China is the world’s largest supplier of masks and its companies have flown four billion around the globe since the start of March. A flight carrying 70 tonnes of medical supplies from Wuhan to Sydney as part of a Chinese government PR campaign, politicians and diplomats have claimed.
Though many would say it was an intellectual mood but the outcome of the process didn’t seem to be well off with China. The PR campaign does on at ng the medical equipment to the countries that it once befriended with cheap loans coming out in criticism of Beijing, stated an article in the Foreign Policy magazine.
As the pandemic shows all of its adverse effects day by day, China has to speak by action than by words.
“Beijing’s propaganda is finding few takers.” “If the CCP’s public relations campaign continues to miss the mark, it could spoil China’s big shot at global leadership,” the magazine says.
China has made most out of the time since 2013 by offering partnerships, investments in countries through its multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative. China offers a “more appealing model of governance of authoritarian capitalism, noninterference, and self-determination” the article says adding that therefore, this allowed China to create influence in these countries including the establishment of military bases. This kind of influence “allows for the continued creation of a Beijing-aligned international order to challenge American hegemony,” the article says.
China played smart by investing through loans that didn’t let any door open for the recipients, it adds, pointing to Sri Lanka that leased a port to Beijing for 99 years after it could not pay back its debts. And Sri Lanka is not alone — Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Pakistan, and Tajikistan each owe more than 45 % of their GDPs to China over Belt and Road projects and risk “ceding control of areas of interest to Beijing,”.
These regions risked their tangible sovereignty by taking up an economic disruption. Now, they are blaming China for the spread of the virus to play this intelligence card. Anti-Chinese sentiment already high in such countries has now been inflamed by Beijing’s poor response to the pandemic’s outbreak, it says.
“Even as they flounder with their first propaganda campaign, Beijing’s latest missteps are informing a second propaganda push,” the article says. “China’s current PR campaigns might quell the chorus of criticism for a bit, but it is unlikely to last long. Anti-Chinese sentiment has long been bubbling in many of these countries. As the coronavirus continues to spread, China will have to offer more than pretty words,” it adds.