China has accused some Western media outlets of exaggerating the country’s role in the coronavirus pandemic and engaging in “hype, smear and manipulation.”
In a statement released on Thursday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said some Western media outlets were “exploiting public opinion and using the epidemic to carry out all kinds of political manipulation.” The statement said that this “will only lead to more division, confrontation and even hatred between countries,” and called on the media to “be responsible to the truth and history.”
The statement comes as the global death toll from Covid-19 continues to rise, with many countries facing severe economic and social disruption. China has been criticized for its handling of the outbreak, including its alleged lack of transparency and its initial attempts to cover up the initial outbreak.
China has strongly disputed these claims, and has accused Western media outlets of bias and double standards in their reporting. It has also accused them of amplifying “anti-China voices” and of “working to demonize and stigmatize” China.
The Chinese government has also accused some Western leaders of attempting to “shift the blame” for their own countries’ poor handling of the pandemic onto China.