As the shroud of crisis began to lift at the center of the coronavirus epidemic in China, Beijing launched a campaign to project an image of global leadership while the United States and countries across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East have taken on water. In a call with the Italian foreign minister last month, the Chinese foreign minister his hope that their “joint fight against the outbreak” would catalyze the creation of a “silk road” of health care, alluding to President Xi Jinping’s marquee Belt and Road economic strategy. Chinese diplomats have proselytized Beijing’s deft handling of the outbreak, as their diplomatic agencies sent hundreds of thousands of masks and thousands of testing kits and other medical supplies to Iran and South Korea at the end of last month.
Beijing’s blustering is more pernicious than false advertising. After its early mismanagement of the outbreak, China is brazenly leveraging what is now a global crisis to advance its narrow aims. As Beijing jockeys for leadership in existing international organizations and tries to mobilize alternative platforms, it is systematically undercutting these institutions’ ability to provide independent, objective, and transparent assessments that the world needs in times of crisis.
Read the full article in The Hill.
More from CNAS
CommentaryChina's post-Covid 19 'techno-nationalist' industrial policy
While Covid-19 brings China one step closer to technology-perfected authoritarianism through improvised health apps and real-time surveillance, Europe is busy looking inward. ...
By Rebecca Arcesati & Martijn Rasser
PodcastHong Kong Crisis
China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong to deter and punish what it calls “acts of secession or subversion.” Daniel Kliman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia-P...
By Daniel Kliman
CommentaryConverging Chinese and Russian Disinformation Compounds Threat to Democracy
In recent weeks the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda and disinformation blitz around COVID-19 has drawn increasing attention, and with good reason. In addition to pr...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & David Shullman
CommentaryEnergy Markets, Geopolitics, and COVID-19
On May 14, members of the CNAS Energy, Economics, and Security (EES) program held a Twitter conversation on the impact of COVID-19 on energy markets and geopolitics. EES Progr...
By Sam Dorshimer & Abigail Eineman