Germany rejects China's request to 'speak in positive terms' about its handling of COVID-19

New Delhi Published: Apr 14, 2020, 08:47 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in China Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Reportedly, Germany's foreign ministry issued a recommendation asking all government departments to reject any such requests.

China is following a tried and tested strategy as traditional ways to win influence are not working. 

Beijing now wants to spend its way out of this mess because diplomacy is not working.

Chinese diplomats learnt this the hard way in Germany. On Sunday, a German newspaper reported that Chinese officials tried to influence the government. The newspaper reported about a confidential foreign ministry document which said that senior German officials were "Invited to speak in positive terms".

They wanted Germany to sing praises about China's management of the coronavirus, a request, that was flat out rejected.

Reportedly, Germany's foreign ministry issued a recommendation asking all government departments to reject any such requests.

China's foreign ministry was quick to deny these reports but it has not stopped Beijing's attempt to fix china's international image. The propaganda campaign went into overdrive in march. It began with Xi Jinping speaking to world leaders and promising aid. Soon enough, Beijing dispatched coronavirus supplies to worst-hit countries. The charm offensive backfired as Chinese supplies were faulty.

It all went downhill from here. Instead of deft diplomacy, Chinese diplomats began a stunning counterattack, especially on social media.

First, a Chinese diplomat blamed the US  Army for the coronavirus outbreak. However, he backpedalled last week. The Chinese embassy in Brazil traded barbs with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's son --- Eduardo. He had blamed China for the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese diplomats were livid. They said Eduardo has contracted a "Mental virus."

The Chinese diplomats tried to use misinformation. They shared a story of Italians --- playing the Chinese national anthem. This video, however, was fake and now, the Chinese seemed to have miffed the Germans. China keeps committing the same mistakes again and again. They have tried this trick before.

Reportedly, a Chinese consulate approached the lawmakers in Wisconsin for a commendation. But, they came back with a resolution of criticism. Reports say that in March, the Chinese consulate had approached the Wisconsin senate president Roger Roth. They had written a resolution --- that of course, praised the communist party. It used words like "Transparent" and "Quick" for china's coronavirus response.

Roger Roth was approached twice. When the first email came, he thought this demand from China was a joke. However, when the request was made for the second time, Roth decided to respond. He put together a resolution --- exposing china. It says that that Chinese people are heirs of one of the greatest civilizations in human history. But for the last 70 years, the country has been held hostage by a brutal and oppressive regime. He meant the communist party.

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