To portray itself as the world leader in fighting the novel coronavirus, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been reporting an extremely low rate of infection cases or even a zero count in many provinces for many days.
However, this propaganda campaign has backfired. The propaganda lured many Chinese who were overseas, especially Chinese students who studied in other countries, to returned to China because it is a “safe haven” as the other parts of the world are reporting high rates of infection.
The CCP did not anticipate this and did not want them, since it was still fighting the coronavirus and had no energy to deal with returning Chinese. The CCP also worried about the potential for importing infections.
China’s official report showed 21 new infection cases on March 17, with 20 coming from overseas.
Beijing reactivated the Xiaotangshan Hospital, a hospital set up during the SARS outbreak in 2003 for the primary purpose of isolating the confirmed patients instead of treating them. Their actual death count was unknown but was guessed to be high. This time, the hospital, with over 1,000 beds, will primarily hold the people found to be at risk after a Custom’s check. It will include confirmed patients and suspected patients.
Postings criticizing the returning Chinese spread on China’s Internet, such as, “You were not here when we were developing the motherland, but you are the fastest to fly back thousands of miles to poison the Chinese here” or, “The motherland treated you as a child but you treated the motherland as a fool.”
A Weibo comment said, “Those overseas Chinese should know that you are coming back to take refuge, not to be our masters. The Chinese people are all suffering a hard time now. Go back if you can’t stand it.”
Another Weibo article made a call to move all people entering China to Wuhan. “Instead of returning to home to create the risk of getting your own family quarantined, why not go to Wuhan to pass the hard times with the people there?”
Many overseas Chinese felt hurt. “When the epidemic exploded in China,” a person said, “many people and I donated money and bought face masks and protective clothing to send to China. Now many of us are sad: we are discriminated against in foreign countries, but also cursed when we go back to China.”
Related postings on Chinascope:
- Propaganda and Lies: Overseas Chinese Fell for the Propaganda That China’s Epidemic Was Over
- Propaganda and Lies: The Truth about the Video “An American Spread Virus in Wuhan Subway”
- Propaganda and Lies: Italian Media Called out CCP for Spreading Fake News
- Propaganda and Lies: Chinese Bots Flooded Twitter to Spread That U.S. Is the Origin of the Coronavirus
- Propaganda and Lies: People’s Daily Commentary: “Must Resist the Poison of Stigmatization”
1. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: BBC, March 17, 2020
2. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: World Journal, March 20, 2020
3. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: Beijing News, March 16, 2020
4. Excerpt in Chinese:
Source: BBC, March 16, 2020