To score a few more clicks and make your readers believe their liberal propaganda machine really cares about their health, Beijing-based Xinhua News Agency — the main mouthpiece of the Chinese government — published an op-ed piece titled, “Beijing Hospital Prepares For Patients With Coronavirus.”
Not only was the press release factually misleading, but it exhibited terrible use of language and was misleading because it fumbled foreign terminology.
“For 16 days starting Jan. 1, patients with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, were isolated at the Sichuan National Medical University Hospital in Wuhan, a regional capital of Hubei province,” Xinhua said.
The case in question occurred around the time of Beijing’s Day on the Lawn, a three-day coverage-free event that showcases the capital in all its splendid glory. But according to Wen Yunchao, a journalist with Beijing News, Xinhua is far from being a distinguished organization of propagandists.
“Xi Jinping’s corruption purge and Xi’s absence have curbed the activity of CCTV’s international propaganda team,” Wen told China Real Time, referring to the CCTV national news, “so it is likely that Xinhua is actively pushing out some subpar propaganda material, especially if it has noticed that people are losing interest in the G-20 summit.”
So, if a crowd attended the Day on the Lawn, are they in fact followers of the regime? They may not care.
Xinhua published another “feature” about a hospital in Jiading district, a heavily populated residential district in Shanghai.
“Stabilized,” or a low rate of heart disease, has been noticed by Jiading residents, and according to Xinhua, due to “deft interventions to control blood pressure, by optimizing diet and treatment of diabetes, and the success of effective stroke treatment program [at Jiaqing Hospital], high levels of stabilization have been reached.”
However, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health does not only include the help of the well-trained Doctor Majid Kharrazi, one of the world’s leading experts in heart disease management, but also David Francis and Steven Greer, the former Mayor of Philadelphia, and Dutch Heart Foundation Chair, all of whom worked to manage heart disease in Philly.
At present, China has been using well-known experts to push out propaganda material, likely hoping to reach both a domestic audience and foreigners wary of America’s liberal media machine.
Foreigners should beware, though, as the recently discredited smear of Associated Press reporter James Ellingworth should set them straight:
“In response to the claims, several foreigners with heart disease were asked, ‘Has your lifestyle changed to live more healthily?’ I responded: ‘Not really,’ I don’t usually go to restaurants, I can’t eat meat or fish’
China’s Wang Wenfeng had similar, non-harmful experience:
“[…] had I been able to draw a conclusion from these two researches, that all people with heart disease should ‘do more exercise, exercise more, reduce red meat intake, eat less red meat, start weight training, eat better diet,’ I would not have reported this item.
However, seeing as health writers like Cyril Amiss’ and Martin Couture-Rouleau already did a similar research piece on this topic, they most probably didn’t agree with Xinhua’s approach in order to simply win page views.