence and corruption fully account for most of this human tragedy.
END of UPDATE
Last week, a EU report was about to denounce a “continued and coordinated Chinese disinformation programme” to deflect any blame for the outbreak of the pandemic.
The report was about to reveal “significant evidence of covert Chinese operations on social media”.
However, after receiving clear threats from Beijing, Josep Borrell — the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security — decided to re-write the report against the evidence.
How were the Chinese aware of this document anyway?
Is that not a clear case of espionage that the Belgian Intelligence Services should be interested into?
Wait, it gets better!
Brussels Politicians knew for at least several weeks that the main culprit of the massive — “continued and coordinated” — disinformation campaign was China.
Moreover, the Brussels Institutions had received direct threats from China before April 21 2020.
And yet, in a document posted on their website on April 21 2020, Belgian Intelligence Services blame the disinformation campaign on far-right extremists, racists, and…useful idiots.
The only state actor named (13 times!) is Russia, despite the lack of evidence. [Financial Times journalists investigated this issue and found ZERO evidence Russia was behind this disinformation campaign.]
On the other, China does not appear once in the document, despite overwhelming evidence!
During the April 17 daily press conference, Emmanuel André — the then Belgium inter-federal spokesperson Covid-19 — was asked what he thought about the allegations that the virus accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
Instead of answering the question, the expert read a prepared answer from a piece of paper waiting on his desk. 
“When we find ourselves in complicated situations, it is understandable to want to look for culprits.
But in this case, we know that this virus is very probably from the natural environment. (…) The genetic structure of this virus is natural.”
This answer was almost verbatim the official answer provided a bit earlier by Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for Chinese diplomacy.
This explanation from Emmanuel André may or may not be true. But it certainly does not answer the question asked.
This virus may very well be of natural origin and yet leaked from the Wuhan laboratory knowing its horrific track record which has been documented for years.
Richard H. Ebright — an American molecular biologist — is the Board of Governors Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Rutgers University and Laboratory Director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology.
According to Richard H. Ebright, the possibility that the virus entered the population due to a laboratory accident is very plausible.
On April 23 2020, I wrote:
“The Belgian State has lied about COVID-19 since day one, just like they have lied about 5G for years. Criminal collusion between Belgian politicians and a Telecom operator can be proven. I can also provide evidence that public servants have helped China to mount an espionage operation in Brussels. In all these stories, the complicity of the Belgian media was a necessary condition. At least one newspaper was paid to spin Chinese 5G propaganda. But even the [French language] Belgian Journalism Ethics Commission appears to have been corrupted by Chinese money.”
Emmanuel André resigned on April 24 2020. According to a leading (French Speaking) Belgium newspaper, his conscience would not allow him to keep on lying.
Li Wenliang ( 12 October 1986 – 7 February 2020) was a Chinese ophthalmologist who worked as a physician at Wuhan Central Hospital.
Li warned his colleagues on 30 December 2019 about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), later acknowledged as COVID-19.
On 3 January 2020, Wuhan police summoned and admonished him for “making false comments on the Internet.”
Five Eyes Intel Agencies Investigate Wuhan Lab as source of COVID-19
US Intelligence agencies are looking into the possibility that the coronavirus was inadvertently released from the Wuhan laboratory.
Two Chinese scientists who studied live bats in Australia as part of joint research between the Chinese communist government and the Australian government are at the centre of the probe.
Five Eyes intelligence agencies of Australia, Canada, NZ, the US, and the UK are reportedly collaborating on this investigation. Stay tuned!
Is the Wuhan Lab the source of the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Here is the answer from Emmanuel André :
“When we find ourselves in complicated situations, it is understandable to want to look for culprits. But in this case, we know that this virus is very probably from the natural environment.
There are viruses similar to that that we see today that circulates through bats in China and these viruses were probably accidentally transmitted to humans via another intermediate animal or via the fact that in China, we consume these bats in particular. We have no argument to claim that this virus would have escaped or been manufactured in a laboratory.
The genetic structure of this virus is natural. When we modify the genes of a virus, it leaves traces that we can notice. In this case, we have no indication to that effect. Most likely , as was the case for many pathogens in history, is an accident in nature where a virus which circulates among animals is found transmitted in humans and develops a capacity to be transmitted from human to human, this who caused this epidemic.”
COVID-19 — Brussels Top Politicians Caught Helping Chinese Disinformation
COVID-19 — Brussels Top Politicians Caught Helping Chinese Disinformation [UPDATE : China accused by Brussels of running disinformation campaigns]